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Civil War Letters
Select Letters of Civil War Officers
Elliott F. Grabill and Giles Waldo Shurtleff,
5th Infantry Regiment, United States Colored Troops

In conjunction with the 2005 Juneteenth celebration in Oberlin, Ohio, the Oberlin College Archives presents a collection of select letters from the personal papers of Elliott F. Grabill (1837-1912) and Giles Waldo Shurtleff (1831-1904).

Elliott F. Grabill, pictured, and Giles Waldo Shurtleff served as officers for the 5th Infantry Regiment of the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. In November 1863, Grabill was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant and appointed Adjutant of the 5th United States Colored Troops. Lt. Colonel Shurtleff was assigned to the regiment in the summer of 1863.

Included here are select letters written by Elliott F. Grabill to Anna Sutton Jenney (married in 1865) and Giles Waldo Shurtleff to Mary E. Burton (married in 1864). The letters contain passages relating to personal matters as well as statements relating to movements and engagements of the 5th United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. Also included is a letter from Elliott F. Grabill to Giles Waldo Shurtleff, 23 October 1864.

Elliott F. Grabill select letters, 1863-65
Giles Waldo Shurtleff select letters, 1863-1865

Please consult the following findings guides for information relating to other correspondence and materials in the Grabill and Shurtleff collections held by the Oberlin College Archives.

Elliott F. Grabill Papers (30/43) Finding Guide
Giles Waldo and Mary E. Burton Shurtleff (30/32) Finding Guide

Please use the following citations (examples) for the Grabill or Shurtleff letters included on this web site.

Elliott F. Grabill to Anna S. Jenney, 5 February 1864, Correspondence Series I,
Elliott F. Grabill Papers (30/43), Oberlin College Archives.

Giles Waldo Shurtleff to Mary E. Burton, 24 May 1865, Correspondence Series I,
Giles Waldo Shurtleff Papers (30/32), Oberlin College Archives.

Additional Sources:

Washington, Versalle F., Eagles on Their Buttons: A Black Infantry Regiment in the Civil War (University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, 1999).

"Brother Charles" [microform] : letters home to Michigan, Civil War correspondence of the Wadsworth Brothers 1861-1865.

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