Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Pennsylvania Civil War Pollbook Collection, 1864

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, May 2010

Summary Information
Title: Pennsylvania Civil War pollbook collection
Creator: William L. Clements Library
Inclusive dates: 1864
Extent: 3 volumes
Abstract:
The Pennsylvania Civil War pollbook collection contains pollbooks documenting the absentee voting of residents of four Pennsylvania counties during the Civil War, who were in Company C, 11th Pennsylvania Infantry; Company E, 198th Pennsylvania Infantry; and a detachment at Camp Biddle near Philadelphia.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1994, 2002. M-4197.3.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Pennsylvania Civil War Pollbook Collection, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The three items are arranged numerically by company.


History

During the election of 1864, 19 Union states, including Pennsylvania, allowed soldiers in the field to cast their votes by absentee ballot. In Pennsylvania, absentee elections were conducted on October 11, 1864, and election officials recorded the votes of various companies of soldiers in pollbooks. This collection contains the pollbooks for residents of Westmoreland County within Company C, 11th Pennsylvania Infantry; one inhabitant of Wyoming County within a detachment near Camp Biddle in Pennsylvania; and residents of Philadelphia and Delaware Counties within Company E, 198th Pennsylvania Infantry.

The 11th Pennsylvania Infantry was organized at Harrisburg and in Westmoreland County in August 1861. The regiment fought in many important battles, including Cedar Mountain, Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor, and Appomattox Court House.

The 198th Pennsylvania Infantry was organized at Philadelphia on September 9, 1864. The regiment participated in the Siege of Petersburg, and saw action in the battles of Poplar Springs Church, Boydton Plank Road, Hatchers's Run, Dabney's Mill, White Oak Road, Five Forks, and Appomattox Court House.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Pennsylvania Civil War pollbook collection contains three poll books with records of the 1864 election, held October 11, 1864, for soldiers in the field voting by absentee ballot in Pennsylvania.

The book for residents of Westmoreland County within Company C, 11th Pennsylvania Infantry, documents many aspects of the election. These include its location (Fort Dushane in Dinwiddie County, Virginia), the names of the poll officials, the names and residences of the 15 soldiers who voted, and the number of votes received by various candidates. The offices up for election were U.S. Representative, State Representative, Prothonotary, Clerk of Quarter Sessions and Oyer and Terminer, County Commissioner, Director of the Poor, County Auditor, and Trustees of Academy.

The book for voters of Philadelphia and Delaware Counties within Company E, 198th Pennsylvania Infantry, contains similar information for their election, held at "Camp near Petersburg." It includes the names and addresses of 31 voters, as well as names of candidates and number of votes each received for the following offices: U.S. Representative, State Representative, State Senator, Sheriff, Register, Clerk of Orphans' Court, Coroner, County Commissioner, Director of the Poor, County Auditor, Reviewer of Taxes, and City Commissioner.

The pollbook for residents of Wyoming County, within a detachment at Camp Biddle, contains the voting record of just one man, Albert Strong of Northmoreland Township.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Absentee voting--United States.
    • Elections--United States.
    • United States. Army. Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, 11th (1861-1865)
    • United States. Army. Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, 198th (1861-1865)
    • United States--Politics and government--1861-1865.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • Voting registers--Pennsylvania.
    Genre Terms:
    • Pollbooks.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Pennsylvania Civil War Pollbook collection [series]
     
    Company C, 11th Pennsylvania Infantry (Westmoreland County residents)
     
    Company E, 198th Pennsylvania Infantry (Philadelphia and Delaware County residents)
     
    Detachment at Camp Biddle (Wyoming county resident)