AUBURN UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS & ARCHIVES
Guide to the John Milton Bancroft Civil War Diary & Scrapbook, RG
Listed by: Paul Martin and Alfreida Brummitt
Date: August 23, 2000
Date Span: May 10, 1861 to June 30, 1864
Biographical Sketch: Bancroft was a member of the "Old" 4th
Michigan Infantry during the Civil War.
Scope / Content: Scrapbook/Diary. This is the original diary
book of his handwritten comments, and which he later turned into a scrapbook
by adding various items. These included photos, clippings, drawings, cards,
illustrations taken from various sources, etc. Some of his drawings relate
to Professor Lowe's balloons. Since Bancroft was a well-educated man his
diary/scrapbook is a valuable historical source, and notable for its variety
of information. His unit was also involved in a large number of battles
and campaigns. Collection also includes a typescript of the diary.
Battle Accounts. He has notes relating to many major campaigns and battles.
These include Bull Run, the Seven Days Battles, Fredericksburg, Antietam,
Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and many others through the spring of 1864.
Personalities. He comments on several generals and Union officers. He also
relates stories of some of their deaths in battle.
Daily Military Activities. He comments on both his own activities and those
of his unit. The amount of detail depends upon many factors: time, weather,
fatigue, battles, and his death.
Professor Lowe's Balloon Corps. He was personally involved with some of
the Corps' activities, and knew the men who worked with Lowe. Some of his
remarks are critical of Lowe.
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