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Alfred L. Mantor Diary,

Identifier: Ms-2013-074

Scope and Content

Alfred L. Mantor's journal chronicles the daily life of a Civil War Sergeant in the beginning months of 1864 from January to April. Mantor, originally from Hawley, MA, enlisted as a Corporal to "C" Company of the 27th Massachusetts Infantry on September 25, 1861. The infantry was sent south to Annapolis, Maryland until it was dispatched further south to North Carolina in January, 1862. While in North Carolina, the 27th Mass engaged in a variety of skirmishes and helped with the siege of Washington, North Carolina in April, 1863, as Mantor references on April 4, 1864. In October 1863, the 27th infantry was sent to Norfolk, VA where it was stationed and conducted routine drills until April, 1864 when it was ordered to the Army of the James.

The journal begins on January 13, 1864 with the return of veterans from furlough in Massachusetts. Mantor describes every day life in Norfolk, VA, including his involvement with the Mission School and a colored Sabbath school. After attending the Mission School frequently, he was given a class to teach briefly. Also references purchasing goods such as a cap, pencils, paper, and apples and how much each cost him. Along with these cash accounts, Mantor issued loans to a variety of people during the span of this journal in which he kept a list of the amounts that were owed to him, who owed them, and whether they were paid off or not.

He describes visits to a variety of places including Fort Reno, Fort Rodman, Fort Monroe, Sulphur Springs, Suffolk, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Hampton. On March 6, 1864, Mantor documents his Company's engagement of Confederate forces in which they captured an orderly of General Ransom of the rebel army with dispatches. On April 12, they received orders to march toward Gettys Station and ends the journal at Fort Reno with his company preparing to join march to combat under Captain Wilcox.

Mantor was very religious, often including bible verses and poems in his journal entries. Visited the Mission School and prayer services or lectures multiple times per week, even holding meetings in his own tent at times. He documents correspondence with various individuals, specifically to Mary in which he had a sphereotype taken and sent to her. Also documents drilling and inspection done by various authorities, namely Lieutenant Newel, Lieutenant W.G. Davis, and Captain Wilcox. Mantor had a very personal relationship with the Mission School of where he was stationed and repeatedly mentions Mr. Coans as a close acquaintance.


  • 1864 - 1864


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from Alfred L. Mantor Diary must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Biographical Note

Alfred L. Mantor, originally a farmer from Hawley, MA, enlisted when he was 25 years old as a Corporal to "C" Company of the 27th Massachusetts Infantry on September 25, 1861. Mantor was promoted to Sergeant on September 8, 1863. Mantor was killed in action on May 7, 1864 at Port Walthall Junction, VA.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



The collection contains the Civil War diary of Alfred Mantor, a corporal (and later sergeant) with "C" Company of the 27th Massachusetts Infantry. Mantor's diary covers January through April of 1864, shortly before he was killed in action in May. Entries focus on his regiment's activities, as well as his personal experiences teaching Sunday school in the Norfolk, Virginia, area.

Acquisition Information

Diary was purchased by Special Collections in September 2013.

Alternate Form Available

This collection has been digitized and is available online.


This collection has been digitized and is available online.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Alfred L. Mantor Diary was completed in September 2013.

Alfred L. Mantor Diary, 1864
Cort Rushton, Student Assistant and Kira A. Dietz,
© 2013 Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.
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