ABNER DOUBLEDAY COLLECTION

National Park Service Library at Harpers Ferry Center

A. Introduction

This is a collection of military records and journals of Abner Doubleday (1819-1893) Civil War general. The collection was originally acquired by the Museums Division of the NPS along with uniforms and other personal military equipment for exhibition at Gettysburg. Other items were transferred to Gettysburg sometime in the 1960s.

B. Listing
 

1. Letter Book/Scrap Book (Started at both ends, inverted)
Condition: Binding broken; some pages loose; adhesive used has not caused discoloration.

Description: Bound blank book, unlined paper with alphabetical tabs interleaved.

-- Contains originals and copies of letters received by Doubleday -- The copies copied in his own hand; announcements, news clippings, invitations; many items related to Veterans' organizations and reunions; includes one from the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association dated 1869, relative to marking out the battlefield for preservation and memorialization; includes an ad for a drawing of the Gettysburg Battlefield, with prices, by Jno. B. Bachelder, March 1865.

-- Contains printed rosters of units in Doubleday's Division with handwritten corrections; general orders; news clippings; tipped in copy of "Register of the First U.S. Artillery, for the Year 1865" (22p.)

2. Maps of Mexican War Service:

(Note: probably accompanied item #3 below)

-- "Map of part of the coast of Texas" hand-drawn and colored -- includes northern end of Padre Island to southern end of Matagorda Island; marks out army position at Corpus Christi, depth soundings in the bay and the steamboat route through Aransas Pass.

-- "Sketch of the battleground at Resaca De La Palma" - map cut from unidentified newspaper and hand-colored.

Condition: Good

-- "Map of the army of occupation" hand-drawn and colored. A larger scale look at U.S. Army positions at Corpus Christi. Has colored boxes to denote units, reversed writing on back of map, so that when held up to light - the unit boxes are labeled.

3. Typescript (most likely 19th century) with hand-written corrections.

Condition: Good. Paper is thin, almost onionskin in texture, with watermark "Invincible"

-- "Old War Memories" (Chapters 1-15, pp. 1-140) Autobiographical account of Doubleday's military service from graduation from West Point in 1842, and his first post at Fort Johnson, North Carolina through Mexican War service, Governor's Island, New York, Fort McHenry, Maryland, Fort Duncan, Texas, Old Point Comfort, Virginia, Fort Dallas, Florida. In the narrative, Doubleday describes life in the army at the time and some of the issues that held attention, such as flogging, slave revolts, drunkenness, etc. Also includes profiles of Braxton Bragg, John B. Magruder, Thomas J. Jackson (1851), George Pickett and others. Also discussed, are the Gardiner mining claim disputes, 1852-53.

-- "Army Stories" (p. 141 - ) Includes anecdotes gathered and recorded by Doubleday. [Dating note: p.146 mentions Doubleday's service at Fort McKavett, Texas in 1870.] Profiles Braxton Bragg at Fort Moultrie (p. 149) and discusses time spent with Patterson at Harper's Ferry (p. 171).

4. "Order Book"

Condition: Leather spine, cloth covers, binding on spine is deteriorating, block is in good condition.

Description: Bound blank book with lightly lined paper.

-- Contains orders either copied in or glued in dating from 1847 to 1872.

-- Includes orders to Doubleday, as well as copies of orders given by Doubleday or reports of his superiors.

-- Includes "Record of the Services of Abner Doubleday from the commencement of the present rebellion to April 28th 1865 (for West Point)." 4 p.

-- Includes a glued-in handbill "Granfuncion De Toros" dated 1848 signed "Lt. A. Doubleday" Matamoros, Mexico.

5. Journal

Condition: Spine split, block good, marbled covers abraded.

Description: Bound blank book with lined paper (31 cm)

"My record during the Rebellion" Handwritten entries from April 1861 - August 27, 1862. [Dating note: the preface includes this note: "The arrival at Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor of the Fort Sumter garrison...has already been narrated in a recent work published by me called Reminiscences of Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter in 1860 and 1861." This book was published in 1875.]

-- Includes some hand-drawn maps (some glued-in maps are missing).

-- Includes some loose leaves.

-- Blank pages from page 34-49,79-116 (end).

6. Journal

Condition: Spine split, block good, marbled covers abraded.

Description: Bound blank book with lined pages (31cm).

[Dating note: pencil note on inside front covers "...1876 paid Mrs. Davis for board to date..."]

-- Begins on p. 3., "Aug. 28th, 1862" / "Fight the day before Bull Run" Includes hand-drawn map in 3 colors "Diagram of the battle" (p. 14)

-- Blank pp. 18-23, 34-35, 39-43, 56-59, 62-63, 101-103, 109-252 (end)

-- p. 24 "Aug. 29th Second battle of Bull Run"

-- p. 36 "Roster of the Battle of the 29th"

-- p. 44 "Aug. 30th, 1862 2d. Battle of Bull Run"

-- p. 60 "Aug 31st Sunday" (Hand-drawn map of positions at Centerville, Virginia in 3 colors)

-- p. 64 "Sept. 14th Sunday. The Battle of South Mountain"

-- p. 99 Anecdotes

-- Last entry - Sept. 15th, 1862

Note: This was apparently one of a series of journals that Doubleday wrote, all bound the same. One was offered at Sotheby Parke-Bernet Galleries in the 1980s. We have no information on where the other journals may be or why they were separated.