Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Chesnut-Ewalt Papers, 1834-1913

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, October 2011

Summary Information
Title: Chesnut-Ewalt papers
Creator: Ewalt, Catherine A.
Inclusive dates: 1834-1913
Bulk dates: 1862-1913
Extent: 11 items
Abstract:
The Chesnut-Ewalt papers contain correspondence, documents, and a biographical sketch related to the family of Reverend Thomas Chesnut. The collection includes late 19th century correspondence by Chesnut's wife, Jane, to her children, as well as material documenting the Civil War service of William Ewalt, Chesnut's son-in-law.
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:

2009. M-4744.

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.

Preferred Citation:

Chesnut-Ewalt Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged into two series:

  • Series I: Chesnut papers
  • Series II: Ewalt papers

Each series is arranged chronologically.


Biography

Thomas Chesnut was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1803. Shortly after his marriage to Jane Officer on October 5, 1828, the newly ordained Chesnut devoted his life to missionary work, which took the couple to Beallsville, Ohio. In 1856, the Chesnuts left Ohio for Sioux City, Iowa, where Thomas assisted in establishing that city's First Presbyterian Church. They left in 1861, after facing Indian trouble, and settled in Urbana, Illinois. Chesnut died on February 7, 1872.

Catherine Chesnutt, one of Thomas' children, married William Ewalt of Shelby, Ohio. Ewalt served in the 63rd Ohio Infantry Regiment and 163rd Ohio National Guard Regiment.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Chesnut-Ewalt papers contain correspondence, documents, and a biographical sketch related to the family of Reverend Thomas Chesnut. The collection includes late-19th-century correspondence by Chesnut's wife, Jane, to her children, as well as material documenting the Civil War service of William Ewalt, Chesnut's son-in-law.

The Chesnut papers contain five items directly related to Thomas Chesnut and his family. An early letter addressed to Jane Chesnut and "Dear Children" displayed parental concern for their welfare, driven by particularly strong religious views (December 17, 1834). Jane wrote three letters to her children showing her concern for their welfare and providing news of acquaintances and of her daily life in Urbana, Illinois (December 31, 1867; May 11, 1875; September 29, 1876), as well as one including a detailed description of a wedding she attended (December 31, 1886). The final item in the series is a four-page biographical "Sketch of the Missionary life of Rev. T. M. Chesnut," about his life in Ohio, Iowa, and Illinois. The sketch mentions his marriage to Jane Officer, as well as his decision to become a missionary and to bring his "little family" along on his travels. The essay also details specific projects and successes during his time as a missionary. The anonymous essay, sent from Evanston, Illinois and composed after Chesnut's 1872 death, was originally addressed to his daughter, Kate A. Ewalt of Shelby, Ohio.

The Ewalt papers are comprised of the following items related to William Ewalt's Civil War military service:

  • A discharge certificate for private William Ewalt of Company E, 64th Ohio Infantry Regiment (December 28, 1862)
  • A discharge certificate for private William Ewalt of Company D, 163rd regiment, Ohio National Guard (September 10, 1864)
  • A certificate commemorating the honorable military service of William Ewalt (December 15, 1864)
  • Two pension certificates for William Ewalt (August 11, 1891 and July 29, 1913)
  • A typed letter certifying that Ewalt's certificate of discharge was returned to him, as it was not required for his pension claim (December 3, 1912)
Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Chesnut, Thomas M., 1803-1872.
    • Military pensions--United States--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • United States. Army. Ohio Infantry Regiment, 63rd (1862-1865)
    • Urbana (Ill.)
    Contributors:
    • Chesnut, Jane.
    Genre Terms:
    • Biographies.
    • Certificates.
    • Discharges.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   43, Small Collections  
    Chesnut-Ewalt papers [series]
     
    Chesnut papers [subseries]
    Folder   28  
     December 17, 1834-[1900]
     
    Ewalt papers [subseries]
    Folder   29  
     December 8, 1862-July 29, 1913
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    The Clements Library holds the following book about the 63rd Ohio Infantry Regiment:

    Jackson, Oscar Lawrence. The Colonel's Diary; Journals Kept Before And During the Civil War by the Late Colonel Oscar L. Jackson ..: Sometime Commander of the 63rd Regiment O.V.I. [Sharon, Pa.: 1922.