A Nation Divided: Confederate States of America War Bonds

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

The Confederate States of America was a group of eleven Southern states who seceded the Union following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 because of his anti-slavery platform (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d.).

Secession started in 1860 until mid-1861 as the following (University of Georgia, 2016):

  • South Carolina: December 20, 1860
  • Mississippi: January 9, 1861
  • Florida: January 10, 1861
  • Alabama: January 11, 1861
  • Georgia: January 19, 1861
  • Louisiana: January 26, 1861
  • Texas: February 1, 1861
  • Virginia: April 17, 1861
  • Arkansas: May 6, 1861
  • North Carolina: May 20, 1861
  • Tennessee: June 8, 1861

The creation of government of the Confederacy began in February 1861 until the Confederate Army’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia on April 9, 1865 (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica, n.d.). Rick Winters, an Evansville-native who served in the Vietnam War, donated this piece, donated this rare piece of American history.

One thousand dollars. No. 28123 Eight per cent, July 1, 1868. The Confederate States of America Loan. Authorized act of Congress. C.S.A. February 20, 1863 On the 1st day of July 1868, the Confederate States of America will pay to the Bearer of the Bond, at the seat of government or at such place of deposit as may be appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury, the sum of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS with interest there on from date, at the rate of eight per cent per annum payable sum annually on the surrender of the annexed Coupons. This contract is authorized by an act of Congress approved February 20, 1863 entitled [and set to] authorize the issue of BONDS for funding Treasury notes and is upon the [express] conditions that said Confederate States may from time to time extend the time of payment for any period not exceeding thirty years from this date at the rate of interest, upon the surrender of the Bond. In Witness whereat the Register of the Treasury in pursuance of said act of Congress hath here unto ser his hand and affixed the seal of the Treasury at Richmond, this 2nd day of March 1863.

Confederate States of America bond, March 

Numerous novels such as North and South trilogy by John Jakes, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, Gone with the Wind by Margeret Mitchell, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, and so many more have used the American Civil War as a background for their stories. If you are interested in viewing this artifact, you may schedule an appointment or come in during normal operating hours.



Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (n.d.). Confederate States of America. Retrieved May 03, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Confederate-States-of-America

University of Georgia. (2016, April 6). Dates of secession. Retrieved May 03, 2017, from http://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/selections/confed/dates.html

McKinley Memorial Service Pamphlet

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

2. Inside Page.jpg

Inside Page, 1901

On September 14, 1901, William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States was assassinated by anarchist, Leon Czolgosz. The assassination of President McKinley occurred in the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York; however, a public service was held in Evansville in remembrance of the late president. The service was held by Charles Harvey Denby, colonel of the 42nd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War and former ambassador to China, from 1885 to 1898. This pamphlet is housed in the University Archives and Special Collections on the 3rd Floor of the Rice Library.



The Peckinpaugh Collection: From Connection to Inspiration

*Post written by Stacy Waters, an English 601 student, at the University of Southern Indiana.

I recently went to Rice Library’s archives looking for a project topic, I selected the Peckinpaugh collection because it consisted of Civil war correspondence, family histories. Having a chance to use and intimately examine personal letters and actual physical memorabilia from this time period, perked my interest in connecting American’s Poet, Walt Whitman to the Captain William Henry of

As an English major, I knew Whitman poetry reflected an accurate portrait of the war and its participants, many of whom are unknown. As a young student I learned about the Civil War from The Big Book of the Civil War, a pop-up picture book that contains treasure flips full of historical reference and personal information, portrait flips with pictures and biographical information, and paper canons.


From the book I learned the Civil War was a result of social, racial, and economical tensions and differences divided the nation. The Civil War began in 1861, coined the largest and bloodiest war fought in the United States, because citizens had varying beliefs on how the country should ran as well as their personal right’s and parotic obligations. The book also focuses on the hardship the nation and outlines personal stories of soldier’s life, reveling the attitudes and experiences of soldiers and civilians.

As explained in The American People (2006), the Civil War of the United States was bloodiest battle in our history in terms of lives lost. This horrible time of war was a due to a conflict between the northern and southern states, mainly over slavery policies, being adopted with the newly elected president Abraham Lincoln in 1860. This resulted in the southern states succeeding from the Union forming the Confederate States of America in attempt to form their own country.

Below is an excerpt from Nash’s Book which reflects the effects of war on the nation.


The experience of discovering knowledge from treasure troves lead my investigation to the many hand writing letter between the captain and his wife “Mollie,” pictured below with her family. Like the books, the Peckinpaugh collection yields many treasure like these photos of the family.

Wm. Henery and Mollie Peckinpaugh, and their fathers, Paul Peckinpaugh and Sallie Emmick, and their son Harry J. Peckinpaugh. Notes attached to these photography’s told me that the Peckinpaugh men had a long history with war, active in the Revolutionary War and Civil War. In this time of war, it was crucial for soldier’s morale to try and keep in touch with their loved ones.

These were times of limited media and communication sources so hand written letters were the main source of communication. A good example of this is the letters between Captain Henry Peckinpaugh, of the Union forces, and Mollie Emmick of Stringtown Indiana. These letters obtained from USI library archives are the actual letters is from the Peckinpaugh Collection.

Captain Henry Peckpaugh’s letters are valuable because they present hints of struggles and disparities of a young Union soldier and his wife during the hardships the nation face in attempting national unity while living his life.

These letters are only a few from hundreds of letters found in the collection dating back to 1860, not only allowing Henry and Mollie catch up on what’s happening at home, but reflecting their concerns and hopes for the future. Very rarely are actual letters written anymore, but in the Civil War they were, at times, a lifeline that may be the only thing soldiers could look forward to, escaping the death and destruction all around.

