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George B. Kirchner Collection of the Joseph Clough Morrill Papers

Identifier: MS-2067

  • Staff Only

The first series, the Old West Military Papers, dates between November 21, 1861 and August 31, 1866. It consists of approximately 650 military related documents, mostly hand written, and many with printed headings from Company B, 3rd California Infantry in the Civil War and immediately after the war when they were still fighting Native Americans in Utah Territory and Nevada Territory. Many are signed and written by Captain Joseph Clough Morrill, of Co. B, 3rd California, famous soldier and member of the Loyal Legion of California. Included in these documents are Circulars from the Commissary Departments of the West and in Missouri, handwritten and printed orders, quarterly and monthly returns of clothing, ammunitions, etc., camp and garrison equipment, clothing receipt rolls, inspection reports, Marriage Certificate (Morrill married a couple in Utah Territory in 1864), Comic General Orders, Resignations, Court Marshal Charges, 1866 Letter requesting a pension for man who lost arm during the War, Ratings of Officers (including Morrill) and miscellaneous company materials. Many documents are quite different and most are unique. Most of the papers were executed during the Civil War from 1862-May 1865.

The second series, the Old West Mining Papers, dates between 1881 and July 5, 1886. It consists of approximately 275 pieces of paper relating to the Gardner and Morrill Developing (later Mining) Company. The papers mostly consist of reports and pay documents. Many are printed with advertisement headings including railroad. Most are from Salt Lake City, Utah Territory.

The third series, Utah Territory and Colorado Territory Areas, dates between September 30, 1864 and June 14, 1866. It consists of twenty-eight official original documents relating to actions in the Civil War in the United States' western territories during and shortly after the war. They detail clothing and provisions, movement of the battalion between Colorado and Utah, and the names and signatures of soldiers and civilians both in and working for the 3rd California Infantry.

The fourth series, Fort Bragg, California and Fort Union, California Areas, dates between May 1862 and June 3, 1863. It consists of nine official original documents relating to actions in the Civil War in the California at the beginning of the war. They detail provisions, equipment, and forage for their horses and oxen, as well as the names of people employed at Fort Bragg.

The fifth series, Miscellaneous Papers, dates between May 25, 1825 and January 13, 1903. It consists of approximately 25 documents relating to Joseph C. Morrill, including pension papers, GAR papers, pre-war papers from his native state of New Hampshire, Loyal Legion booklet, program, and letters to Morrill. There is one letter regarding his school in San Francisco and one in 1853 describing the city of San Francisco. There are also various certificates including one signed by Alex Ramsey, governor of Minnesota and U.S. Senator, a signature of Thomas Arthur Lloyd, governor of Utah from 1889-93, two post war CDV's of Morrill (circa 1873) and a cabinet photo of him taken in New Hampshire circa 1885. There is also a copy of tribute to him on his 75th birthday in 1902 and his death notice in 1903.

The sixth series, Oversize, contains oversize papers that were removed from Series I.


  • 1825 May 25-1903 January 13

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Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


2 Linear Feet


This collection consists of several documents regarding the life of Lieutenant Joseph Clough Morrill and of his 3rd Regiment of the California Infantry Volunteers during the Civil War. The collection dates between May 25, 1825, and January 13, 1903, although the bulk of the documents are from 1862 to 1866. It consists of both personal letters and photographs as well as several official military documents.

Biographical/Historical Note

Joseph Clough Morrill was born on June 3, 1827, at Centerbury, New Hampshire. In 1847, he received his qualification to teach and moved to San Francisco, California. In 1853, he wrote his sister and describes San Francisco as having a "great many liquor shops and gambling houses," and "it is rapidly increasing city and will be on a par in every respect with New York and Boston." In November of 1853, he was teaching school in San Francisco, California, had about fifty "scholars," and declared himself a "real live Californian."

At the outbreak of the War Between the States, Morrill entered the service of the United States as a Second Lieutenant of Company B, 3rd Regiment of the California Infantry Volunteers. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on September 7, 1862, and in December 1863, was appointed Adjutant of the regiment, an which office he occupied until March 1, 1864, when he was promoted to Captain of Company K. In 1864, on consolidation of the regiment, he became Captain of Company B, 3rd California Infantry. The unit was involved in fighting the Confederate guerrillas as well as the Native Americans that fought for the Confederacy

Morrill had enlisted in the army in hopes of being ordered east to participate in those operations and campaigns. Since troops were needed on the frontier to guard against Confederates and Native Americans, he served at Fort Bragg, Camp Hooker and Camp Union, California. He served at Fort Ruby, Nevada Territory, after which he was assigned to Gen. P.E. Connor's command, which moved to Utah Territory and Colorado Territory, attempting to clear out all the anti-unionist in the region. Morrill was honorably discharged on June 14, 1866.

Morrill believed it was an obligation for a person to serve in the military. He was very upset with a man who went AWOL and addresses this issue in a letter stating that "service of ones country is no punishment."

In 1867, Morrill was Principal Teacher at the San Francisco Industrial School. He wrote a long letter addressing proposed changes at the "reform" school.

From 1882 to 1885, Joseph Morrill was in the Utah Territory working for a mining syndicate as a supervisor in the mines. Apparently, he was able to acquire a part of the company. In 1883, he was elected Justice of the Peace in Little Cottonwood Precinct, Salt Lake County, Territory of Utah. Arthur Lloyd Thomas, Secretary of Utah Territory, later Governor of Utah, signed the document.

In 1884, Morrill was appointed Presiding Judge of Election for Little Cottonwood Precinct, Territory of Utah, by Alex Ramsey, former Governor of Minnesota, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of War. The appointment was also signed by A.L. Thomas, Secretary of Utah Territory.

Morrill was elected a Companion of the First Class in the Commander of California (No. 620) on June 16, 1886, Insignia No. 4861.

In February 1890, Morrill was given a six months Leave of Absence from the Utah Post No. 1 of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Morrill received an invitation from the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States to the headquarters at the Army and navy Club in Washington, D.C., in September 1892.

Morrill accumulated a modest fortune, and later returned to his native state, New Hampshire. In the April 1, 1895, California Register of "Loyal Legion", Morrill is shown as living in Laconia, New Hampshire.

Joseph Clough Morrill died at Laconia, New Hampshire, on Friday, January 9, 1903, at the age of 75. The Commander of the State of California, San Francisco, W.R. Smedberg, wrote: "The death of one of our original Companions is always a source of sorrow, but we know that our Companion served his country faithfully and well; that as a business man he was honorable and upright; and that he had lived beyond the allotted years of three score and ten a blameless and Christian life."


This collection consists of one half box, one quarter box, and three oversize boxes.

This collection consists of one half box, one quarter box, and three oversize boxes. and is broken up into six series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Old West Military Papers, 1861 November 21-1866 August 31
  2. Series II: Old West Mining Papers, 1881-1886 July 25
  3. Series III: Military Records, 1862 May 1-1866 June 12 (Oversize)
  4. Series IV: Utah Territory and Colorado Territory, 1864 September 30-1866 June 14 (Oversize)
  5. Series V: Fort Bragg, California and Fort Union, California, 1862 May-1863 June 3 (Oversize)
  6. Series VI: Oversize Materials, 1825 May 25-1903 January 13

Acquisition Note

This collection was donated to Special Collections by George B. Kirchner between 1999 and 2003.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA