William Rankin Civil War letters
Scope and Content
This collection of 30 letters details daily life as a member of the 46th Regiment, Iowa Infantry during the summer of 1864. The envelopes the letters were sent in were not retained by a previous owner, so the intended recipient is unknown. The letters describe what daily camp life was like, along with drills, news of fellow Iowa soldiers, and rumors from the front line.
Language of Materials
Open for research.
Consult Special Collections and University Archives.
William Rankin was an Iowa native from a farming family. In 1864, at the age of 20, he volunteered for the Union Army as a “100-days man”. He served his 100 days as a Corporal in Company F of the 46th Regiment, Iowa Infantry. His regiment was assigned to guard the Memphis & Charleston Railroad, located near Colliersville, TN.
The “100-days man” is a nickname given to volunteer troops who served for 100 day enlistment periods during the height of the Civil War. They were intended to serve non-combat support roles in order to free up the veteran units for combat, however Rankin did see some action during his service.
0.21 Linear Feet (1 half document box)
The collection consists of 30 letters written by William Rankin, a Civil War soldier during the summer of 1864. Rankin was a “100-days man” who served with the 46th Regiment, Iowa Infantry.
The collection is organized chronologically. Each folder has the location the letter was sent from along with the date it was written.
General condition: Good.
Provenance: This collection was purchased from the William Reese Company.
Accession No. 2017.0195. Acquired 2017-12-06
Described by Rosalie Gartner.
- MS 711. William Rankin Civil War letters, 1864
- February 26, 2019
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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