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William Hardy Search Civil War correspondence

 Collection — document-box: Civil War 1, Folder: 21
Identifier: 2017-466-wc-r

Content Description

This collection contains 2 photographs of Search, a donor-made transcription of the letter and timeline of Search's life, a transcribed newspaper clipping of his death and one correspondence from William H. Search to his sister during the Civil War. This letter is riddled with misspellings making it slightly difficult to read. In this letter dated June 5, 1861 at Camp Tippecanoe, Indiana, Search says that he left under the illusion that he was going to stay at a Mr. Gurm’s for three months but instead enlisted in the Army “to gow to fite the Southerns Son of bitches…” He apologizes to his sister that he did not get to see her before he left. He mentions that he left his "miniature" which the donor states might be the photo of young Search included in this collection. He also states that there are approximately eleven hundred men at this camp and that it takes one hundred men to guard it. He mentions that he was put on guard duty and that “I got very wet it raind very hard and our men wil come around about once an hour and bring us some think to drink and if they find any one of us a sleep they will take them to the guard house and keep us there till morning and the next day they will make us grub stumps all next day.” He ends his letter saying “If there is any pretty girls give them my best Respects and tell them to write and I will answer.”


  • 1861 June 5

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions. For further copyright information, please contact the archivist.

Biographical / Historical

William H. Search was born December 8, 1840 in Ohio. His father was Lot V. Search and his mother was Eleanor A. Plews. At age 18, Search enlisted in the Union Army on March 8, 1861 in Lafayette, Indiana. He was a Private of Company A, 15th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry as a Teamster or a driver of a supply train of horses or mules. One June 22, 1863 Search was medically discharged due to partial anaurosis of both eyes in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Search married Mary A. L. McIlherin (1856-1878) on November 22, 1874 in Christian County, Illinois. Soon after, they had a son, William F. Search on February 16, 1876. On April 10, 1878 Mary died of puerperal fever leading to Search marrying Mary’s sister, Cynthia McIlherin on November 11, 1878. In December of 1879 Search was run over by a train, resulting in his foot being amputated on December 21, 1879. A few days later on December 29, Search had to have his entire leg amputated. Search died January 2, 1880.


0.08 Linear feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection contains a photocopied letter, photographs, a timeline and a transcription from Pvt. William Hardy Search during the Civil War.


This collection is arranged by material type, author, and date.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Della Goss
Finding Aid for the William Hardy Search Civil War correspondence
Wynter Salazar
August 18, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Center for American War Letters Archives Repository

Leatherby Libraries
Chapman University
Orange CA 92866 United States