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Bergun Huff Brown Collection

 Collection — Box: VMF 2, Folder: 02
Identifier: MS-VMF-vmf016

Photocopies and transcriptions of the letters of Private Bergun H. Brown, August 27, 1861 through February 20, 1865 in the 29th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry.  Bound together under the title, "Bergun H. Brown's Civil War Days," with text by his son, Guy M. Brown (1972).

A compilation of original source material including letters, a diary, documents, and historical narratives, the collection presents a vivid picture of a Union soldier's experiences and attitudes throughout the war.

Bergun Brown's letters, written to family members from June 18, 1861, to September 14, 1863, make up the majority of the collection. Arranged chronologically, they are well-written descriptive accounts of his enlistment, training, and camp life; the Battle of Shiloh and its aftermath; his wounding, capture, and recuperation; and the time he spent in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia until his recapture during the Battle of Chickamauga.

Upon his second capture, Brown began a diary he entitled "A Diary of My Trip South--Me as a Prisoner" in which he described his experiences in Confederate prisons in Richmond and Danville, Virginia, until his transfer to Andersonville prison, Georgia. The first entry is dated September 20, 1863; the last is dated February 4, 1864.

Brown's military service records and pension documents consist of a 29th Regiment, Indiana Infantry, Company C muster roll, August 1861-August 1862; an Indiana Adjutant General's record of military service, 1865; a similar certificate dated 1879; a Bureau of Pensions document giving a full military and medical history, 1895; a declaration for pension, 1909; a Bureau of Pensions declaration of family status, 1915; Martha J. Brown's declaration for widow's pension, 1923; and other correspondence with the U.S. government and attorneys concerning Brown's pension, back pay, and bounty, 1896-1907.

Post-war letters (1866-1922) to Brown from friends and family pertain to family business and war experiences.

The collection also includes a narrative account of Brown's Civil War experience written by Guy Brown using the letters and diary as source material, with an extended section on Andersonville prison; a short post-Civil War Brown family history covering settlement near Maple Grove, Jasper County, Missouri, and Brown's marriages and children; and nine anecdotes written by Guy Brown based on his father's reminiscences of the war. They relate to experiences in Confederate prisons, war companions, war mementos, and attempts to receive compensation for war injuries.

Supplementary material includes a bibliography, maps, and excerpts from books and newspapers pertaining to Andersonville prison and the Civil War.


  • 1972

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


1.00 items

1 folders

Biographical or Historical Information

Bergun H. Brown was born in Lyons, Wayne County, New York, March 8, 1839.  He moved to LaPorte County, Indiana in 1850 and attended LaPorte Seminary and college in Battle Creek, Michigan. He taught school in Indiana and Illinois before enlisting in the 29th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry in August 1861. Brown was discharged from the service in February 1865 and settled in Jasper County, Missouri in 1868.  He married Urilla Viele in 1869. After her death, he married Martha J. Dinsmore, with whom he had seven children. Brown died March 4, 1922.

Source of Acquisition

Accession number 1772. Gift of Professor Harold Probert Brown, January 9, 1988

Bergun Huff Brown Collection
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020 November 6: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495