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John L. Hostetter Civil War diary

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0662

Scope and Content

Hostetter wrote much of the original diary in pencil, which his daughter, Mary Irvine Hostetter Greenleaf retraced with ink in 1896.

The diary begins on November 28, 1864 and ends on May 24 1865, in Washington, D.C. Hostetter marched with Sherman through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. He describes battles, the scenery, food, contacts with local people and freed slaves, and the hardships of Army life, including surviving harsh weather conditions and treating ailing and wounded soldiers. He also wrote about the difficulties of being away from his family and the excitement of receiving letters from home, when and if they arrived.


  • 1864-1865

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Born on January 9, 1821, Dr. John L. Hostetter served as a surgeon during the Civil War with the 34th Illinois Volunteers, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 14th Army Corps. The 34th Illinois Volunteers were from the Valley of Rock River in northern Illinois, and were known as the "Rock River Rifles." Hostetter marched with General William Tecumseh Sherman through Georgia, and also served in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Hostetter was married and had at least one daughter, Mary.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half-document box)

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0662. John L. Hostetter Civil War diary, 1864-1865
December 12, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672