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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Woodlin, William P. (fl. 1863-1864) [Diary of an African American soldier in 8th Regiment United States Colored Troops, Company G]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06599 Author/Creator: Woodlin, William P. (fl. 1863-1864) Place Written: s.l. Type: Diaries & Journals Date: December 1863-October 1864 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Woodlin's brief entries describe camp life, his service with the regimental band as a horn player, several battles, the weather, equal pay with white soldiers, and the famous 54th Massachusetts Regiment, among many other topics. He describes his part in the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, where his regiment arrived two months after fighting began. The middle section of this journal includes blank leaves, followed by several pages of notes and lists. The diary was rebound, but includes the separated original cover.

People: Woodlin, William P., fl. 1863-1864.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Military History, African American History, African American Troops, Soldier's Diary, Music, Union Forces, Battle, Military Camp, Battle of Petersburg, Soldier's Pay

Sub Era: The American Civil War African Americans and Emancipation