Conley, Isaiah, Civil War Correspondence and Research Materials Isaiah Conley Civil War Correspondence and Research Materials, 1862-2000s Ms.2015.051

Isaiah Conley Civil War Correspondence and Research Materials, 1862-2000s Ms.2015.051


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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

Kira A. Dietz, Archivist and Katie Herring, Student Assistant

Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Identification
Ms.2015.051
Title
Isaiah Conley Civil War Correspondence and Research Materials,1862-2000s
Quantity
4.2 Cubic Feet, 3 boxes
Creator
Conley, Isaiah, 1830-1901
Creator
Powell, Marjorie
Language
English .
Abstract
The Isaiah Conley Civil War Correspondence and Research Materials includes two series of primary and secondary sources. Series I: Letters, Transcripts, and Narratives, includes 98 letters written by Isaiah Conley to his wife during his service in the 101st Pennsylvania Regiment between 1861 and 1865. This series also has unpublished and published versions of Conley's escape from Confederate captivity. Series II: Research Materials contains correspondence, photocopies, articles, maps, and research files for a history of the 101st Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry that was planned, but never completed, by a previous owner. This series dates from 1980s through the early 2000s.

Administrative Information

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from Isaiah Conley Civil War Correspondence and Research Materials must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Isaiah Conley Civil War Correspondence and Research Materials, Ms2015-051, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Isaiah Conley Civil War Correspondence and Research Materials was purchased by Special Collections in July 2015.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Isaiah Conley Civil War Correspondence and Research Materials was completed in March 2016. Digitization of the letters was completed in January 2016,.


Biographical Information

Isaiah Conley (1830-1901) was born in 1830 to Allen and Margaret Ellen McGrew Conley. By 1860, he was living in Somerset County, PA, with his wife, Caroline (Carrie) (1836-1907), and their young daughter Annie. Conley was a merchant when he enlisted with Company G, 101st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, late in 1861. Conley, originally a Second Lieutenant, was later promoted to Captain. The regiment saw action quickly, first joining the Peninsula Campaign, participating at Yorktown, Willliamsburg, and Fair Oaks between March 1862 and March 1863, After that, the regiment moved through Virginia into North Carolina, via Suffolk. In April of 1863 the entire regiment surrendered in Plymouth, North Carolina.

Conley's regiment was taken first to Andersonville, but he, along with the other officers, were soon transferred to a prison in Macon, Alabama. In October 1864, while being moved yet again, Conley and two other officers jumped from the train transporting them, and made their way back to Union forces. Conley's account of this escape is part of the collection. Conley appears to have returned to the remains of his regiment and continued to serve until the 101st PVI mustered out in July 1986.

After the war, he returned home to his family (his second child was born around the time he enlisted) and his job as a dry goods merchant. He and Caroline had at least 7 children: Annie (Anna) (1859-1900); Harrie (b. abt 1861); Emma (b. abt 1866); Edgar (b. abt 1868); Elsie (Clara) (1870-1903); May (b. abt. 1873); and Ella (Nellie) (1876-1892). He later served as a local judge. Conley died in 1901 and was buried in Schellsburg, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

Scope and Content

The Isaiah Conley Civil War Correspondence and Research Materials includes two series of primary and secondary sources. Series I: Letters, Transcripts, and Narratives, includes 98 letters written by Isaiah Conley to his wife during his service in the 101st Pennsylvania Regiment. Letters were written primarily from Virginia, North Carolina,and South Carolina between 1861 and 1865. This series also has unpublished and published versions of Conley's escape from Confederate captivity. Series II: Research Materials contains correspondence, photocopies, articles, maps, and research files for a history of the 101st Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry that was planned, but never completed, by a previous owner. This series dates from 1980s through the early 2000s.

Please note: The collection included 2 3.5" disks with transcripts of the letters and 11 3.5" disks with transcripts of the escape narrative. The disks with the escape narrative transcripts were migrated to CD in July 2015. The floppy disks and the CDs can be found in the accession file and are available on request.

Arrangement

Series I: Letters, Transcripts, and Narratives, includes 98 letters written by Isaiah Conley to his wife during his service in the 101st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Letters were written primarily from Virginia, North Carolina,and South Carolina between 1861 and 1865. Conley's letters cover the majority of his service and contain information about the Peninsula Campaign (especially the Battle of Fair Oaks) and the Battle of Goldsboro Bridge. In addition, he writes of camp life, war hardships, picket duty, skirmishes and raids, building of fortifications, and his perspective on the South.

This series also has typescript version of Conley's escape from Confederate captivity with two fellow officers. After several months in prisons, they were being transferred to another location when they jumped from a train and made their way north. A version of this account was published in the Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine in 1964 and a copy of the printed version is included in this series.

Materials in this series are organized by type (letters, transcripts, and narratives). Within each type, folders are in chronological order.

Series II: Research Materials contains correspondence, photocopied materials, articles, maps, and research files for a history of the 101st Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry that was planned, but never completed, by a previous owner. This series dates from 1980s through the early 2000s.

A previous owner, Marjorie Powell, had acquired the letters and intended to write a history of Conley and the 101st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Much of the collection consist of her research files including correspondence with other researchers, files on Conley and other soldiers, general Civil War history, prison records, biographical information on other regimental staff, regimental histories/campaign histories, copies of photographs, and other accounts of the unit.

Materials in this series are in alphabetical order by folder title.

Subjects and Indexing Terms


Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

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Container List

Series I: Letters, Transcripts, and Narratives,, 1862-1865, n.d..
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Series II: Research Materials,, 1980s-2000s.
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