University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

Guide to the James C. Woodworth Collection

MSN/CW 1014


Collection Summary

Title: James C. Woodworth collection
Dates: 1861-1900(bulk 1861-1865)
Collection No.: MSN/CW 1014
Creator: Woodworth, James C. (James Clinton), 1839-1900
Extent: 3 containers and 1 flat storage container; 3 linear feet
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: Civil War papers and realia of James C. Woodworth of Worcester, Massachusetts, who from 1861 to 1864 served in Co. H of the 25th Massachusetts Infantry, rising to lieutenant. Included in the collection are a 6-volume wartime diary and an album containing 73 tintype portraits of members of Co. H.

Selected Search Terms

Soldiers -- Massachusetts -- Diaries
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories -- Massachusetts Infantry -- 25th -- Sources
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Photography
United States. Army. Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, 25th (1861-1865)
North Carolina -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], James C. Woodworth Collection, [Folder no.], Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Woodworth collection were purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2015, from Jordan Antiquarian Books of Dorset, Vermont. Arranged and described 2015, by George Rugg. Finding aid 2015, by George Rugg.

Biographical Note

James Clinton Woodworth was born on 10 May 1839 in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of the carpenter James S. Woodworth and his wife Amelia Stowall. Woodworth attended school in Worcester and Boston and was working as a clerk in Worcester when he enlisted in Co. H, 25th Massachusetts Infantry (13 September 1861). He served with the 25th Massachusetts for more than three years, ultimately being commissioned 2nd lieutenant (1 January 1863) and 1st lieutenant (10 May 1864). For much of the war the regiment served in the Department of North Carolina (later the Department of Virginia and North Carolina), going on frequent expeditions from its base around New Bern. Among Woodworth's most significant engagements in North Carolna were Roanoke Island (8 February 1862); New Bern (14 March 1862); Whitehall (16 December 1862); Goldsboro (17 December 1862); and Gum Swamp (22 May 1863). In April 1864 the regiment was attached to 18th Army Corps in Virginia, and suffered significant casualties at Arrowfield Church and Drewry's Bluff in the Bermuda Hundred campaign before being decimated in the general assault at Cold Harbor on 3 June. Here Woodworth was shot in the left wrist, effectively ending his active service. He was discharged from the army on 20 October 1864. In 1865 he moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, ultimately assuming a position as assistant cashier at the Old National Bank. He was very active in veterans affairs, serving as quartermaster of G.A.R. Post 271 in Fort Wayne. A passage in his obituary, in the Fort Wayne News for 18 January 1900, states: "Mr. Woodworth seems to have kept a record of nearly every man in the regiment, and during the following years, by this means, he was able to be of great service to his comrades who had no other available proof of matters they desired to establish." In 1866 Woodworth married Martha Morris, with whom he had two children.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of materials preserved by Woodworth and his heirs relating to Woodworth's service in the Civil War, including manuscripts, printed ephemera, photographs, and realia. Notable among the manuscripts is a personal diary of Woodworth's in six volumes, recording events from 25 September 1861 to 13 May 1865. The narrative runs to about 800 pages, with no significant chronological gaps. Woodworth did not always write on a daily basis, but compensated for this by providing retrospective day-by-day narratives covering events since his last entry. This practice is especially typical of his accounts of expeditions and campaigns. For example, a narrative of 17 pages in vol. 1, covering events of 6 to 14 February 1862 (the capture of Roanoke Island), was all written on the 14th. The diary's prose is supplemented by around 25 carefully rendered maps, plans, and other drawings, showing military actions, camps and bivouacs, and other subjects. These drawings often fill entire pages, and may be accompanied by keys identifying their various elements. The many plans of campsites are especially notable. Another unusual survival is a photo album containing gem-size (1 inch high) wartime tintype portraits of 67 different members of Co. H, 25th Massachusetts Infantry. Also present in the collection are miscellaneous military documents of Woodsworth's, a few cartes-de-visite of army figures, and Woodsworth's cap badge, shoulder straps, and uniform buttons.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged in 5 series: 1. James C. Woodworth Diary; 2. Miscellaneous Manuscripts; 3. Printed Ephemera; 4. Photographs; and 5. Realia. Typically, there is one item per folder.

