William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Moses A. Cleveland Collection, 1864-1917
Rob S. Cox, September 1997, and Meg HIxon, October 2011
Moses A. Cleveland collection
Cleveland, Moses A., b. 1822
The Moses A. Cleveland collection contains a copy of Cleveland's Civil War diary, a scrapbook of his postwar correspondence, and two drafts of his autobiography, which he composed in 1892 and copied in 1909. Cleveland, who worked primarily as a carpenter in New England and Ohio, served with the 7th Massachusetts Light Artillery Battery near the Gulf of Mexico during the war.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
1997-2010. M-3385, M-4609, M-4805.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
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.
Moses A. Cleveland Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is composed of four volumes, arranged chronologically.
Moses Allen Cleveland was born in Connecticut on October 30, 1822. After working as a farm laborer from a young age, Cleveland learned carpentry from a joiner in Hartford, Connecticut, in the late 1830s. Over the course of his life, he practiced numerous trades in New England, New York, and Ohio. On October 10, 1842, he married Eliza Ann Williams, a seamstress from Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1856, he briefly joined relatives in Ohio. His wife remained in Massachusetts, where she died shortly after her husband's return. Cleveland remarried in October 1856 and relocated his family to Ohio. He returned to Massachusetts to enlist in the Union Army, and served in the 7th Massachusetts Independent Battery from June 1864-November 1865. A private, he served mainly near the Gulf of Mexico. After the war, he returned to his family in Ohio.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Moses A. Cleveland collection is made up of a copy of Cleveland's Civil War diary, a scrapbook of his postwar correspondence, and two drafts of his autobiography, which he composed in 1892 and copied in 1909.
The first volume ("War Diary 1864-5...") contains Cleveland's transcribed copies of his diaries from his service in the 7th Massachusetts Light Artillery Battery. Cleveland began his transcription with a short introduction and a brief history of the war, written in 1866, and the first copied entry is dated January 1, 1864. Driven by a desire to evade conscription, he enlisted in the artillery on June 4, 1864, and was dispatched to the Department of the Gulf. Throughout his diary, he made marginal notes tracking important events or themes, described his military activities and, to a lesser extent, offered opinions about the war. Of particular interest is his reaction to the news of Lincoln's assassination, which he first discredited as rumor (p. 132). Following Lee's surrender, Cleveland's regiment was stationed in Mobile, Alabama, before returning to Massachusetts, where Cleveland was discharged on November 13, 1865. The diary also includes a retrospective, a log of miles travelled, a roster for the 7th Massachusetts Light Artillery Regiment, transcriptions of documents, and several ephemera items and newspaper clippings. Some of the news clippings imply that Cleveland was involved in the war's final shot. Two Confederate bills pasted into the volume. Letters and notes from the 1910s are laid into the volume.
The second item is a 95-page scrapbook that Cleveland compiled in the 1880s and 1890s while living in Willoughby, Ohio. It primarily contains correspondence, including several illustrated envelopes, and provides insight into Cleveland's postwar interest in the Civil War.
Two copies of Cleveland's autobiography, which he originally wrote in 1892 and copied in 1909, chronicle his life as a journeyman carpenter and his life as a working man in the antebellum North. He discussed both his personal life and his political views. Of particular interest are remarks about the Millerite movement and about the Mexican War. The first draft of the autobiography (59 pages) ended with Cleveland's enlistment, and the second (107 pages) closed with reflections on the first few years of his postwar life. The first volume contains two photographs of Cleveland, and the second has a number of songs and poems, many of which commemorate soldiers of the Civil War (pp. 109-252). He intended the autobiography to be integrated with his war diary as a single volume. Newspaper clippings and poems are pasted and laid into the volume's endpapers.
- United States. Army. Dept. of the Gulf (1862-1865)
- United States. Army. Massachusetts Light Artillery Battery, 7th (1861-1865)
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Veterans.
- United States--Politics and government--1815-1861.
- Worcester (Mass.)
