Myers, John H. Memoir

A Guide to the John H. Myers Memoir, 1888 Ms.2009.061


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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

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URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

John M. Jackson

Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Identification
Ms.2009.061
Title
John H. Myers Memoir1888
Quantity
0.1 Cubic Feet 1 folder
Creator
Myers, John H.
Language
The materials in the collection are in English.
Abstract
Civil War reminiscences of John H. Myers, a corporal in Company G, 55th Illinois Infantry, providing an overview of the common soldier's life, focusing particularly on the behavior of officers; food, water and clothing rations; marches; encampments; battle preparation; picket duty; battle and its aftermath. Accompanied by post-war carte-de-visite identified as Myers

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (specref@vt.edu or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: [identification of item], [box], [folder], John H. Myers Memoir, Ms2009-061, Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Source of Acquisition

The John H. Myers Memoir was purchased by Special Collections.

Processing Information

The processing and description of the John H. Myers Memoir commenced and was completed in April 2009.


Biographical Note

John Henry Myers was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania around 1841. Census records indicate that Myers was the son of Henry H. and Maria Myers, and that he was living with his parents and siblings in Fulton County, Illinois by 1860. Myers enlisted in Company G of the 55th Illinois Infantry and was mustered in with the company on October 31, 1861. He reenlisted as a veteran at Chicago on April 12, 1864, and mustered out as a corporal with his regiment on August 14, 1865. After the war, Myers returned to Pennsylvania. By his own account, Myers began practicing medicine around 1871, though he did not obtain a degree in medicine until graduating from the Baltimore Medical School in 1883. John Henry Myers died at his home in Lewiston (Mifflin County), Pennsylvania on March 6, 1919.

Historical Note

The 55th Illinois Infantry was organized at Chicago, Illinois and mustered into Federal service on October 31, 1861. The regiment, part of the Army of Tennessee, participated in many of the larger battles in the western theater of operations, including Shiloh, Champion's Hill, and the Siege of Vicksburg, as well as the Atlanta Campaign and Sherman's "march to the sea." The 55th Illinois was mustered out of service on August 14, 1865.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a Civil War memoir written by John H. Myers, a corporal in Company G, 55th Illinois Infantry. Rather than a strictly personal narrative, Myers' memoir provides an overview of military operations as he experienced them. He writes at length on military personnel (never naming individuals, however), likening officers to monarchs and privates to serfs, detailing several instances of injustices and incompetence committed by the former. Also discussed, often in a somewhat humorous manner, are army rations. (The writer particularly describes the soldiers' experiences with hardtack and the worms with which one shipment became infested.) Myers relates several anecdotes about foraging and the procurement of food, water and clothing. In subsequent sections, the former corporal describes the day-to-day experiences of the soldiers within an invading army--marches, encampments, picket duty, and battle preparation--providing specific details on army procedures. In the final section, Myers takes the reader step-by-step through the experience of battle, then its aftermath, as the dead and wounded are removed from the field.

Accompanying the memoir is a carte-de-visite, the verso containing--in modern-day ink pen--the name of Dr. J. H. Myers, Lewistown, Pa. The portrait was executed in the studio of F. R. M'Carthy of Philadelphia.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Civil War
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Diaries

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the John H. Myers Memoir by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).

Container List

folder 1
Memoir
1888