Jonathan S. Wilcox diaries  1844-1875
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This volume (382 pages, of which 186 are blank) contains biographical information of about 190 members of the Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 228, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Biographical sketches include information about veterans' dates and places of birth as well as details of their Civil War service, such as dates of enrollment and discharge, unit numbers, and participation in battles.

Louis [Bergdoll] presented the volume, entitled "Personal War Sketches," to the John A. Koltes Post (No. 228) in 1892. The information is entered in manuscript on previously printed pages, which include sections for general post information, individual biographies, burial records, and additional supplementary information. The pages are accompanied by printed illustrations that depict soldiers, cannons, navy ships, and other military paraphernalia.

The biographical sketches (pp. 7-196) are organized in rough order alphabetically by surname. Each printed page includes sections for information on the soldier's birthdate and birthplace, military experience, and Grand Army of the Republic membership. Most of the post's members were born in various regions of Germany and in Philadelphia, though others came from Denmark (1 member), England (1 member), France (1 member), New Jersey (1 member) South America (1 member), and Switzerland (3 members). Many of the soldiers served in the same companies and regiments; specific enlistment data is included for each man. Some entries include additional notes about soldiers' participation in major battles, wounds sustained, time as prisoners of war, and close friends in the military, as well as the most important aspect of each man's army service. Burial information for some soldiers also appears on pages 369-373, covering the years 1874-1901.

Items laid into the volume include preprinted sheets on which soldiers responded to questions about their military service and personal histories. Two birth certificates for Wilhelm Lanert West, who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1902, are laid into the volume between pages 92 and 93; each is dated June 22, 1964.

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