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Indiana Military – Free Books and Articles Military History

Indiana Military - Free Books and Articles Military History

This Webpage has descriptions and links to free online books and articles related to Indiana military history and participation in wars.  Topics include:

Accounts of Indiana regiments at war
Fort Harrison in Terre Haute
Battle of Tippecanoe
Forts at Vincennes
Sinking of the Sultana
Personal Accounts of the Civil War
Roll of Indiana residents in the Spanish-American War
Public opinion during World War I
… and much more

Indiana Military History

Ouiatanon: A Study in Indiana History

Craig, Oscar J.
Indianapolis: Bowen-Merrill 1893

An article reprinted into a booklet by the Indiana Historical Society, about the history of Fort Ouiatanon, near Lafayette

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Dignity of Duty: The Journals of Erasmus Corwin Gilbreath 1861-1898. A Personal Odyssey of Services from the Civil War to the Spanish-American War

Gilbreath, Erasmus Corwin
Chicago: Pritzker Military Museum & Library 2015

“The journals of Erasmus Corwin Gilbreath illuminate the true horrors of war and demonstrate the dignity Gilbreath felt about his service, and the importance he placed on duty to his nation. Gilbreath’s accounts of his life of service in the army, traveling through the war-torn South during Reconstruction, the dangerous Texas frontier and wilderness of the West are vivid and compelling. The journals include the story of his intrepid wife and children who also experiences the turmoil and change that were shaping 19th century America, as they followed Gilbreath wherever his orders took them. He continued writing until just days before he died while serving with the 11th U.S. Infantry in Puerto Rico at the end of the Spanish -American War. Many passages, including his firsthand account of the Battle of the Ironclads and his description of reconnecting with a fellow Gettysburg veteran in Chicago 21 years after the battle, are beautifully written, with a personal and emotional gravity found in the best literary works.” – Book cover

Indiana Battle Flags and a Record of Indiana Organizations in the Mexican, Civil and Spanish-American Wars

Including the movements of troops in the Civil War, as follows: actions, affairs, attacks, battles, campaigns, defenses, expeditions, marches, movements, raids and reconnoissances

Indiana Battle Flag Commission
Indianapolis: 1929

Indiana and the Civil War, Indiana Civil War soldiers.

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An Act to Organize and Regulate the Militia of the State of Indiana

Passed at the Fifteenth Session of the General Assembly

Indiana State Government
Indianapolis, Printed by Douglass and Maguire 1831

The opening statement of this act required that “…each and every able-bodied white male citizen of the United States, resident in this state, not less than eighteen, nor more than forty-five years of age, [unless excepted or exempted] shall… be enrolled in the militia of the state of Indiana, and [they] shall provide himself with a good rifle, musket or fusee [and ammunition and powder] and [they] shall appear, so armed and equipped, on all days of muster appointed by law…” The Act goes on to describe how the militia will be organized and officered, and how elections will be held for officers. It continues on for nearly 70 pages, covering all aspects of militia operations.

Fort Harrison on the Banks of the Wabash, 1812-1912

Scovell, Josiah Thomas
Terre Haute, IN: Moore-Langen 1912

This small book was the product of a team of writers working on Terre Haute’s centennial, and the various chapters have different authors. Chapter headings are:

Battle of Fort Harrison – Causes Leading up to Fort Harrison – Captain [Zachary] Taylor’s Report – Zachary Taylor: A Biographical Sketch – Commandants at Fort Harrison – Inmates of Fort Harrison – The Northwest Territory – Distinguished Men at Fort Harrison and Tippecanoe – Terre Haute under Four Flags The Blue Grass of Fort Harrison Prairie – The Centennial of the Battle of Fort Harrison
Roll of Descendants

Indiana Battles with Indians

The Battle of Tippecanoe: historical sketches of the famous field upon which General William Henry Harrison won renown that aided him in reaching the Presidency …

Lives of the Prophet and Tecumseh, with many interesting incidents of their rise and overthrow – The campaign of 1888 and election of General Benjamin Harrison

Beard, Reed
Chicago: Hammond 1911

Chapter headings are:

-The Prophet – Tecumseh -The confederacy -The March to Prophet’s Town -The Battle -Incidents of the Battle -Effect of the Battle -The Battlefield -Tippecanoe in Politics -The Campaign of 1888 -Roll of Companies -Indian Warrior’s Reflections. The Battle at Tippecanoe.

Vincennes: Portal to the West

Derleth, August
Prentice Hall 1968

An account of the forts at Vincennes, from the founding of the first fort in 1732, to the abandonment of the third Fort Knox in 1816. It includes an account of the fort’s capture in 1779 by George Rogers Clark, which saved the Northwest Territory for the United States. George Rogers Clark at Vincennes.

“Indian Captives in Early Indiana”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 9, Issue 2, 1913, pp 95-112

Esarey, Logan
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

“The Battle of Tippecanoe”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 2, Issue 4, December 1906, pp 163-169

Naylor, Judge Isaac
Bloomington: Indiana University

The author was a participant in the battle. The battle at Tippecanoe.

The Battle of Tippecanoe: Read before the Filson club, November 1, 1897

Pirtle, Alfred
Louisville: Morton 1900

The author gives an account of the campaign and battle partly by using extended quotes from military correspondence during the campaign, and also adds some contemporary newspaper accounts of events. He includes throughout the book rolls of killed and wounded, and at the end, rolls of all companies that participated.

A Journal of Two Campaigns of the Fourth Regiment of the U.S. Infantry in the Michigan and Indiana Territories

under the Command of Col. John P. Boyd, and Lt. Col. James Miller during the years 1811 & 12

Walker, Adam
Keene, NH: 1816

A detailed account by a soldier in the Fourth Regiment, who appears to have been an enlisted man, beginning with their departure from Philadelphia in late May 1811, and their travel to Vincennes, and then a brutal march through Indiana territory and into battle.

Indiana in the Mexican War

Indiana in the Mexican War

Perry, Oran, comp.
Indianapolis: W. B. Burford 1908

The author, Indiana’s Adjutant-General, said that no history had ever been written of Indiana’s participation in the Mexican War, and that there was a myth that Indiana had not acquitted herself well. He found and reproduced here numerous documents to show that Hoosiers responded to the call for volunteers enthusiastically, and they served with distinction. He also included many individual anecdotes and accounts, and added over 100 pages of rolls of companies and men who served.

For a history of the War with Mexico, see also on this site: Bishop, Farnham, Our First War in Mexico in America in the Early 19th Century – 1809-1861

Indiana and the Civil War

Indiana Civil War Regimental Histories Collection

This collection of about 50 books on Indiana units in the Civil War is in the Internet Archive. It includes histories of regiments, memoirs of individual soldiers, and other books related to Indiana participation in the Civil War.

Gallant Fourteenth: The Story of an Indiana Civil War Regiment

Baxter, Nancy Niblack
Traverse City, MI: Pioneer Study Center 1980

“This books is about a Midwestern first-call regiment of Lincoln’s army, the 14th Indiana Regiment. It had the reputation of being one of the finest regiments in the Northern Army, not only because of its spectacular battle record in the East and the length of its service, but also because of its regimental spirit; it sustained the men through the disillusionments of camp life and the battlefield horrors of one of the most soul-wrenching wars in history, and it became one of the dominant forces in the veterans’ lives and in the new America to which they returned.” – Author’s Intro.

My Story of the Civil War and the Under-ground Railroad

Butler, M. B. (Lieutenant)
Huntington, IN: United Brethren 1914

The author based this book on a diary he maintained throughout his military service.

