Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Dewey, Orville S. (1861-1902) [Collection of Orville S. Dewey, 33rd regiment, New York, light artillery] [decimalized]

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02161 Author/Creator: Dewey, Orville S. (1861-1902) Place Written: [various places] Type: Header Record Date: 1861-1902 Pagination: 184 items approx., 37 envelopes

Nicknamed "Tom" by his family and coming from Buffalo, Dewey served in the army of the Potomac, primarily in Washington at an instructional camp. Many of the letters are addressed to his sister Mary "Mollie" McLean. Dewey stayed in the Army after the war and died of yellow fever in New Orleans during an epidemic only 5 months after re-enlisting in 1867. The collection includes mention of the Petersburg campaign (1864), and includes a carte de visite (unsigned) of Colonel J.P. Gould, who led the 54th Mass. (Colored) Regt., and of his commander William Brewster. Partial inventory available.

Organization: 1) letters 1861-1862 Penninsula campaign, 2) letters 1863 (instructional camp, Pennsylvania), 3) letters 1864 Grant's Petersburg campaign, 4) postwar letters 1865, 1867, 1869 (including 5/26/1867 ALS from Texas mentioning Custer), 5) miscellaneous: 2 cartes de visite with 1/23/1861 ALS and 3/27/1864 ALS with lock of hair, 6) documents relating to his commissioning and re-enlistment, and the death of his brother-in-law William McLean, member of Custer's 5th Cavalry, 7) Dewey family papers, including deeds and some letters, 8) Dewey's diary for 1864, with small photos of commanders pasted into front pastedown.

Includes 176 letters, 4 certificates, 1 telegram, 1 diary, 1 page of calculations, 37 envelopes, 3 carte de visites and 1 lock of hair.

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources