Edleman, R.J.

R. J. Edleman Letter
1 folder
Manuscript & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library
Finding Aid by: Nikki Stoddard Schofield, October 2011
Return to alphabetical List of All Online Finding Aids

Biographical History:

Richard. J. Edleman, a private throughout the war, was in the 12th Indiana Battery, Light Artillery. They were mustered out of service on July 7, 1865 in Indianapolis.  Page 360, Guide to Indiana Civil War Manuscripts, Indiana Civil War Centennial Commission, 1965.

Scope and Content Note:

Read before G.A.R. post on March 29, 1895 by R. J. Edleman, 12th Indiana Light Artillery. Paper delivered to “post commander and comrades” because Mr. Edleman was assigned the duty of preparing and reading a paper before the post (probably G.A.R. post). He did not speak about the battle scenes, but preferred to speak of his early recollections of the 1860 election, “a period of anxious expectation.” Because his father was paralyzed, he was not able to leave home when other men did. They did not expect “a protracted struggle of four years in which over 4,000,000 men were engaged and almost countless millions of money spent and rivers of bloodshed.” When his father died, R. J. enlisted. He was reluctant to leave his mother, grieving over her husband’s death, but he “did return to that mother with a badly shattered constitution and she nursed me back to partial health.”  

On February 5, 1862, R. J. was in Indianapolis, and the next day was mustered into the 12th Indiana Light Artillery. At Jeffersonville, they camped on land belonging to Jesse D. Bright, “that old Copperhead who was previously expelled from the U.S. Senate for treasonable utterances.” He rode boats on the Ohio and Cumberland rivers. They landed at Fort Donaldson a few days after the battle was fought. Ladies from Illinois were at the landing, awaiting transportation for their dead soldiers. At Nashville, Tennessee, their blankets were frozen in the morning, so they could stand them up like boards. Men who had measles when they left Louisville died in Nashville. They went to Camp Brownlow on Granny White Pike, where they remained until being assigned guard duty at the state capital, “a magnificent edifice.” He saw Andrew Johnson, “the accidental president” who “made treason odious.” Johnson was military governor of Tennessee. R. J. often saw Mrs. Polk, the widow of the president who was buried in Nashville. He visited the Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s home, nine or ten miles from the city. R.J. went to Shiloh on the Tennessee River that “never to be forgotten Sabbath morning of April 6, 1862.” They exchanged their field guns for a four-gun battery of 32-pound caliber and marched to Corinth, where they remained until the siege closed on May 30. Then they returned to Nashville via Iuka, Tuscumbia, Florence, Athens, and Huntsville, Alabama.     

Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.  

Item Listing

Mar. 29, 1895 Transcript of speech at G.A.R. Post meeting   

Collection Information

Size of Collection:

1 folder, 1 item (11 pages)

Collection Dates:



Miss Marie Adams, Fortville, Indiana, May 15, 1968.

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.


Materials are entirely in English.

Alternate Formats:


Related Holdings: