Guide to the William Dean Colman Papers, RG 458

Listed by:   Paul Martin & Michelle Nelson
Date:   March 2001

Date Span:   1861-1864, 1879

Size of Collection:  40 items

Biographical Sketch:   During the Civil War, William Dean Colman served the Union Army as Acting Adjutant General of the Franklin District of Missouri, was commissioned a Captain (Asst. QM of Volunteers) in 1861, entered regular Federal service on July 5, 1862, was wounded in battle on October 4, 1862, and died two days later.

Scope / Content:   Letters are the result of attempts by Samuel Colman to collect back pay for his son, William Dean Colman, who had been killed in battle in October 1862.  Payment finally made in March 1864.  Also contains formal visiting card, genealogical data on the Shattuck family, and a photograph of Will Shattuck.


October 15, 1861.  Chester Harding Jr. to Colman.  This appoints Colman as acting Adjutant General of Franklin District, Pacific, Missouri.

November 10, 1861.  Col. William Andrews, 9th Regiment  Iowa Volunteers.  Receipt to Colman for $2,382.73 to be used by Quartermasters Dept.

November 16, 1861.  HQS. U.S. Army, Special Orders No. 307., Maj. Gen.. McClellan.  Confirms Colman's appointment as Asst. Quartermaster General of Volunteers with rank of Capt. Effective August 21, 1861

December 31, 1861.  Quarterly report by Capt. Colman for disbursements of Quartermaster Funds.

January 24, 1862.  Letter, E. L. Chester Harding, 9th Missouri Volunteers to Col. T.P. Andres, Deputy Paymaster General, St. Louis.  It gives a very complimentary report of Colman's services in the Franklin District through November 12, 1861.

June1862.  Adjutant General, Washington, D.C. to Brig. Gen. D.L. Stanley, HQS.  Army of the Mississippi, Corinth, Miss.  This forwards Capt. Colman's commission as Asst. Adjutant General, Colman accepted the commission, and was mustered into federal service, July 5, 1862.

September 9, 1862.  Auditor, Treasury Department, Washington, to Samuel Colman, New York.  This letter concerns Colman not receiving pay for August 21--November 14, 1861 when he served in the Franklin District as Asst. QM General of Volunteers.

September 10, 1862.  Samuel Colman (father) to L. Thomas, Adjutant General's office, Washington.  This concerns the same matter of non-payment to his son.  Comments from three army offices through October 11, 1862 are annotated on the letter.

September 25, 1862.  Third Auditor, Treasury Dept., Washington to Capt. W. Dean Colman, H.Q., 2nd division, Army of Mississippi.  It states the pay matter has been referred to the Second Comptroller's office.

October 7, 1862.  Third Auditor, Treasury Dept. to Capt. Colman.  It informs Colman that he owes the U.S. Treasury $277.85.

November 7, 1862.  Samuel Colman to E.B. French, 2nd Auditor, U.S. Treasury.  He requests information relating to pay of dead U.S. army officers.  His son Wm. Dean Colman was wounded in battle October 4, 1862 and died October 6, 1862, and questions the pay status.

December 15, 1862.  Pencil draft letter, with ink insertions and line-outs, Samuel Colman to Quartermaster General Meigs, Washington.  This also deals with details of vouchers and the pay issue of his son W.D. Colman.

December 24, 1862.  Samuel Colman to Quartermaster General Meigs.  This again refers to the pay situation of W.D. Colman.

January 21, 1863.  Pencil draft with changes, Samuel Colman to Quartermaster General Meigs.  It informs Meigs of Documents (duplicate receipts, etc.) made by W. Dean Colman during August 21 to November 12, 1861.  These documents, recently discovered in a safe, are being forwarded to help settle the pay problem.

February 2, 1863.  Samuel Colman to W.T. Odell, Military Committee, House of Representatives.  This letter refers the matter of Wm. Dean Colman's pay.

March 8, 1863.  Samuel Colman to R.J. Atchison, 3rd Auditor.  This letter seeks clarification of conflicting information from the 3rd and 2nd Auditor's offices regarding the status of his son's pay.

