Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
William V. Rutledge Collection, 1861-1865

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection

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

Summary Information
Title: William V. Rutledge collection
Creator: Rutledge, Matilda Jane (Jennie)
Inclusive dates: 1861-1865
Extent: 102 items
The William V. Rutledge collection is made up of letters that Rutledge, a surgeon, wrote while serving in the 2nd Indiana Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War.
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:

2011. M-4843.

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:

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


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Miscellaneous

The correspondence series is arranged chronologically.


William Victor Rutledge was born on November 23, 1835, and grew up in Monroe, Indiana. On January 4, 1855, he married Matilda Jane House ("Jennie") in Preble, Ohio, and the couple relocated to Iroquois, Indiana, sometime before 1860. They had four daughters: Samantha, Rebecca, Ida, and Talulah. William Rutledge enlisted in the 2nd Indiana Cavalry Regiment, Company D, on November 28, 1861, and was promoted to assistant surgeon on June 21, 1862. He transferred to Company S of the same regiment in October 1864 and was discharged on August 1, 1865. The Rutledge family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1868, and William and Matilda were divorced by 1870. William Rutledge later married a woman named Emma. He died on December 4, 1892.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The William V. Rutledge collection (102 items) contains correspondence and other items related to Rutledge's service in the 2nd Indiana Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War. Rutledge wrote 98 letters to his wife about his experiences. His earliest letters pertain to his time in camp in Kentucky, where he spent time with a slaveholding family. He participated in the siege of Corinth, Mississippi, in April and May of 1862 and was camped on the field of Shiloh on May 4, 1862, when he anticipated an attack that never took place. Throughout the rest of the year, the cavalry headed east, and Rutledge described the scenery in Alabama, including an interaction with " Black and yellow " slaves, all young girls, on a cotton plantation (July 10, 1862). Though his time in the army was primarily uneventful, Rutledge did discuss a brief stint as a prisoner of war (September 11, 1864) and often mentioned his health problems. He frequently inquired about Jennie's health and finances, requested more frequent letters from her, and vowed to visit home.

Also included are a photograph of Rutledge taken in St. Louis and a receipt from the Internal Revenue Service. The newspaper clippings are a reprint from the Mobile Tribune of "Asa Hartz Is Taken Prisoner," and a pair of patriotic poems, "Atlanta" and "On the Chicago Surrender."

Subject Terms

    • Alabama--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • Corinth (Miss.)--History--Siege, 1862.
    • Georgia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • United States. Army. Indiana Cavalry Regiment, 2nd (1861-1865)
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Medical care.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Rutledge, William Victor, 1835-1892.
    • Rutledge, William Victor, 1835-1892.
    Genre Terms:
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   94, Schoff Civil War Collection  
    William V. Rutledge collection [series]
    Folders   25-35  
    Correspondence,  February 13, 1861-July 29, 1865
    Folder   36  
    Miscellaneous,  undated