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Letters (correspondence)
- Paper money.
- Songs (document genre)
Additional Descriptive Data
- Rufus Cleveland, ca.1756-1838 married twice, with seven sons and seven daughters by first marriage (wife died 1807), one son and one daughter by second
- Oren (b. 1785) m. ___ Allen (d. May, 1869)
- Oren Alexander (January 1, 1807-March 1809)
- Ester Allen (August 24, 1808-November, 1891) m. (May 4, 1835) Michael Barnes (d. December 5, 1870)
- Oren M.
- Charlotte E.
- Virgil T.
- Hubert A. (d. 1864)
- Jemima Maria (October 18, 1810-February 1899) m. 1. (1836) Revel A. Watson and 2. Grant Thorburn (1773-1863)
- James Chamberlain (February 26, 1813-February 1886) m. Lucy Watson
- Oren Luther (March 26, 1815-August 1899) m. (1846) Catherine Neimaster
- Mary Clarissa (April 8, 1817-September 1903) m.
- William Charles (September 8, 1819-January 1902) (unmarried)
- Moses Allen Cleveland (b. October 30, 1822) m 1.(October 10, 1842) Eliza Ann Williams (d. 1856?) 2. (October 7, 1857) Mary Littlefield
- Frances Ann (b. February 28, 1844) m. June 6, 1867) Andrew J. McWethy
- Sarah Amarett (b. Spring, 1847) m. (June 6, 1867) Willard Tyler
- Ellen Maria (b. March 10, 1850) m. Albert Goff
- Mary Eliza m. Marvin R. Moss
- Sumner Allen (b. March 28, 1863)
- Edward Hooker, (b. May 15, 1827) m. (1852) Mary Ann Broughton
- Horace Gillette (January 3, 1832-February 1888) m. Maria Knapp
- Jane, b. ca.1822 m. Charles H. Blake
- ____ m. Daniel White
- Charles C. W. Cleveland, b. 1803
AbolitionistsAllen, MosesApprentices--ConnecticutBowery (New York, N.Y. : Street)Carpenters--MassachusettsCarpenters--New York (State)Cemeteries--New York (State)--Sag HarborCentennial Exhibition (1876 : Philadelphia, Pa.)Childhood--Connecticut--19th centuryChildrenCholera--ConnecticutCleveland family
Connecticut--Description and travelConversionCriminals--Massachusetts--BostonDeathDepressions--1857DraftEclipses, SolarFamily reunionsFamily--ConnecticutFire fighters--ConnecticutGreenwood Cemetery (New York, N.Y.)Hartford (Conn.)--Description and travelIndians of North America--ConnecticutLincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--AssassinationMarriageMassachusetts--Economic conditionsMassachusetts. MilitiaMentally ill--ConnecticutMeteor showersMillerite movementMobile Campaign, 1865Mormon temples--OhioNative American PartyNew Hartford (Conn.)--Description and travelNew York (N.Y.)--Description and travelNiagara Falls (N.Y. and Ont.)Ohio--Description and travelPierce, Franklin, 1804-1869PoetryPresidents--United States--Election--1840Presidents--United States--Election--1844Presidents--United States--Election--1848Revivals--ConnecticutSag Harbor (N.Y.)--Description and travelSongsSteamboats--AccidentsStep-mothersTemperance--Massachusetts
- passim, but esp. 1:1-5, 20-21
Theaters--New York (State)--New YorkThorburn, Grant, 1773-1863Thumb, Tom, 1838-1883Typhus feverUnited States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Draft resistersUnited States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--VeteransUnited States--History--Revolutionary War, 1775-1783--VeteransUnited States. Army--Massachusetts Artillery Regiment (Light), 7th (1862-1865)Waiters--New York (State)--New YorkWashington Temperance SocietyWidowersWilliams FamilyWives--DeathWorcester (Mass.)--Description and travel
- 1:14, 36
- 2:26, 28, 29, 38, 67-68