Thomas Stuart Birch diaries, 1861-1862

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Birch, Thomas Stuart, 1840-1862.
Title: Thomas Stuart Birch diaries, 1861-1862
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 344
Extent: .25 linear ft. (1 box)
Abstract:Diaries of Union soldier Thomas Stuart Birch who served in the 2nd Iowa Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Gift, 1959.


[after identification of item(s)], Thomas Stuart Birch diaries, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Thomas Stuart Birch (April 26, 1840-August 8, 1862), son of William Birch of Saylorville, Iowa, enlisted November 22, 1861, as a member of Company D, 2nd Iowa Infantry Regiment.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of four small pocket-size diaries and three letters and a typescript copy of both diaries and letters. The diaries (November 1861-August 1862) document Birch's activities and movements during his service in the United States Army's 2nd Iowa Infantry Regiment particularly at the Battle of Shilo. The letters (August 1862) are to Birch's father, William Birch, from officers and the chaplain of the 2nd Iowa, after T.S. Birch's death.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 November 24, 1861 - January 6, 1862. After enlisting on November 22, 1861, Birch's regiment went by stage and boat to St. Louis and remained there drilling and guarding prisoners. There were many Confederate sympathizers among the population near the encampment.
1 2 January 7, 1862 - March 24, 1862. Birch relates experiences in camp. On February 10, 1862 his regiment began the trip down the Mississippi and up the Cumberland to Ft. Donelson, which they reached on February 14 in tire to take part in the battle. On March 7 they moved on to Camp "McCluton" and then up the Tennessee River to camp across from Savannah on the 15th.
1 3 March 25, 1862 - June 30, 1862. Birch describes what he saw of the Battle of Shiloh. On June 4 the regiment moved to a camp near Corinth, Mississippi. On June 12 he became ill with diarrhea, from which he never fully recovered.
1 4 July 11, 1862 - August 5, 1862. In spite of his prolonged illness, his death on August 8, 1862 of "dropsy of the heart" was unexpected. He was buried near camp beside the railroad tracks with "religious and military rites."
2 1 Transcript of all four diaries (November 24, 1861-August 5, 1862)
2 2-3 Three letters written to William Birch concerned with death of his son, from officers of 2nd Iowa Infantry Volunteers: Capt. E. T. Ensign, August 9, 1962; Noah W. Mills, Major, August 9, 1962; A. Arline, Chaplain, August 26, 1862