Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The "Roll of Honor" - Cataloging Notre Dame's Student-Soldiers

There have been some excellent recent studies that catalog and give biographical sketches of student-soldiers from various universities. Among the most recent include:

Crimson Confederates: Harvard Men Who Fought for the South
(2010) (read Drew Wagenhoffer's review here)

Yale's Confederates: A Biographical Dictionary (2009) (read Drew Wagenhoffer's review here), an excellent companion to Ellsworth Eliot's Yale in the Civil War (1938)

A good number of Notre Dame men left school to fight in the Civil War and some previous graduates did as well. Unfortunately, while Notre Dame did an outstanding job of preserving the history of the important contributions of Holy Cross priest and sisters who served as chaplains and nurses during the war, there is not a good comprehensive record of all the student-soldiers.

There are some threads of stories in late 19th-century issues of the school magazine, the Notre Dame Scholastic and does appear from some correspondence I have seen from the Notre Dame Archives that an effort was made in the late 1890s to track down the names, but even those efforts seemed to yield less than a dozen names of what are supposed to be many dozens more who actually went.

Fortunately, the University did a wonderful job of preserving their patriotic record in later wars.

I am building a database of names of Notre Dame's Civil War student-soldiers that I do know, and have the supporting documentation noted elsewhere. Some of these fellows have already been featured on this blog and many more of them will be.

If you know of Notre Dame students who fought in the Civil War not listed here, please drop me a line!

Timothy E. Howard - 12th Michigan Infantry (see my capsule bio here)
Orville T. Chamberlain - 74th Indiana Infantry (see my capsule bio here)
George Moon - 74th Indiana Infantry
John Schutt - 74th Indiana Infantry

James E. Taylor - 10th New York Infantry (more info coming soon!)
William F. Lynch - 58th Illinois Infantry (more info coming soon!)
Robert W. Healy - 58th Illinois Infantry (more info coming soon!)
John C. Lonergan - 58th Illinois Infantry (more info coming soon!)
Frank Baldwin - 44th Indiana Infantry (see my capsule biography here)

Felix Zeringue - 30th Louisiana Infantry (CSA) (see my capsule biography here)
Michael Quinlan - 27th Virginia Infantry (CSA) (see my capsule biography here and here)
John H. Fleming - 88th Indiana Infantry
James L. Winans - 100th Indiana Infantry

A good roster of the members of the "Continental Cadets," Notre Dame's pre-war military company, would be of great help, but we have not been able to find one yet.

Presently, I am also going through the 1861 Notre Dame catalog to find students who did not attend in 1862-65, then doing a
"Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System" search to see if they are on a regimental muster roll and using that as a starting point (only) to identify possible additional student-soldiers. Absolute verification would require an extensive look at Compiled Military Service Records, pension records, census records, Notre Dame enrollment records, etc., but a comprehensive Notre Dame Civil War "Roll of Honor" would be a great contribution to the brave men and to the university.

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated!

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