Coverart for item
The Resource Pen and ink sketches of military life in the Union Army : war service from April 23d, 1861 to July 6th, 1864 : from old war time memories, drawn by Frederick E. Ransom, late Second Lieutenant, Company "E," 11th Regiment, Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Second Brigade of the 6th Division of the 17th Army Corps

Pen and ink sketches of military life in the Union Army : war service from April 23d, 1861 to July 6th, 1864 : from old war time memories, drawn by Frederick E. Ransom, late Second Lieutenant, Company "E," 11th Regiment, Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Second Brigade of the 6th Division of the 17th Army Corps

Label
Pen and ink sketches of military life in the Union Army : war service from April 23d, 1861 to July 6th, 1864 : from old war time memories
Title
Pen and ink sketches of military life in the Union Army
Title remainder
war service from April 23d, 1861 to July 6th, 1864 : from old war time memories
Statement of responsibility
drawn by Frederick E. Ransom, late Second Lieutenant, Company "E," 11th Regiment, Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Second Brigade of the 6th Division of the 17th Army Corps
Title variation
  • Civil War sketchbook
  • Civil War diary
Creator
Author
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Sketchbook created by Union soldier Frederick E. Ransom in 1893-1894 containing scenes of his Civil War experiences while serving in the Union Army between April 23, 1861 and July 6, 1864.
Biographical or historical data
Frederick Eugene Ransom was born in Norwich, Windsor County, Vermont on April 29, 1841, and attended Norwich University. In 1856 he moved to Peru, Illinois and worked as a civil engineer with his brother Thomas E.G. Ransom until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. When Thomas became caption of Company E, 11th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Frederick enlisted in the same company, and was mustered into service April 30, 1861 at Springfield, Illinois. After serving one year, he re-enlisted for a term of three years, and was wounded and taken prisoner in the battle at Fort Donelson, Tenness Feb. 15, 1862. He was released on parole from Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia on Oct. 17, 1862 and after spending almost six months recovering from injuries, he rejoined his regiment then marching on to Vicksburg, Mississippi in May 1863. During the siege of Vicksburg, he was injured in the neck and head, and in the absence of superior officers, continued to perform his durites and marched in with his regiment to take possession of Vicksburg when it surrendered July 4, 1863. By then, Ransom had achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant. He went on to participate in various Mississippi confrontations, including the battles of Satartia, Liverpool Heights, Yazoo City (where he was wounded once again), Benton, Millville, Vaughns Station, Mechanicsburg, and Clinton. Ransom resigned his commission July 6, 1864 at Vicksburg. At the time he created the sketchbook, Ransom was living at the Soldiers' Home in Quincy, Illinois, receiving a pension of only $14 per month.
Cataloging source
CLU
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
Summary expansion
Ransom's sketches occupy the rectos of the leaves, with the versos (the printed sides) bearing Ransom's signatures and, often, the date of execution of the drawing, ranging from Oct. 10, 1893 through March 29, 1894. The sketchbook opens with a drawing of the men of Company E setting off for war in 1861, the townspeople cheering them on and waving their hats. Ransom includes scenes of camp life, such as "The Old Pup Tent;" "The Army Coffee Mill," using a rifle butt to grind coffee beans; singing and playing music while in camp; "Camp Bath from a Canteen;" returning to camp with a pig for roasting ("Arrival in camp of the 11th Illinois foragers"); playing cards to pass time in camp ("What's trumps?"); and the camp dog "Old Honesty, the Corporal of the Guard." There are also scenes of Ransom's family home, waving farewell to his family, and kissing his mother good-bye as he departs for war. Ransom documents his experiences in battle, including scenes of hand-to-hand combat, being wounded and taken prisoner, scouting the enemy, fighting at Fort Donelson, Yazoo City, and Satartia, and the charge of Ransom's brigade at Vicksburg on May 22, 1863. Some drawings depict the fate of prisoners of war escaping, as they are attacked by dogs and shot; and the dying prisoner's last vision of home. Also included is a sketch of Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia where Ransom was held for several months in 1862, as well as the scene of the armistice in which the Confederate Army surrenders. Ransom's self-portrait appears on the recto of the rear cover. A small lithograph portrait of a general in blue and yellow inks is affixed to leaf 81
Label
Pen and ink sketches of military life in the Union Army : war service from April 23d, 1861 to July 6th, 1864 : from old war time memories, drawn by Frederick E. Ransom, late Second Lieutenant, Company "E," 11th Regiment, Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Second Brigade of the 6th Division of the 17th Army Corps
Instantiates
Production
Note
  • Construction: the book itself is a repurposed order book composed of single-sided printed blanks, produced for use by the Home Nursery Co., Normal, Illinois. The alternating cream and pink leaves were printed order blanks for fruit trees and ornamental trees and shrubs from the Home Nursery Co., the pink leaf being a duplicate record of the order. With the exception of the pink leaf immediately following the title page, on which Ransom has written his "war record," all remaining pink leaves have been removed, and replaced with single printed leaves taken from a second book, an "Illinois Soliders and Sailors Home Morning Report" book. Unlike the leaves from the nursery order book, these were used for their intended purpose prior to being repurposed. This cobbled-together repurposed format demonstrates both the value of paper in the 19th century, and the resourcefulness and socio-economic position of the author. Ransom flipped the long vertically-oriented order book ninety degrees to create a series of wide landscape format pages like those favored by other amateur artists who, like Ransom, documented their army life and battle experiences during the Civil War; see James C. Kelly, "A Union soldier's sketchbook of the Chattanooga Region," Tennessee historical quarterly 51, no. 3 (Fall 1992): 157-160; and The Civil War sketchbook of Charles Ellery Stedman, surgeon, United States Navy / biography and commentary by Jim Dan Hill (San Raphael, CA: Presidio Press, 1976). The use by artists of commercially produced printed forms parallels the tradition of "ledger paintings" by Indian artists of the Great Plains, in which narrative paintings were executed on accounting ledger books. Although animal hides had traditionally been used for this type of painting, the forced relocation to reservations meant that traditional materials became scarce, and artists were forced to seek out more readily available materials such as ledger books
