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Harville, John McBride, 1839-1913



  • Existence: 1839 - 1913

Biographical Note

John McBride Harville (also spelled Harvill) was born in Illinois on January 29, 1839. His family seems to have moved to Beetown, Wisconsin, around 1843, though other records indicate this may have occurred later. Before the early death of his mother when he was five, his parents appeared to have had three other children: Caroline (later Young), who Harville refers to as "Carrie" or "Cary" in his diaries; William; and Elizabeth (later Nickerson), who Harville calls "Lib." For several years, he lived with a foster family (the Sargents). His father, William, remarried and had five more children. By the start of the Civil War, Harville was living with the Batie family in Tafton, Wisconsin.

Although Tafton did not have enough men to raise its own company, volunteers from the area, including Harville, joined others to form Company F, 7th Regiment Wisconsin Infantry in Lancaster during the summer of 1861. Harville served primarily in and around Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland. Chronic health problems resulted in his spending most of September 1862-August 1864 in hospitals in Baltimore, Maryland, though he continues to report on his personal experiences, as well as war news. In January of 1864, he transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps until he mustered out in August 1864.

In October 1864, he married Harriet E. Trine (1846-1916), who he had known since before the war. As early as his first diary in 1861, he records having received letters from Hattie and Lizzie (presumably her sister) Trine. They settled in Wyalusing and had five children: William A. (1865-1894), Annie Laure (b. 1867), Frank D. (1869-1883), Edgar R.(b. 1872), and John M., Jr. (b. 1879). Following the war, Harville was both a farmer and a newspaperman. He died from pneumonia in Wisconsin at age 74 in June 1913.

Found in 8 Collections and/or Records:

John Harville Diaries

Identifier: Ms-2010-053
Abstract The collection contains eight handwritten diaries chronicling John Harville's experiences during the American Civil War. From August of 1861 to January of 1864 Harville served with the 7th Wisconsin Regiment, Company F. He then transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps for the remainder of his term, ending in July 1864. His diaries include details and stories from camp life, largely around Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Maryland. Suffering from chronic "congestion of the lungs," Harville...
Dates: 1861-1864, 1913, 2010; Majority of material found within ( dates 1861-1864)

John Harville Diaries,1861-1864, 1913, 2010 (Ms2010-053)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2010-053
Dates: 1861-1864, 1913, 2010

John Harville Diary 1, 1861-1862 (Ms2010-053)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2010_053_HarvilleJohn_Diary1_1861-1862
Dates: 1861-08-19/1862-01-22

John Harville Diary 2, 1862 (Ms2010-053)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2010_053_HarvilleJohn_Diary2_1862
Dates: 1862-01-28/1862-03-27

John Harville Diary 3, 1862 (Ms2010-053)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2010_053_HarvilleJohn_Diary3_1862
Dates: 1862-03-28/1862-05-12

John Harville Diary 4, 1862 (Ms2010-053)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2010_053_HarvilleJohn_Diary4_1862
Dates: 1862-05-14/1862-08-04

John Harville Diary 5, 1862-1863 (Ms2010-053)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2010_053_HarvilleJohn_Diary5_1862-1863
Dates: 1862-08-05/1863-05-29

John Harville Diary 6, 1863 (Ms2010-053)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2010_053_HarvilleJohn_Diary6_1863
Dates: 1863-06-05/1863-11-26