The Charles and Silas Crowell papers consist primarily of Civil War-era letters addressed to and composed by Silas Crowell during his service with the 93rd Ohio Infantry Regiment. The collection also contains post-war correspondence from members of the Crowell family.
The majority of the material dates from the final two years of the war, when Silas Crowell served in Tennessee. In his letters to his uncle, Silas M. B. Simpson, he recounted his experiences, which included his convalescence from a severe leg wound. In additional letters from November and December 1864, Crowell discussed a pair of custom-made crutches and a skirmish near the Smoky Mountains. During the war, Charles Crowell described his life and work at the Eastern Engine House in Dayton, Ohio. He also shared news of his daughters Clare and Katie and, in one letter, commented on Abraham Lincoln's re-election (November 10, 1864).
Postwar material relates to the Crowell and Simpson families. Ira A. Stout wrote Silas M. B. Simpson about farming in McLean County, Illinois, and took note of the large numbers of people leaving for Kansas and the West (July 26, 1866). Also included are letters between two sisters, such as a letter to "Carrie" about life in Los Angeles, California. An undated patriotic poem is entitled "Uncle Sam."