In this letter from Mollie dated April 29, 1865, just a week after Lincoln was assassinated, Mollie replies that “The intelligence of the assassination of our beloved President amid the shouts of victory was truly appalling” and “If rumors are true, President Johnson isn’t exactly a man into whose hands a people could consistently desire to government affairs transmitted” (2).

Thus expressing her ire and concerns about the events of the previous week. She goes on to express some fears and hopes that the war will end in speaking of John “he will remain at home until his physician pronounces him able for service. I am greatly in hope that he will not be called upon to jeopardize his life, for surely the war must be almost over” (3-4).

This valuable letter reflects their reaction to the events and happening of the war. Here, Mollie expresses her concerns after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the future of the nation. She goes on to reveal how she feels about new President Johnson. Not only does Mollie talk about her national concerns, but proceeds to tell Henry how much she misses him and reports the happenings in her life and community.

Unfortunately, Henry’s letters replying to Mollie’s letters have started to faded away, almost impossible to reads, so I turned to Whitman’s emotional poetry and writings, to find his reaction to the war as well as his perspective of the turbulent atmosphere and warily temperament of the times.

But from an English major’s perspective, I find these writings capture and enhance the essence of personal and national struggles and insights to the personality and character of those involved in the Civil War and reconstruction of the nation.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892), a very notable writer and poet of the Civil War era, often heralded as “America’s Poet, gives us more glimpses into the war’s atrocities and personal struggles and uncertainties. Interestingly, Whitman echoes and reinforces the perceptions and attitudes of the Peckinpaugh’s on the state of the nation, and President Lincoln.  Whitman poetry, like the letters in the Peckinpaugh’s collection seems to be talking about the struggles of soldiers on the battlefield and the struggles of those at home, actually allowing the reader to becoming a part conversion, and allowing a realistic portrait of the life in the late 1800s.

It was during this time that Whitman’s writing style took a somewhat darker tone, revealing how deeply affected he was by what he was witnessing. One of the most heartbreaking events for Whitman during this time was the assassination of President Lincoln compelling him to pen one of his most famous poems “O’ Captain my Captain.” Here, courtesy of The Poetry Foundation.

Another treasure I found was this excerpt from his memoranda book, Specimen Days titled “The Inauguration” in Holt’s Element of Literature.


Here, Whitman reflects on his thoughts and perception of President Abraham Lincoln as well as the condition of the nation’s morality. Whitman, notes that “the real war will never get in the books,” and it is in the personal writings – letter, journals, and diaries of people who was there -like the Peckinpaugh’s, that the true story of the Civil War is found.


My mind set when making the visual presentation, The Peckinpaugh Collection: From Connection to Inspiration, was focus on how as a student I created a treasure trove of information from books, photos, and writings.I selected the Peckinpaugh collection because it consisted of Civil war correspondence and family history. Having a chance to use and intimately examine personal letters and actual physical memorabilia from this time period, perked my interest in connecting American’s Poet, Walt Whitman to the Captain William Henry Peckenpaugh.

Work Cited

Beers, G. Kylene, and Lee Odell. “American Masters: Whitman and Dickinson.” Holt Elements of Literature, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Orlando, FL, 2008, p. 377.

Eason, Katherine, and Croft, Tom; Spender, Nick; Mitchell, Jim; Thakrar, Sailesh. Big Book of the Civil War. Kettering, UK., Book Studio, 2008.

“Forever Words.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/.

Hoosiers and the Civil War: A Sesquicentennial Commemoration

2011 marks the beginning of the United States’ five-year commemoration of the Civil War, and the State of Indiana has been active in preparing for and observing this significant historical event.  According to the Indiana Historical Bureau’s website, “The Indiana Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee was appointed by the Indiana History Collaborative to encourage Hoosiers to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War (1861-1865), to provide online resources to help Hoosiers gain a better understanding of Indiana’s part in this most devastating conflict in the nation’s history, and to encourage communication among interested individuals, groups, and organizations.”

The sesquicentennial website itself features a wide range of materials that may be useful to students and educators, researchers, and private citizens in studying the Civil War and observing its 150th anniversary.  The major categories of information include “Hoosier Voices Then” which “provides primary sources on the reactions of Indiana residents to major events” of the war through newspaper articles, letters, and journals.  A second section, “Hoosier Voices Now,” includes a series of new and original historical essays written by leading Civil War historians that “explore and interpret Indiana’s participation in the Civil War and its effects on Indiana’s people.”  The final two sections—“Links & Resources” and “Calendar of Events”—respectively provide users with links to related online resources and primary sources and a chronological listing of sesquicentennial observances throughout the state.

It is worth noting that one of the core essays in the “Hoosier Voices Now” section was contributed by Dr. Thomas Rodgers, a professor in USI’s History Department.  Dr. Rodgers’ essay is entitled “The Hoosier Soldier in the Civil War.” Drawing upon a number of contemporary records, Dr. Rodgers details many aspects of the life of Hoosier soldiers and sailors from enlistment and conscription to battle engagement and confinement as prisoners of war.  The essay concludes, as do all of those in the “Hoosier Voices Now” section with a bibliography of additional sources.

Rice Library contains many items related to the Civil War, and in particular Indiana’s participation in the war, first-person narratives, correspondence, and primary sources.  Why not check out and study one of these works as you commemorate this important event in U.S. history.  A great place to start for resource ideas would be the Civil War section of the American Wars Libguide.