The Civil War Journal of Billy Davis: From Hopewell, Indiana to Port Republic, Virginia

Davis, Billy
Greencastle, IN: Nugget

The author enlisted as a 23-year old Private in the 7th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment for three months in April 1861. His literate and thoughtful journal is “presented as it was written with no intrusions. Each chapter of journal entries is followed with a background section to provide a wider perspective for the journal”.

Regimental Publications & Personal Narratives of the Civil War: A Checklist. Vol. 1, Part 5 – Indiana and Ohio

Dornbusch, Charles Emil
NY: New York Public Library 1961-1972

This is Part 5 of a 7-part work, which covers Civil War histories of 17 participating northern states. Part 5 covers Indiana and Ohio. According to the compiler’s Preface, every battery and regiment is listed, and arranged numerically by arm of service – Artillery, Cavalry and Infantry. Any publications that could be associated with a particular battery or regiment are listed under that unit, including regimental histories, personal narratives, reunion proceedings, unit rosters and even sermons preached at soldiers’ funerals. Personal narratives by individuals who served under more than one unit are found under the unit of their first service.

Many or most of these articles and books are likely available online, free. For assistance in finding these, see our blog post Find Free Books on the Internet.

For histories of the Civil War, see also on this site: Civil War in America

On Many a Bloody Field: Four Years in the Iron Brigade

Gaff, Alan D.
Bloomington: Indiana University 1999

“This is the story of one of the Civil War’s most famous combat organizations – Company B, 19th Indiana Volunteers of the Iron Brigade. Alan Gaff follows the men from recruitment through mustering out, from the tedium of camp to the excitement of battle, paying close attention to how the war affected individuals, both physically and emotionally. – Book cover.
“Some of the best descriptions of the daily life of a Civil War soldier that can be found anywhere … an excellent picture of the common soldier and why he was willing to undergo all the horrors of war for his beliefs.” — Library Journal
“A masterpiece of Civil War scholarship and painstaking historical research.” — The Bookwatch

Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History

Huffman, Alan
NY: Smithsonian 2009

“Alan Huffman has managed lo combine civil war history with the science of human survival to produce one of the most riveting war stories I have ever read. The sinking of the Sultana must outstrip, for sheer horror, any other maritime disaster suffered by this country. Huffman’s smooth, intimate prose ushers you through this nightmare as if you were living it yourself. Phenomenal.” – Sebastian Junger, author.

Report of the Indiana Sanitary Commission, Made to the Governor Jan. 2, 1865

Indiana Sanitary Commissioner
Indianapolis: Holloway 1865

The primary mission of the Sanitary Commission during the Civil War, according to this report, was to “care for, console and comfort the gallant men who have gone away from the peace and plenty of their homes to endure the hardships of the march, the strife of battle and the tedium of the hospital. Everywhere, on the march, in the field, and in the hospital, we follow and supply them.”
The commissioner asserted that the most prominent difference between Indiana’s Sanitary Commission and the others was that the Indiana Commission distributed supplies to regiments in the field rather than only in hospital; providing fruits and vegetables, for example, to keep the men healthy. This report covers the full range of activities of the Commission, and includes reports from agents and subordinate organizations. There are also reports showing the details of items and quantities furnished to troops and hospitals.

Twelve Months in Andersonville

On the March, in the Battle, in the Rebel Prison Pens, and at Last in God’s Country

Long, Lessel
Huntington, IN: Butler 1886

Personal narrative by a Private in the 13th Indiana Infantry Regiment who survived the infamous Confederate prison.

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In Song and Sorrow: the Daily Journal of Thomas Hart Benton McCain, 86th Indiana Volunteer Infantry

McCain, Thomas H. B.
Carmel, IN: Guild Press 1998

“Most diary publications today are … the exciting stories of battle and unusual camp life anecdotes. This journal is not like that. It is the detailed and thoughtful daily recording of perspectives, personal longings and loathings, impressions of officers and enlisted men, … and a sense of alienation and misery. Augmented by stories from: 86th Regiment Indiana Volunteer Infantry, 1895, by James A. Barnes, James R. Carnahan and Thomas H.B. McCain ; Indiana’s roll of honor, volume I, 1864, by David Stevenson ; Indiana’s roll of honor, volume II 1866, by Theo. T. Scribner.” – Book cover.

