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Joseph C. Read Civil War Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3705

This collection contains the official and personal documents of Joseph C. Read through his Union Army military career in the Civil War and subsequent retirement in Fernandina, Florida. Read, during the war, rose from the rank of Sergeant to Brevet Colonel, supplied General Sherman’s siege of Atlanta, as well as partook in many of the major battles in the South during the Civil War.

Included are various military documents, comprised of letters informing promotion, orders restructuring the placement of officers within Tennessee, certificate of the rank of Sergeant and a detailed roster of the composition of the Army of the Cumberland.

Numerous ledgers and accounts were kept concerning the Commissary of the Army of the Cumberland, of which Read was eventually in charge. Also included are official correspondence between Read and other officials, discussing rations, supplies, the commissary and orders. This is the majority of the collection.

Reunion materials are included in the collection. These are mostly invitations to gatherings for those a part of Read's original Pennsylvania Volunteers unit or the Army of the Cumberland. The invitations and newsletters are addressed to where Read would retire, Fernandina, Florida.

Included in this collection are diaries that begin just before the outbreak of war as Joseph C. Read is living in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The diaries rarely record information on given dates, but give accounts in bulk as they happen relative to one another in time.

Personal correspondence is also in this collection. Though few, they are addressed to business associates or family in the Union. There are also invitations to social gatherings during Read's service, such as a welcome to General Grant and a celebration of the capture of Richmond, Virginia.

Three photographs are included. One is a cabinet photo of Read, another, a group photo featuring Read, in his uniform, seated. One photograph is of a statue of Major General Thomas who was at one point head of the Army of the Cumberland.

Also included are articles carried by Read, comprised of a pocket dictionary and pocket new testament. One spur, purportedly belonging to Read is also found in this collection.

Several materials are oversized, including large ledgers for the commissary, ration and supply notes, certificates of rank, registry for the commission of the vessel Joe Read and a book covering accounts of the American War for Independence.

Dates

  • 1861-1890

Language

The language of the collection is English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection contains the official and personal documents of Joseph C. Read through his Union Army military career in the Civil War and subsequent retirement in Fernandina, Florida. Read, during the war, rose from the rank of Sergeant to Brevet Colonel, supplied General Sherman’s siege of Atlanta, as well as partook in many of the major battles in the South during the Civil War.

Biographical/Historical Note

Joseph C. Read was born in Pennsylvania circa 1832. He served as Sergeant in the 4th Pennsylvania Volunteers until 1861 at the age of 29. He then joined as a Second Lieutenant in the Pennsylvania Volunteers to fight for the Union in the Civil War. Read served in various battles, eventually joining the Army of the Cumberland in its actions in Tennessee and supporting Sherman's March to the Sea. He rose to the rank of Brevet Colonel and eventually retired to the city of Fernandina, Florida, where he resided until his death.

The Army of the Cumberland was originally formed as the Army of the Ohio in late 1861. The name was changed later to reflect a combined force of the Cumberland region. This Army fought in the actions of Murfreesboro, the Tullahoma Campaign, the Battle of Chickamauga, The Battle of Chattanooga, the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and the Siege of Nashville. This last battle marked the last serious action for the main body of the Army of the Cumberland, though certain pieces of it marched to the sea with Sherman, becoming part of the Army of Georgia. This portion of the Army of the Cumberland would then march in the Grand Review of the Armies in Washington, D.C. in 1865.

Acquisition Note

This collection was purchased by Special Collections in 2013.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480