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Rachel Stanton/Searles Family Papers - MS 597 mf

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionOrder of Microfilming

 Introduction

The Rachel Stanton Papers consist of approximately .5 linear ft. of Civil War era documents, dating from 1856 to 1905. Primarily the correspondence of Addison and Alfred D. Searles from 1856 through 1877, the collection also includes the military pension files for the Searles Brothers, as well as those of Philip and Henry Setzler, who were relatives by marriage.

The collection was transferred to the Center for Archival Collections through the cooperation of Rachel A. Stanton, May 1, 1991. This register was prepared by Marilyn Levinson, Curator of Manuscripts, Center for Archival Collections, May-June, 1991. No restrictions exist on the the use of this collection.

 Biographical Sketch

The Searles brothers were two of the sons of Elbridge G. and Mary Edsall Searles. The family was originally from the Locke, New York area, but had settled around Bellevue, Huron County, Ohio. After the war E.G. moved to Amboy Township, Fulton County, Ohio. In addition to Alfred and Addison, the family included other children, Rachel, Jane, Marilla, Louisa, Emily, Mary B., Oscar, Julia, Fred, Harriet, and Elbridge, Jr. Jane was married to George Buskirk, mentioned in several of the letters. Louisa was married to John Setzler.

Alfred D. Searles (1834-1864) is the central figure in the collection of correspondence. Alfred was married to Mary Shepherd on May 8, 1855 and had two children, Eva Marie and Hannah Rosaltie, born 1856 and 1859. During the pre-war period Alfred worked to establish a family farm in a couple of locations in Fulton County, Ohio. Along with his brother Addison, he enlisted September 2, 1861 in Company H, 21st Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, at Findlay, Ohio. Alfred died at Seminary Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, on July 5, 1864, from cholera. After the war his widow, Mary, married Alfred Brooks, living in Amboy Township, Fulton County, Ohio.

Addison Searles (1840-1863) was the younger brother of Alfred. During the pre-war period Addison, who was unmarried, purchased property at New Westfield, now Weston, Ohio, in Wood County. Addison died of disease at Chattanooga, Tennessee on November 25, 1863.

Phillip Setzler (1839-1876) served as a 1st Lieutenant with the 107th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company H, from 1862 through 1865. He was wounded in the shoulder at Gettysburg, rendering his right arm useless. Married to Mary Ann Zehnder, in Monroeville, Ohio, they had two children, Henry and Lewis.

Henry Setzler (1842- ) served as a corporal with his brother in the 107th O.V.I., Company H. He was wounded at Chancellorsville, Virginia.

 Scope and Content

The Stanton Family Papers is an extensive series of Civil War era correspondence, with related post-war pension file material. The bulk of the collection consists of a series of more than 100 letters from Alfred and Addison Searles to their father, Elbridge G. Searles.

The Searles brothers served with the 21st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company H, from 1861 through 1864. Their correspondence presents a fairly complete series of communications from pre-war life through their deaths in the service. The collection includes typed transcripts for the entire series of correspondence, with original handwritten letters available for about two-thirds of the items. Those transcripts for which the original is not available are marked as such. The bulk of the correspondence is from Alfred (or signed from both of the brothers). Four of the letters are from Mary Searles to her father-in-law. In almost all cases, the items are addressed to E.G. Searles or the Searles family in general.

With the exception of one item, all the pre-war correspondence concerns the family of Alfred D. Searles and his attempts to establish his family on a homestead in the Fulton County, Ohio area. This correspondence is full of details on farm life in northwest Ohio, including building a house, crop prices, starting a family, and allusions to the political situation.

The letters from the period of the war include correspondence from both Alfred and Addison Searles. The early letters describe training and camp life, health problems, food, and troop movements. As the series of correspondence progresses, there is more mention of the military and political situation. Beginning with the winter of 1861-1862 there are frequent references to the poor health situation of the brothers, with both suffering from chronic colds and coughs. As the time passes there is a noticeable decline of morale in the letters, with statements complaining about the black market, irregularity of mail, pay, and rations. There is also more criticism in the letters concerning the conduct of the war, particularly during the period in early 1863 after the Battle of Stones River. The correspondence after the death of Addison in November 1863 reflects Alfred's despondency and the subsequent decline in his own health, culminating with his death from cholera in July 1864.

