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Marcus B. Warner Collection

Identifier: Ms-2010-061

Scope and Content

This collection contains one diary written by Marcus B. Warner in 1864, a transcript, and photocopies of his Muster Rolls and a card numbers list containing information from 1864-1865 during the American Civil War. These later items list basic information such as rank, physical characteristics, bounty paid, and dates of enlistment.

The diary is written in a green Allings & Cory pocket diary. In addition to describing his life as a soldier, Warner also chronicles his previous civilian life and the Union army recruitment process. Writing as a civilian, his common discussion topics include the weather, his daily schedule, fluctuating gold prices, local and national politics and elections, war news, and local community and church events. A notable entry on August 6th gives insight to his political sentiments:

The Copper Heads are getting to be quite bold they are spewing out their venomous treason against the Government at times when I hear them talk it almost makes my blood boil with rage I fairly hate the sight of them and there is many those who we would expect better things from.

After Marcus mustered into service in September of 1864, his descriptions shift to daily camp life and more in-depth war news that is sometimes accompanied by newspaper clippings. A humorous entry on October 4th details a false alarm around camp, in which a guard mistook a lone dog for an enemy attack. Warner also provides considerable insight into the religious life of a Union soldier. On September 11th, he bears witness to a mass group conversion:

I saw a gathering off at one side [....] they were holding a prayer or speaking meeting there was an opening in the center where those who wished steped fow- erd and confessed their and decla ired themselves on the side of the Lord it was very good meeting the spirit as God was there motivation was then given to those who wished religion to step forward, some twenty persons stepped forward praying was then offered and meeting adjourned until eve

Warner also goes in depth about the army’s practices concerning disease, death, and funeral processions. On October 26, he writes:

Mr. teague a member of Co C. a merchant of Hannibal Oswego Coun who had been very sick [....] He suffered much all night nearly to the time he died He was sensiless when he died At 3 oclock P.M. funeral of Mr. Teague and Mr Hall was held. procession formed in front of the hospital (which is the brick mansion of this plantation) a solemn tune was then played by fife & drum and mourners marched down to the graves (which were down near the river shore) they were then lowered in their graves three volleys were then fired over their graves. previous to this a few verses were read from the bible and a few remarks made and a prayer offered by Elder Davis procession then returned to camp, all feeling rather soleme


  • 1864 - 1865


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

Marcus B. Warner was a drummer in Company K of New York’s 184th Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. When he enlisted, he was twenty-two years old and 5ft 6in tall with blue eyes, a fair complexion, and dark hair. Previous to his short army career, he was a harness maker in business with his father in Volney, New York. He also worked as a Sunday school teacher and was very active in community and church activities, such as the local temperance society. Warner was deeply religious and enjoyed singing. He had a sister named Ett and a brother named Gus, who was enlisted in New York’s 5th Corps and served as a Hospital Assistant in City Point, Virginia, in 1864.

Warner was enlisted in Phoenix, New York, on September 1st, 1864 for one year; he was credited to his hometown of Volney. The next day, he mustered into service in Oswego, NY. The commissioned officers of his company were George Wetmore, Captain; Edgar F. Morris, First Lieutenant; and John H. Gilman, Second Lieutenant. On September 16th, Company K went to defend Bermuda Hundred, Virginia. The company also served at City Point and Harrison’s Landing in Virginia.

External sources:

Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. Vol. 3. New York: T. Yoseloff, 1959. Print.

"184th Infantry Regiment". New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs. New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, 3 Sept. 2010. Web. 17 Sept. 2010.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)


This collection contains an 1864 diary, transcript, and photocopied Muster Rolls and a card number list pertaining to Marcus B. Warner, of New York's 184th Volunteer Infantry, Company K, during the American Civil War. The diary details his civilian life as a harness maker and the first portion of his career as a Union soldier stationed in City Point and Petersburg, Virginia.


This collection is arranged by material type.

Source of Acquisition

The Marcus B. Warner Collection was purchased by Special Collections in 2009.

Existence and Location of Copies

The diary in this collection has been digitized and is available online.

Separated Materials

The original transcript has been removed to the accession file.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Marcus B. Warner Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Marcus B. Warner Collection was completed in September 2010.

Marcus B. Warner Collection, 1864-1865
Julia Viets, Student Assistant
2010 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US