April 8, 1863.  Jos. Smith to Samuel Colman.  It refers to a letter from Colman which has forwarded to Gen. Meigs.  When a reply is received form Meigs, he will inform Colman.

April 17, 1863.  Samuel Colman to 3rd Auditor, Washington, D.C.  This is a follow-up letter copy by Colman on the pay situation for his dead son, which is now a claim against the U.S., and asking that it be handled more expeditiously.

May 6, 1863.  Third Auditor to Samuel Colman.  It refers to prior letters from Colman, and states that Colman must correspond with the 2nd Auditor's office chief clerk, Mr. F. Andrews.

May 19, 1863.  Col. Charles Thomas, Quartermaster General's office to Samuel Colman.  It refers to prior remarks by this office concerning Capt. W.D. Colman's actions of 1861.

May 26, 1863.  Envelop postmarked this date in Washington, D.C. from Treasury Department.

June16, 1863.  Samuel Colman to Joseph Smith, Treasury Dept.  It refers to prior correspondence from the Quartermaster General's office; a note from Smith of May 16th, and contact with the 2nd Auditor's office.  All these relate to Capt. Wm. D. Colman's actions of late 1861.

August 26, 1863.  Third Auditor's office, Treasury Dept. to Samuel Colman.  It states that the matters relating to Capt. Wm. D. Colman, deceased, have been settled, and the balance due to the united states is $64.34.  Samuel Colman wrote some remarks on the back, and some computation figures.

November 21, 1863.  Second Auditor's office, Treasury to Samuel Colman.  It states that the case of Wm. D. Colman, deceased, has charges on the books of the third Auditor, and the case cannot be settled while they remain.

November 25, 1863.  This is a copy of Samuel Colman's letter to the Third Auditor, and copies of prior letters and comments relating to the Wm. D. Colman case.

January 22, 1864.  Copy of letter Samuel Colman to E.B. French, 2nd Auditor, U.S. Treasury.  It again challenges the declared settlement of Wm. D. Colman's case, and refers to exhibits A to E.  A key claim is that his son spent several months in active military service, but never received pay for such, or credit for it.

January 22, 1864. Samuel Colman to Joseph Smith.  He again addresses the convoluted case of his son's account, and the question of pay for his service, along with various documents related to the case.

January 27, 1864.  Samuel Colman to E.B. French, 2nd Auditor.  This acknowledges receipt of a check from the U.S. Treasury for $263.00 for his son's service.

February 12, 1864.  Copy of Samuel Colman to Joseph Smith, on back of Joseph Smith to Samuel Colman.  Each letter refers to the involved details of the Wm. D. Colman case.

February 12, 1864.  Copy of Samuel Colman to E.B. French, 2nd Auditor.  This also refers to details involving his son's case.

February 29, 1864.  Joseph Smith to Samuel Colman.  Asks questions relating to Capt. Colman's service in 1861 with a Missouri volunteer unit, also asks Colman to get an autograph from William Cullen Bryant for his daughter.

March 2, 1864.  Copy of Samuel Colman to [E.B. French].  This is written in very small manner, with much lining out.  It also relates to his son's case.

March 10, 1864.  Form letter, E.B. French to Samuel Colman.  This official document transmits a certificate for $381.55 for his son's service from 27 August to 12 November, 1861.

March 14, 1864.  Copy letter Samuel Colman to Joseph Smith.  A letter of thanks for Smith's help in getting the issue of his son's pay resolved.

April 11, 1879. Genealogical information, some related to the Colman family in a letter to a Mrs. Kate Frothingham.

Undated.  A formal card announcing that Mrs. Samuel Colman would be at home June 4th, from 9 until 11p.m.  179 Amity St., Brooklyn.

Clipping, reply to "Outrageous Delay in Settling The Accounts of Decease Soldier", to editor of the New York Times, November 7, 1863.  A detailed discussion.

Undated.  List of articles for children belonging to Mrs. A.D. Shattuck.

Undated.  Mrs. Marian Colman's ancestors.  Contains genealogical data.

Photograph of Will Shattuck. (18--)

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