The collection includes four letters from Mary, Alfred's wife, to her father-in-law. These items span the period from September 29, 1861, just after Alfred's departure, through to April 17, 1865, after his death. They give a view of life on the homefront, with the attendant difficulties of maintaining the family farm in the face of economic hardship and uncertainty as to Alfred's health and welfare.

As typical soldiers in the 21st O.V.I., the Searles brothers participated in the Battles of Stones River and Chickamauga. A reference to Stones River is found in a letter of June 1863 which also mentions the issue of the Colts Revolving Rifles to the regiment. Both Alfred and Addison wrote individual letters about the Battle of Chickamauga, dated September 24 and October 2, 1863. While neither brother was hurt in the fight, they give detailed descriptions of the actions and losses of the 21st in the battle.

The pension files contained in the collection represent the efforts of Mary Searles to obtain a widow's pension and E.G. Searles' claim for a pension as Addison's father. The files for Phillip and Henry Setzler illustrate the paperwork required to obtain increased disability benefits. The files include copies of individual muster-in and muster-out records, descriptive lists, medicals statements, and affidavits. Copy prints of tintypes of Alfred and Addison Searles are cataloged separately in the Center for Archival Collections photograph files.

When possible, the spelling of the original letters has been maintained, with punctuation added to provide clarity. The letters available as a transcript only are marked as such at the top, with the dates in the inventory enclosed in brackets.

 Series Description

CORRESPONDENCE

ELBRIDGE G. SEARLES CORRESPONDENCE
1856-1877
Arranged chronologically
Primarily a series of more than 100 letters from his sons, Alfred and Addison Searles, while they were serving with the 21st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. Typed transcripts included for all letters.

LITERARY DOCUMENTS

POETRY
1862?-1863
Poems, "We are parted", by George Smith, and, "Lines written on the death of Geo. Smith"

LEGAL DOCUMENTS

PENSION FILES
1861-1905
The military pension files for the Searles Brothers, as well as those of Philip and Henry Setzler.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL

POSITIVE PRINT
1862?
Copy prints of tintypes of Alfred and Addison Searles are cataloged separately in the Center for Archival Collections photograph files.

