Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Simeon Gallup Papers, 1861-1864

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection

Finding aid created by
Mary Parsons, May 2010, and Meg Hixon, October 2011

Summary Information
Title: Simeon Gallup papers
Creator: Gallup, Emily, 1846-1875
Inclusive dates: 1861-1864
Extent: 31 items
The Simeon Gallup papers are comprised of 30 letters written by Gallup to his sister, Emily, while he served with the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery Regiment during the Civil War. Gallup bluntly offered his opinions about a number of aspects of the war and provided detailed descriptions of his experiences in North Carolina and Virginia.
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:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2009. M-4761.2.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

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.

Preferred Citation:

Simeon Gallup Papers, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Simeon Gallup was born in Ledyard, Connecticut, on August 16, 1837, and had several siblings; the family moved to Mystic, Connecticut, just before the outbreak of the Civil War. Dropping out of his studies at Brown University, he enlisted as a corporal in Battery F of the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery Regiment on October 29, 1861. Gallup served in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland until mustered out on October 28, 1864, by which time he had attained the rank of 1st sergeant. After his military service, Gallup returned to Mystic, where he worked as a merchant, music teacher, and bookkeeper, and also published a historical essay about his adopted hometown. In 1872, he married Lillian Taylor; the couple had one child, Dana, born in 1885. Simeon Gallup died on June 21, 1910.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Simeon Gallup papers are comprised of 30 letters written by Gallup to his sister Emily, while he served with the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery Regiment during the Civil War. Gallup's correspondence covers most of the war, and includes his bluntly expressed opinions on a number of topics related to the war's administration. Gallup frequently complained, for example, about the tedium of parades, and expressed hope that Lee's invasion of the North would stymie the growing Copperhead movement (June 21, 1863). Simeon provided an unflattering portrait of Southerners (June 22, 1862) and displayed a loathing toward censorship of soldiers' letters, but though he often depicted the words of contrabands and other African Americans in simplified dialect, Gallup expressed admiration for units of the U. S. Colored Troops attached to his brigade: "I have quite as much confidence in them for their fighting qualities as in any others who went with us. Such a thing would not have seemed possible" (February 12, 1864). His letters reflect a fair amount of frustration at the artillery's stint performing cavalry duties, as well as boredom while stationed in New Bern, North Carolina, but Gallup saw action several times throughout his military service. Several of his letters describe rebel troops and destruction occasioned by the fighting, and he shared a particularly wrenching account of experiences during the Siege of Petersburg (May 19, 1864). Also of interest is a description of a sword presentation to General Ambrose Burnside, including a description of the Union's commanding general (June 22, 1862). One additional letter in the collection was composed by a soldier known only as "S. P. C.," who wrote to his parents while recuperating from a shoulder wound in Chesapeake Hospital (undated).

Subject Terms

    • Burnside, Ambrose Everett, 1824-1881.
    • New Bern (N.C.)
    • North Carolina--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • Petersburg (Va.)--History--Siege, 1864-1865.
    • United States. Army--Military life.
    • United States. Army. Rhode Island Light Artillery Regiment, 1st (1861-1865)
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--African Americans.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Censorship.
    • Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • Gallup, Simeon, 1837-1910.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   94, Schoff Civil War Collection  
    Simeon Gallup papers [series]
    Folders   1-6  
     December 24, 1861-October 6, 1864, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    Leach family papers. Joseph and Edwin Leach served in the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery Regiment.

    Adam Pickel papers. Pickel served with the 68th Pennsylvania Infantry, which served alongside the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery at Fredericksburg.

    Chase, Philip Stephen. Battery F, First Regiment Rhode Island Light Artillery In the Civil War, 1861-1865. Providence: Snow & Farnham, 1892.

    Chase, Philip Stephen. Service With Battery F, First Rhode Island Light Artillery. Providence: The Society, 1889.


    Brown University in the Civil War: A Memorial. Providence, Rhode Island: Providence Press Company, 1868.

    "Death of Simeon Gallup." The Day [New London, Connecticut] 22 June 1910.