Eugene B. Payne collection (1861-1888, bulk 1862-1867)

James S. Schoff Civil War Collection
Collection processed and finding aid created by Erin Platte and Meg Hixon, October 2011
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Eugene B. Payne collection
Creator: William L. Clements Library
Inclusive dates: 1861-1888
Bulk dates: 1862-1867
Extent: 0.25 linear feet
Abstract:
This collection contains correspondence, journals, military documents, and ephemera related to Eugene B. Payne's service in the 37th Illinois Infantry 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: www.clements.umich.edu

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

1986-2011. M-2280, M-3277.6, M-4884.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copyright

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.

Alternate Format

The Eugene Payne journal has been microfilmed

Preferred Citation

Eugene B. Payne Collection, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following series:
  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Journals
  • Series III: Documents
  • Series IV: Ephemera

Each series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.

Biography

A descendent of Thomas Paine, Eugene Beauharnois Payne was born to Thomas Hubbard Payne and Susannah Newcomb Payne (née Smith) in Seneca Falls, New York, on April 15, 1835. He briefly practiced law after graduating from Northwestern University in 1860 and helped organize the 37th Illinois Volunteer Regiment in September 1861. After serving in the Battle of Pea Ridge and the Siege of Vicksburg, he left the army on September 14, 1864. Payne returned to Illinois, where he served in the state legislature (1865 or 1866-1869) and had a legal practice. He later became a member of the review board for the Bureau of Pensions in Washington, D. C. On January 26, 1862, he married Adelia A. Wright ("Delia"). Eugene B. Payne died on April 6, 1910.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence, journals, military documents, and ephemera related to Eugene B. Payne's service in the 37th Illinois Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

The Correspondence series (25 items) consists primarily of 16 letters that Payne wrote to his wife Delia during his military service. He provided news of the army's movements and recent engagements, such as the Siege of Vicksburg (June 14, 1863), and shared his opinions about the war. Payne also commented on Nathaniel P. Banks, African American army units, and abolitionists. On one occasion, he recorded scathing remarks about a fellow officer who had volunteered to lead an African American Regiment (September 2, 1863), and he shared similarly negative remarks about abolitionists who wanted slaves not only to be freed but also to have "all the rights of the white race" (July 30, 1864). In addition to Payne's outgoing letters, the collection has 1 letter that Payne received from his brother Frank; 2 letters from Payne to his commanding officers; and 6 postwar letters concerning Payne's political career, of which 2 are by Elihu Washburne.

Eugene B. Payne kept 3 Journals , which recount most of his military service with the 37th Illinois Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Loose documents and notes laid into the volumes relate to several aspects of his time in the army.

The Documents series contains 4 items related to Eugene B. Payne's time in the army, including 2 documents regarding unauthorized absences from headquarters, a chart providing the names of promoted men from the 37th Illinois infantry regiment, and a copy of Payne's military record (1888). The Ephemera series contains a cardboard menu for a reunion dinner of the 37th Illinois infantry regiment, held on March 6, 1885 at The Palmer in Chicago.

Subject Terms

Subjects:
  • United States. Army. Illinois Infantry Regiment, 37th (1861-1866)
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Vicksburg (Miss.)--History--Siege, 1863.
Contributors:
  • Ingalls, Albert O.
  • Payne, Eugene B. (Eugene Beauharnais), 1835-1910.
  • Payne, Frank.
  • Payne, S. S.
  • Washburne, Elihu Benjamin, 1816-1887.
Genre Terms:
  • Diaries.
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Menus.
  • Military records.

Contents List

Container / Location Title
Box   98, Schoff Civil War Collection  
Correspondence [series]
Folders   1-4  
 1862-1867
Box   98, Schoff Civil War Collection  
Journals [series]
Folders   5-7  
 1863 and  undated
Box   98, Schoff Civil War Collection  
Documents [series]
Folder   8  
 1888 and  undated
Box   98, Schoff Civil War Collection  
Ephemera [series]
Folder   9  
 March 6, 1885

Additional Descriptive Data

A partial subject index is available in the Manuscripts Division.

Related Materials

Mullins, Michael A. The Fremont Rifles: A History of the 37th Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry. Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot Publishing Company, 1990.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois, and the Lake Forest College Special Collections and Archives have collections of Eugene B. Payne materials.

Bibliography

"Notice of the Deaths of Some Members of the Illinois State Historical Society and Prominent Illinoisans." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 3.2 (July 1910): 113-115.