 Order of Microfilming

  1. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Jan. 31, 1856, Chesterfield Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  2. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, [May 18, 1856], Morenci, Mich.
  3. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, June 25, 1856, Morenci, Mich.
  4. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Aug. 25, 1856, Chesterfield Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  5. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Nov. 9, 1856, Chesterfield Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  6. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Jan. 25, 1857, Chesterfield Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  7. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, March 10, 1860, Pike Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  8. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, [March 31, 1861], Pike Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  9. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, May 8, 1861, New Westfield [Weston], Ohio
  10. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Aug. 4, 1861, Pike Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  11. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, [Sept. 2, 1861], Pike Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  12. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Oct.1 (Sept.2), 1861, New Westfield [Weston], Ohio
  13. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Sept. 25, 1861, [Camp Vance, Findlay, Ohio]
  14. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Sept. 28, 1861, Camp Dennison, Columbus, Ohio
  15. Mary Searles to E.G. Searles, Sept. 29, 1861, Pike Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  16. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Oct. 13, 1861, Nicholasville, Ky.
  17. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Oct. 22, 1861, Camp Garret Davis, Olympic Springs, Ky.
  18. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, [Nov. 26, 1861], Louisville, Ky.
  19. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Nov. 26, 1861, Louisville, Ky.
  20. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, [Dec. 2, 1861], Camp Buell, Ky.
  21. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Dec. 8, 1861, Camp Buell, Ky.
  22. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Dec. 1861, Camp Buell, Ky.
  23. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, [Dec. 15, 1861], [Camp Harris, Elizabethtown, Ky.]
  24. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, [Dec. 16, 1861], Camp Harris, Elizabethtown, Ky.
  25. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Dec. 17, 1861, Camp Harris, Elizabethtown, Ky.
  26. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Dec. 29, 1861, Camp Jefferson, Ky.
  27. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Jan. 15, 1862, Camp Jefferson, Ky.
  28. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Jan. 20, 1862, Camp Jefferson, Ky.
  29. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Jan. 21, 1862, Camp Jefferson, Ky.
  30. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Feb. 10, 1862, Camp Jefferson, Ky.
  31. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Feb. 16-18, 1862,Bowling Green, Ky.
  32. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Feb. 18, 1862, Bowling Green, Ky.
  33. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Feb. 28, 1862, Camp Jackson, Nashville, Tenn.
  34. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Mar. 9, 1862, Camp Jackson, Nashville, Tenn.
  35. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Mar. 29, 1862, Camp Van Buren, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  36. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, April 2, 1862, Camp Van Buren, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  37. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, April 3, 1862, Camp Van Buren, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  38. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, April 6, 1862, Camp William Harrison, Shelbyville, Tenn.
  39. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, April 7, 1862, Camp William Harrison, Shelbyville, Tenn.
  40. Mary Searles to E.G. Searles, May 11, 1862,Pike Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  41. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, May 19, 1862, Camp Taylor, Huntsville, Ala.
  42. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, May 29, 1862, Athens, Ala.
  43. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, June 1862, Athens, Ala.
  44. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, June 22, 1862, Athens, Ala.
  45. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, [July 3, 1862], Fort Ewing, Tenn.
  46. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, July 9, 1862, Fort Ewing, Tenn.
  47. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Mid July 1862, Fort Ewing, Tenn.
  48. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, July 21, 1862, Fort McDonald, Ala.
  49. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, July 27, 1862, Athens, Ala.
  50. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Aug. 5-7, 1862, Athens, Ala.
  51. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, [Aug. 25, 1862], Athens, Ala.
  52. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Late Aug. 1862, Nashville, Tenn.
  53. Addison Searles To E.G. Searles, Sept. 1, 1862, Nashville, Tenn.
  54. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Sept. 8-9, 1862, Nashville, Tenn.
  55. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, [Sept. 1862], Nashville, Tenn.
  56. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Sept. 19, 1862, Nashville, Tenn.
  57. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Sept. 21, 1862, Nashville, Tenn.
  58. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Nov. 8, 1862, Nashville, Tenn.
  59. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, [Nov. 14, 1862], Nashville, Tenn.
  60. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Nov. 15, 1862, Nashville, Tenn.
  61. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Dec. 25, 1862, Nashville, Tenn.
  62. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Early 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  63. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, [March 5, 1863], Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  64. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, March 9, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  65. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, March 17, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  66. Addison Searles to E.G., Mary, and Jane Searles, March 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  67. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, April 27, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  68. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, (April) 28, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  69. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, May 3, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  70. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, May 18, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  71. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, May 18, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  72. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, [May 25, 1863], Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  73. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Late May 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  74. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, May 30, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  75. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, June 5, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  76. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, June 5, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  77. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, June 9, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  78. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, June 20-21, 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  79. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, June 1863, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  80. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, July 11, 1863, Dechard Station, Tenn.
  81. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, July 11, 1863, Dechard Station, Tenn.
  82. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, July 19, 1863, Dechard Station, Tenn.
  83. Mary Searles to E.G. Searles, July 25, 1863, Fulton County, Ohio
  84. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Aug. 1, 1863, Dechard Station, Tenn.
  85. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, [Aug. 1, 1863], Dechard Station, Tenn.
  86. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Aug. 10, 1863, Dechard Station, Tenn.
  87. Alfred & Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, >Sept. 24, 1863, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  88. Addison Searles to E.G. Searles, Oct. 2, 1863, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  89. Alfred (?) Searles to sister, Mary Searles, Oct. 5, 1863, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  90. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Oct. 19, 1863, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  91. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Nov. 27, 1863, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  92. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Late Nov. 1863, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  93. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Dec. 18, 1863, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  94. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Dec. 28, 1863, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  95. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, Feb. 24, 1864, Hospital no. 8, Nashville, Tenn.
  96. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, April 4, 1864, Chesterfield Twp., Fulton Co., Ohio
  97. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, May 16, 1864, Seminary Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  98. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, May 16, 1864, Seminary Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  99. Alfred Searles to E.G. Searles, May 18, 1864, Seminary Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  100. E.G. Searles to Alfred Searles, July 3, 1864, Amboy, Ohio, [Letter returned due to death of Alfred on July 5]
  101. Mary Searles to E.G. Searles, April 17, 1865, East Windsor, Mich.
  102. C.E. Weaver to E.G. Searles, Dec. 31, 1866, Adrian, Mich.
  103. Unsigned, May 18, 1877
  104. Poem, We are parted, by George Smith, circa 1862
  105. Poem, Lines written on the death of Geo. Smith, 1863?
  106. Pension file - Alfred D. Searles, 1861-1904
  107. Pension file - Addison Searles, 1861-1882
  108. Pension file - Phillip Setzler, 1862-1905
  109. Pension file - Henry Setzler, 1862-1886

Manuscripts by Subject | Civil War Collections | MS 597 - Stanton/Searles Transcript List