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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Charles Thomas Ackley Civil War Diaries Collection

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1864-1865
Creator: Ackley, Charles Thomas (1833-1913)
Extent: .50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0541
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: One hundred and eighteen letters from Charles Thomas Ackley, mostly to his wife in Marble Rock, Iowa. Also included are newspaper clippings, brief biographies of some of the men in the Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and historical commentary.

Alternate Extent Statement: Electronic material in Box 2.

Access: This collection is open for research.


Acquisition: This collection was given to the University of Iowa Libraries by the children of Ena Louise Ackley Adams.

Preferred Citation: Charles Thomas Ackley Civil War Diaries Collection, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Charles Thomas Ackley was born in Pittsfield, Otsego County, New York on July 23, 1833, the sixth child of James and Nancy Ackley. He moved to Iowa in 1855, where he started a farm about two miles south of Marble Rock. In 1863 he married Elizabeth Thayer of Otsego County New York. In December of 1863, Ackley enlisted in Company B, Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry. During his service he saw heavy action, fighting in many battles and participating in Sherman's march through Georgia. He was not injured, though he did contract some illnesses which remained with him for the rest of his life. He was discharged in July 1865. He died at the home of his daughter near Phillipsburg, Kansas on February 13, 1913.

This collection consists of two notebooks and one CD-ROM. The original letters are here, along with transcripts; newspaper clippings; a glossary of terms; a table of the letters with information on where they were written from and the corresponding battles; a brief biography of Ackley and others in the company; muster rolls; an itinerary of his civil war travels; certificates in original and photocopy of his enlistment papers, pension papers, and land deeds; a history of the Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry; and various appendices.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Notebook one
  • Photocopy of a photograph of Charles Thomas Ackley
  • A preface
  • A brief biography of C.T. Ackley
  • Itinerary
  • Log
  • Page numbers of Civil War letters of C.T. Ackley
  • Technical notes
  • Errata
  • Originals of the letters
  • Box 2:
  • Notebook two
  • Itinerary
  • Originals and copies of certificates
  • Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War
  • Brief biographies of some of the men in the company
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Typewritten transcripts of the letters
    Please note: The typed transcripts of Ackley's letters in this book were the first attempts by the Adams family to explicate them. The transcripts attempt to be exact verbatim, retaining Ackley's variable spelling and punctuation. Spelling and punctuation were normalized for easier reading in the Word and Word Perfect versions on the CD and in the final, printed manuscripts. The numbers given each letter in this book (upper right hand corner of the plastic sheet folder) do not correspond precisely with final numbers assigned to the printed transcripts. Some letters not available at the time the typed transcripts were made were added later, and the sequence adjusted accordingly.
  • CD-ROM containing images of all the material in the collection in two formats (Microsoft Word, and Corell Word Perfect)