  • Illustrations: the drawings on the 93 leaves are executed on paper in pen and ink, with watercolor, colored pencil, and charcoal or black chalk; one self-portrait on recto of rear cover in pencil
  • Binding: quarter binding of dark brown cloth spine and brown and red marbled paper over commercially produced straw board; front pastedown is a small lithograph print of the United States Cruiser "New York", hand-colored by Frederick Ransom, with title added by him in pen "The Pride of the Navy 1893;" partial rear pastedown is a cut-out self-portrait of the artist in pen, colored pencil and brown ink
  • For additional information and photograph of Frederick Ransom, see W.A. Ellis, Norwich University: Her History, Her Graduates, Her Roll of Honor (Concord, NH: The Rumford Press, 1898), pages 318, 440, 568. Another of Ransom's sketchbooks, created in 1867, primarily depicting characters from Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, is part of the Collection on the Truman Bishop Ransom Family at Norwich University in Norwich, Vermont; see the collection guide online: http://archives.norwich.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p16663coll5/id/626 See also the website Chronicling Illinois: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, for a digital copy of Frederick E. Ransom sketchbook, 1874-1882: http://alplm-cdi.com/chroniclingillinois/items/show/21615
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
10 x 25 cm
Extent
1 sketchbook ([3], 93, [1] leaves)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Note
Spec. Coll. copy: housed in custom beige cloth drop spine box with integral cradle; pull ribbons allow right and left wedges to be pulled upright into cradle position. White printed spine label with title "Ransom. Civil War Story. 170/645." Purchase, Frank Morton, December 1988.
Other physical details
color illustrations (pen, ink, watercolors, chalk)
System control number
  • (OCoLC)994630349
  • ucoclc994630349
Label
Pen and ink sketches of military life in the Union Army : war service from April 23d, 1861 to July 6th, 1864 : from old war time memories, drawn by Frederick E. Ransom, late Second Lieutenant, Company "E," 11th Regiment, Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry, Second Brigade of the 6th Division of the 17th Army Corps
Production
Note
  • Construction: the book itself is a repurposed order book composed of single-sided printed blanks, produced for use by the Home Nursery Co., Normal, Illinois. The alternating cream and pink leaves were printed order blanks for fruit trees and ornamental trees and shrubs from the Home Nursery Co., the pink leaf being a duplicate record of the order. With the exception of the pink leaf immediately following the title page, on which Ransom has written his "war record," all remaining pink leaves have been removed, and replaced with single printed leaves taken from a second book, an "Illinois Soliders and Sailors Home Morning Report" book. Unlike the leaves from the nursery order book, these were used for their intended purpose prior to being repurposed. This cobbled-together repurposed format demonstrates both the value of paper in the 19th century, and the resourcefulness and socio-economic position of the author. Ransom flipped the long vertically-oriented order book ninety degrees to create a series of wide landscape format pages like those favored by other amateur artists who, like Ransom, documented their army life and battle experiences during the Civil War; see James C. Kelly, "A Union soldier's sketchbook of the Chattanooga Region," Tennessee historical quarterly 51, no. 3 (Fall 1992): 157-160; and The Civil War sketchbook of Charles Ellery Stedman, surgeon, United States Navy / biography and commentary by Jim Dan Hill (San Raphael, CA: Presidio Press, 1976). The use by artists of commercially produced printed forms parallels the tradition of "ledger paintings" by Indian artists of the Great Plains, in which narrative paintings were executed on accounting ledger books. Although animal hides had traditionally been used for this type of painting, the forced relocation to reservations meant that traditional materials became scarce, and artists were forced to seek out more readily available materials such as ledger books
  • Illustrations: the drawings on the 93 leaves are executed on paper in pen and ink, with watercolor, colored pencil, and charcoal or black chalk; one self-portrait on recto of rear cover in pencil
  • Binding: quarter binding of dark brown cloth spine and brown and red marbled paper over commercially produced straw board; front pastedown is a small lithograph print of the United States Cruiser "New York", hand-colored by Frederick Ransom, with title added by him in pen "The Pride of the Navy 1893;" partial rear pastedown is a cut-out self-portrait of the artist in pen, colored pencil and brown ink
  • For additional information and photograph of Frederick Ransom, see W.A. Ellis, Norwich University: Her History, Her Graduates, Her Roll of Honor (Concord, NH: The Rumford Press, 1898), pages 318, 440, 568. Another of Ransom's sketchbooks, created in 1867, primarily depicting characters from Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers, is part of the Collection on the Truman Bishop Ransom Family at Norwich University in Norwich, Vermont; see the collection guide online: http://archives.norwich.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p16663coll5/id/626 See also the website Chronicling Illinois: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, for a digital copy of Frederick E. Ransom sketchbook, 1874-1882: http://alplm-cdi.com/chroniclingillinois/items/show/21615
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
10 x 25 cm
Extent
1 sketchbook ([3], 93, [1] leaves)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Note
Spec. Coll. copy: housed in custom beige cloth drop spine box with integral cradle; pull ribbons allow right and left wedges to be pulled upright into cradle position. White printed spine label with title "Ransom. Civil War Story. 170/645." Purchase, Frank Morton, December 1988.
Other physical details
color illustrations (pen, ink, watercolors, chalk)
System control number
  • (OCoLC)994630349
  • ucoclc994630349

Library Locations

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