Donald B. Roberts Paper
1862 – 1864, 1964
Manuscript & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library
Finding Aid by: Nikki Stoddard Schofield, December 2011
Donald B. Roberts wrote this 60-page paper, entitled “Why Were They There?” for his Social Science Course at Ball State Teachers College, on November 18, 1964. The typed paper includes a detailed map of the 75th movements at the Battle of Chickamauga. Donald’s subtitle for the paper is: “A study of the soldiers within the 75th Regiment of Indiana Infantry Volunteers from Roanoke to Chickamauga.”
Donald relies on 43 letters written by Private Uriah J. Loop, rifleman of Company H., 75th Indiana, to his sister, from his enlistment on August 6, 1862, at Roanoke, Indiana, until March 2, 1864, while recovering from a crippling wound received at the Battle of Chickamauga.
Uriah was the son of Jacob and Elizabeth Loop, who had fourteen children. Uriah was born in 1846. The Loop Family came from Starke County, Ohio, in 1853, by way of the Wabash and Erie Canal. They bought 80 acres from David Voorhees, a mile and a half north of Roanoke, for $1,400.
In the Introduction, Mr. Roberts asks: “What impelled the volunteers of the 75th Indiana to enlist and stay? How good were they as soldiers?”
The paper is divided into seven chapters, with five appendixes. A map showing the movements of the 75th movements at Chickamauga follows page 57 and is not numbered. Mr. Roberts discusses the counties from which the men of the 75th came, before quoting the first letter, dated August 26, 1862, Camp Love, Kentucky.
In Uriah’s letter dated September 16th from Camp Wild Cat, he tells his sister: “tell the girls I send them my best respects and not to get married till the soldiers get back and then they can get an honorable husband.”
On August 8, 1862, Margaret “Maggie” wrote to her brother Uriah from Locust Grove, Indiana. It is rare to find a letter to a soldier, as Mr. Roberts explains.
Chapter IV is about Indiana, with enlistments, politics, and conspirators. On page 23, Donald quote’s Uriah’s letter telling about General Jefferson C. Davis killing General Nelson in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Roberts discusses Indiana’s stand on slavery.
In Chapter V, entitled “A Broad Highway to the South,” Donald tells about Uriah being in the hospital at Bowling Green, Kentucky, with an unspecified illness. Uriah arrived at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in January 1862, after the battle was over.
Chapter VI is called “The 75th in Combat,” and tells about the Tullahoma Campaign. From a camp, 10 miles from the Alabama line, at Deckard Station, Tennessee, Uriah wrote: “I think that the war is nearer to a close than ever but I want to stay in Dixie till I help eat up the Secesh water melons.” This chapter tells the “dark and bloody story of Chickamauga” (page 47). The battle of September 19 and 20, 1863 is recounted by Mr. Roberts on pages 47 to 50. Private Loop was among the 21 casualties in Company H. A bullet shattered his thigh, and he was left on the field where he was captured. Paroled, Uriah recovered in the hospital at Madison, Indiana.
In the concluding chapter, Donald states that “if the country can only be held together, everything will come out all right in the end.” This was the philosophy of Uriah, as he wrote to his sister from the hospital.
The paper ends on page 54, but has a bibliography, detailed movements of the 75th, and a map of Chickamauga battlefield.
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November 18, 1964 “Why Were They There?” (75th IN Volunteer Regiment, Company H.) by Donald B. Roberts.
Size of Collection: 1 folder, 60 pages
Collection Dates: 1862 – 1864, 1964
Provenance: Donald B. Roberts, November 22, 1967.
Access : The collection is open for research use
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in English.
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings: None