Buchanan, Ezra (1840-1875) Papers, 1862-1916

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Ezra Buchanan, 1840-1875

Title:  Papers, 1862-1916

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection:  .33 cu. ft.

Location Number:  Mss. A B918

Scope and Content Note

This collection, comprising approximately 75 letters, consists primarily of letters written by Sgt. Ezra Buchanan, 79th Indiana Infantry Regiment, to his wife Nancy Alice Buchanan, during the Civil War. In addition to describing several battlefields and military engagements that his regiment participated in while stationed in Tennessee and Georgia, he includes many details of daily military life.   Detailed descriptions of southern cities and people are included in several letters. Many of the letters are remarkable for their romantic tone, since he frequently endeavors to assure her of his faithfulness, love and devotion to her, despite constant temptations around him.

A smaller collection of six letters written by Sgt. Buchanan can be found in the Ezra Buchanan Miscellaneous Letters, Mss. C B.


Biographical Note

Ezra F. Buchanan was born January 15, 1840, in Warren, Marion Co., Indiana, the eldest son of Joseph and Ester Buchanan.  He married Nancy Alice Vansicle (Van Sickle) ca. 1861.  Their first child, Frankie, was born Nov. 1861 and died April, 1864.  Additional children included Horace, born ca. 1866, Mary, born ca. 1869 and Wallace, born ca. 1873.  Ezra enlisted as a sergeant in Co. D, 79th Indiana infantry regiment on August 7, 1862.  He was stationed in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama and saw action in the Battles of Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Franklin (Tenn.), and the Atlanta Campaign.  In April 1863, he was appointed chief of Gen. Samuel Beatty’s escort.  In March 1865, he was promoted to 1st lieutenant.  He was mustered out on June 7, 1865 in Indianapolis.  Shortly after he returned home, he and Nancy moved to Ralls Co., Missouri where he worked as a carpenter.  He died November 24, 1875 and was buried in Ralls County.  Following Ezra’s death, Nancy returned to Marion Co., Indiana where she lived with her father and two surviving children. She died November 12, 1918 in Marion Co.


Folder List

Folder 1: Correspondence, April 1862-March 1863

Folder 2: Correspondence, April-June 1863

Folder 3: Correspondence, July-Sept. 1863

Folder 4: Correspondence, Oct.1863-Jan. 1864 (includes 4 pp. photocopies)

Folder 5: Correspondence, April-June 1864

Folder 6: Correspondence, Aug.-Nov. 1864 (includes 8 pp. photocopies)

Folder 7: Correspondence, Dec. 1864-Feb. 1865 (includes 1 p. photocopy)

Folder 8: Correspondence, March 1865-1887

Folder 9: Miscellaneous envelopes, receipts, notes, song text


Subject Headings

Atlanta (Ga.) – Description and travel

Atlanta Campaign, 1864

Ballads, American

Chattanooga (Tenn.), Battle of, 1863

Chickamauga (Ga.), Battle of, 1863

Claims against decedent’s estates – Indiana

Confederate States of America – History, Military

Copperhead movement

Desertion, Military – Confederate States of America

Franklin (Tenn.), Battle of, 1864

Georgia – History – Civil War, 1861-1865

Indiana – History – Civil War, 1861-1865

Infants – Death

Knoxville (Tenn.) – History – Civil War, 19th century

Love-letters – United States

McMinnville (Tenn.) – History – 19th century

Military engineers – United States

Military pensions – United States

Stones River, Battle of, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 1862-1863

Tennessee – History – Civil War, 1861-1865

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1864 – African Americans

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Casualties

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Confiscations and contributions

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Destruction and pillage

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Engineering and construction

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Equipment and supplies

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Health aspects

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Hospitals

United States – History – Civil War, 1861-1865 – Transportation

United States – History – War of 1812 – Songs and music – Texts

United States. Army – Barracks and quarters

United States. Army – Military life

United States. Army – Promotions

United States. Army – Transportation

United States. Army – Uniforms

United States. Army. Indiana Infantry Regiment, 79th, 1862-1865