William W. Perry Diary, 1864-1865

Manuscript Collection #338

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: William W. Perry Diary
Creator: Perry, William W.
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Diary (1864-1865) consisting of one volume diary in chronological order,15 unnumbered pages not in chronological order; and 8 pages listing the men from Ringgold, Pennsylvania who served in Union Army during the Civil War.
Extent: 0.11 Cubic feet, 1 volume , bound diary consisting of 102 pages in chronological order; 15 unnumbered pages not in chronological order; and 8 pages listing the men from Ringgold, Pennsylvania who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

May 12, 1977, 1 volume; Civil War Diary (1864-1865) of a Pennsylvania soldier. Literary rights reserved for five years from above date. Deposited by Mr. Ronald Fochler, 4319 Sunny Court, Durham, N.C.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

William W. Perry Diary (#338), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mr. Ronald Fochler

Processing Information

  • Processed by M. Duncan, June 1977

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

The collection consists of the diary of a young Pennsylvania soldier who joined the Union Army on January 4, 1864 at the age of 13. It is an account of his 1 1/2 years of military service during the Civil War.

Perry first saw action in the Battle of the Wilderness and was seriously wounded on May 6, 1864. Due to his wound, he was removed from active duty for 6 months. In February 1865, he saw action again around Petersburg, Virginia (Battle of Dabney's Mill) and was on regular picket duty from February 1865 until the war's end. He was present at Appomattox when Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865 and was involved in the pursuit of General Johnston's forces into North Carolina following Lee's surrender.

Of particular interest is Perry's description of the medical treatment he received for his wound. He was ignored by surgeons as being too close to death and six days elapsed before his wound was treated and a meal prepared. Perry was finally transported to Carver Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he was visited regularly by the Sisters of Charity. While confined at Carver Hospital, Perry met President Lincoln and his wife who were visiting army hospitals in Washington.

Also of interest are Perry's comments on the election of 1864 when soldiers, if close to home, were permitted to return to vote; desertions on both sides, particularly Confederate deserters near the war's end; rations and pay in the Union Army; life on the picket line, particularly conversations with Confederate pickets from North Carolina; and descriptions of such cities as Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Chancellorsville, Petersburg, and Richmond (Libby Prison). Another point of interest is that Perry states that on April 8, 1865 in a camp recently vacated by Lee, he found Lee's orders to General Ewell to burn the city of Richmond.

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Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Department, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. To see what's been digitized in this collection, please click on the "View Digitized Objects" tab, or look for hyperlinks in the container list
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