Beaver’s Diary, Document and Lifesaver

The Pennsylvania State Archives has in its collection numerous diaries recording the personal experiences of prominent people in the state’s history. One of those diaries not only documented its owner’s life but also possibly saved it. James Addams Beaver (1837–1914), born in Millerstown, Perry County, was an attorney in Bellefonte, Centre County, who would serve as the 20th governor of...
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Letter to Governor Andrew Gregg Curtin

Casualties in the American Civil War were enormous on both sides of the four-year conflict. Reuben Kemmerer (also spelled Kemerer), of Company I, 81st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, suffered wounds to his right hand during the Second Battle of Deep Bottom in August 1864. He was one of approximately 2,900 Union soldiers wounded in the engagement which took place in Henrico County, Virginia,...
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Woo Hong Neok: A Chinese American Soldier in the Civil War

In the popular imagination, the American Civil War is an extraordinary drama portraying the denouement of the exceptionally serious struggle to preserve the Union and end the institution of slavery. In the unfolding drama the actors on the battlefield, as well as on the home fronts in both the North and the South alike, are nearly always white or black Americans with a smattering of Native...
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An Interview with Richard C. Saylor: The Impact of the Civil War Legacy in Pennsylvania

Richard C. “Rich” Saylor, an archivist with the Pennsylvania State Archives, has been deep within the treasures that are the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) collections for nearly twenty years. He has become a highly respected expert on Pennsylvania Civil War history, research, and artifacts on behalf of the Commission. With a master’s degree in American Studies from Penn...
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