William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Edward F. Cahill Collection, 1863-1865
James S. Schoff Civil War CollectionFinding aid created by
Cheney J. Schopieray, January 2006, and Meg Hixon, December 2011
Edward F. Cahill collection
Cahill, Edward F., 1843-1923
This collection is made up of letters and documents related to Edward F. Cahill's involvement with the 102nd United States Colored Infantry Regiment during and immediately after the Civil War. Included are 3 contracts made between freedmen and their former owners near Edisto River and Orangeburg, South Carolina, in 1865.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
Donated, 1991. M-2660.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Edward F. Cahill Collection, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged chronologically.
Edward Cahill was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on August 3, 1843, the son of Abraham Cahill, a tanner, and Frances Marsh Cahill. The family lived on a farm near Holland, Michigan, in the 1850s, and returned to Kalamazoo after Abraham's death in 1854. Edward took preparatory classes at Kalamazoo College and worked as a messenger for the state legislature before enlisting as a private in the 89th Illinois Infantry Regiment in 1862. Though he was discharged for disability in December 1862, he began to raise a company for the 1st Michigan Colored Infantry Regiment (later the 102nd United States Colored Infantry Regiment) in October 1863. He served as the unit's captain and in an administrative capacity, approving postwar contracts made between freedmen and their former owners in South Carolina. After his final discharge, Cahill returned to St. Johns, Michigan. He studied law and in 1871 moved to Chicago, where he spent two years as a lawyer. In 1873, he moved to Lansing, Michigan, where he had a long legal career, which included a partial term on the Michigan Supreme Court in 1890. He married Lucy C. Crawford in 1867 and they had two daughters, Clara Bell and Margaret. Edward Cahill died in 1922.
Collection Scope and Content Note
This collection contains 3 letters and 5 documents related to Edward F. Cahill's involvement with the 102nd United States Colored Infantry Regiment during and immediately after the Civil War. Included are 3 contracts made between freedmen and their former owners near Edisto River and Orangeburg, South Carolina, in 1865.
Two letters and 1 document reflect Cahill's efforts to raise a company for the 1st Michigan Colored Infantry Regiment (later the 102nd United States Colored Infantry Regiment) in October 1863. In the letters, Henry Barnes of Detroit, Michigan, responded favorably to Cahill's proposed company and discussed Cahill's role as its commander. The United States War Department sent a document to Cahill authorizing his appearance before an examination board in Cincinnati, Ohio (October 1, 1863). Cahill also wrote a letter and received a receipt about the regiment's clothing (August 22, 1864; February 1865).
The final 3 items are employment contracts between freedmen and their former owners in South Carolina (May-June 1865). Cahill's remarks on the contract dated June 7, 1865, state that the agreement "shall be in full force & effect" despite the freed persons' rejection of its terms.
- African Americans--Employment--South Carolina--History--19th century.
- Freedmen--South Carolina.
- Orangeburg (S.C.)
- Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)--South Carolina.
- United States. Army--African American troops.
- United States. Army. Colored Infantry Regiment, 102nd (1863-1865)
- United States. Army--Recruiting, enlistment, etc.--Civil War, 1861-1865.
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Participation, African American.
- Letters (correspondence)
- Receipts (financial records)
Additional Descriptive Data
Soper, Daniel E. Official Directory and Legislative Manual of the State of Michigan for the Years 1891-2. Lansing: Robert Smith & Co., State Printers and Binders: 1891.