The Soldier of Indiana in the War for the Union

Merrill, Catherine
Indianapolis: Merrill 1866

An effort to tell the full story of participation by Indiana regiments in the Civil War.

For histories of the Civil War, see also on this site: Civil War in America

How Soldiers were Made; or The War as I saw it under Buell, Rosecrans, Thomas, Grant and Sherman

Scribner, Benjamin Franklin
New Albany, IN: 1887

A narrative of the Civil War from the perspective of a career officer who commanded the 38th Indiana Veteran Volunteer Regiment.

Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana (8 volumes)

– Volumes Described

Terrell, William Henry Harrison, Adjutant General
Indianapolis: State of Indiana 1865-1869

All 8 volumes are at the first link. The second link is for page iii of Volume 1, which describes the contents of each volume. Volume 1 is a report of the contributions of Indiana toward the Civil War. Volumes 2 through 8 consist of rosters of Indiana officers and enlisted men. Rosters normally show name and rank, residence, and date of muster. A “Remarks” column contains information such as; killed or wounded, date of discharge, promotion, transfer etc.
According to this report, 24,416 officers and enlisted men from Indiana lost their lives during the Civil War.

A Fierce, Wild Joy: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Edward J. Wood, 48th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Wood, Edward J.
Knoxville: University of Tennessee 2007

“The ninety letters in this collection document the Civil War career of Col. Edward Jesup Wood, an officer of the 48th Indiana. Evocative and rich in detail, “A Fierce, Wild Joy” offers a view of the war from an officer’s perspective and provides important insights into the day-to-day administration of a Civil War regiment. Thoughtful, intelligent, and articulate, Wood was a keen observer of details during his time in the Western Theater. His letters vividly bring the war to life as he describes the events of some of its most important campaigns. Readers will appreciate Wood’s broad view of the military campaign, political exigencies surrounding the war, and the effects of war on both North and South.” – Publisher

Indiana in the Spanish-American War

Record of Indiana Volunteers in the Spanish-American War 1898-1899

Indiana Adjutant General, comp.
Indianapolis: State of Indiana 1900

The data here is organized by regiment, so finding information about a veteran will be easier if his unit is known. At the beginning of the book is a short history of the President’s call for volunteers and Indiana’s creation and recruitment of regiments.

Indiana and World War One

Report of the Woman’s Section of the Indiana State Council of Defense, from October, 1917 to April 11, 1919

Carlisle, Anne Studebaker
Indianapolis: Burford 1919

The subject organization appears to have been responsible for coordination of all voluntary women’s organizations in Indiana that contributed to war work during World War I. This report is of interest for its brief descriptions of the activities of each of those voluntary organizations, as well as some information about paid work that women carried out for the government. Much of the volume consists of reports from each county on activities there, including the names of the women who led every county committee. Indiana and World War I.

Indiana Public Opinion and the World War, 1914-1917

Cummins, Cedric Clisten
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau 1945

The War Purse of Indiana

The Five Liberty Loans and War Savings and Thrift Campaigns in Indiana during the World War

Greenough, Walter
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission 1922

War Service Text-Book for Indiana High Schools

Indiana State Council of Defense
Indianapolis: Indiana State Council of Defense 1918

Indiana and the First World War

Illustrated Review of 151st Infantry USA

Jones, C. Miller, comp.
New Orleans: American Publishing about 1919

Photos of an Indiana Regiment during WWI. Captions for photos, a “History of the Regiment” and a roster all start on page 56. Roster of Indiana soldiers.

Indiana in the War, an Address by Hon. Edward C. Toner of Anderson

Delivered October 25, 1918 at the Lincoln Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana

Toner, Edward Carleton

Indiana and World War I.

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