Container List

  • Series 1: James C. Woodworth Diary 
    • Folder 1 (MSN/CW 1014-1) James C. Woodworth diary, vol. 1, 1861 September 25-1862 May 11. 1 vol., 15 cm., 53 leaves, with 105 pages of manuscript.
      Includes Woodworth's account of Burnside's expedition to North Carolina, including the battles of Roanoke Island and New Bern. Sketches include: map of operations on Roanoke Island, 8-9 February 1862 (21v); plan of camp on Roanoke (22v); plan of Camp Foster (30r); deck plan of the New York (31r); plan of camp at the brickyard at New Bern (39v); plan of camp near Red House (53r).
      • Folder 2 (MSN/CW 1014-2) James C. Woodworth diary, vol. 2, 1862 May 22-1862 November 12. 1 vol., 15 cm., 47 leaves, with 95 pages of manuscript.
        Includes Woodworth's account of the regiment's expedition to Trenton and Pollocksville, North Carolina, 24-26 July 1862. Sketches include: vicinity of New Bern (31r); Camp Wellington and surroundings (41v).
        • Folder 3 (MSN/CW 1014-3) James C. Woodworth diary, vol. 3, 1862 November 23-1863 March 30. 1 vol., 17 cm., 38 leaves, with 77 pages of manuscript.
          Sketches include: Harrison House and vicinity (p. 5); plan of tent no. 2 (p. 25); bivouacs of March 6-8 and March 8-10 (p. 55); sketch of Camp Oliver, New Bern (p. 57); sketch of no. 1 tent (p. 58).
          • Folder 4 (MSN/CW 1014-4) James C. Woodworth diary, vol. 4, 1863 March 30-1863 August 2. 1 vol., 15 cm., 61 leaves, with 121 pages of manuscript.
            Sketches include: Gum Swamp (23v); plan of Core Creek (20v); Swift Creek expedition (47r); map showing route of expedition from Winton to Harrelsville (60v); plan of Winton (61r).
            • Folder 5 (MSN/CW 1014-5) James C. Woodworth diary, vol. 5, 1863 August 3-1864 April 13. 1 vol., 15 cm., 99 leaves, with 194 pages of manuscript.
              Includes Woodworth's accounts of duty at Newport News and Portsmouth, Virginia.
              • Folder 6 (MSN/CW 1014-6) James C. Woodworth diary, vol. 6, 1864 April 15-1865 May 13. 1 vol., 15 cm., 105 leaves, with 207 pages of manuscript.
                Includes Woodworth's account of the Bermuda Hundred campaign, including the battles of Port Walthall Junction (6-7 May 1864), Arrowhead Church (9-10 May) and Drewry's Bluff (14-16 May); the battle of Cold Harbor, where he was wounded (3 June 1864); subsequent service in North Carolina in September-October 1864; and civilian life in Massachusetts and Indiana (October 1864-May 1865. Sketches include: map of Smithfield, Virginia (6v-7r); plan of Camp Wellington (10v-11r); battle of Port Walthal Junction, 6 May (24r); battle of Port Walthal Junction, 7 May (26r); battle of Arrowhead Church (34v-35r); camp at Beechwood Station, North Carolina (64v); battle of Cold Harbor (65v-66r).
              • Series 2: Miscellaneous Manuscripts 
                • Folder 7 (MSN/CW 1014-7-F1) James C. Woodworth: Commission as 2nd lieutenant, 25th Massachusetts Infantry, 1862 November 5. 1 document, partly printed, with endorsement.
                  With signed endorsement, on p. 2 of bifolium, of Col. Josiah Pickett, 25th Massachusetts Infantry, dated 27 January 1863.
                  • Folder 8 (MSN/CW 1014-8) James C. Woodworth: Certificate of discharge, 1862 December 31. 1 document, partly printed, with endorsements.
                    Discharge by reason of promotion to 2nd lieutenant.
                    • Folder 9 (MSN/CW 1014-9-F1) James C. Woodworth: Muster-in roll, 1863 January 1. 1 document, partly printed.
                      As 2nd lieutenant, to 25th Massachusetts Infantry.
                      • Folder 10 (MSN/CW 1014-10) James C. Woodworth: Certificate of discharge, 1864 October 20. 1 document, partly printed.
                        Discharge by reason of expiration of term.
                        • Folder 11 (MSN/CW 1014-11) James C. Woodworth: Pass, 1862 November 5. 1 document, partly printed.
                          Pass issued to Woodworth to City Point, Virginia, for the purpose of rejoining regiment.
                          • Folder 12 (MSN/CW 1014-12) Manuscript: "Memorial to James C. Woodworth", 1900 February 2. 1 item, 3 pages.
                            Testimonial to Woodworth read at the 2 February 1900 meeting of Anthony Wayne Post 271, Grand Army of the Republic.
                            • Folder 13 (MSN/CW 1014-13) Miscellaneous manuscripts, n.d. 4 items.
                            • Series 3: Printed Ephemera 
                              • Folder 14 (MSN/CW 1014-14) Miscellaneous printed ephemera, n.d. 8 items.
                                Includes 3 pieces of currency and 1 Confederate postage stamp.
                              • Series 4: Photographs 
                                • Folder 15 (MSN/CW 1014-15) Photograph album: Portraits of members of Co, H, 25th Massachusetts Infantry, 1865. 1 vol., 9 cm., 12 leaves, with 73 gem-size ferrotypes.
                                  The album was manufactured by J. E. Tilton and Co., Boston. Its leaves contain openings designed to hold up to 80 gem-size ferrotypes. The date "Jan. 23, '65" is written on the title page; Woodworth presumably put the book together after his release from the army in October 1864. Most of the 73 ferrotypes show their subjects in uniform. Portraits are arranged in alphabetical order; they are identified in Woodworth's hand, on the album pages beneath the portraits. Photos are id'd as follows: Charles W. Adams; Charles H. Ashby; Willard D. Blanchard; George A. Bixby; Francis Bridges; William E. Bryant, Jr.; William H. Bullard; Charles L. Burnham; Willard Cheney, Jr.; Walter S. Clemence; George A. Coffin; Robert S. Crane; Charles F. Curtis; Charles D. Dean; George M. Eveleth; William H. Eveleth; Thomas Finchan; Charles F. Fisher (2); Joseph Flagg; William P. French; Dexter F. Gleason; Frederic L. Gates; Edward Gleason; Thomas Gleason; Julius A. Green; Braman Grout; George L. Grout; Samuel T. Hall; Walter H. Hayden; Lyman E. Hill; Julius D. Hill; Charles Holman; Charles F. Howard; Albert S. Hurd; Amasa D. Hyde; Henry S. Johnson; Palmer P. Johnson; Stephen B. Kemp; J. Warren Kendall; George E. Kent; Edward R. Lawrence; David O. Lovell; Lorenzo K. Lovell; Gilbert L. McKnight; Randall Mann; James T. Maynard; Aaron B. Metcalf; John D. Mirick; David Mitchell; Joseph Neff; Leroy D. Noyes; Charles D. Robinson; Edward P. Rockwood; Frank L. Smith; George C. Smith; Albert Spooner; Edward N. Stearns; George W. Stone; Henry H. Ware; Jonathan G. Warren; William A. Watson; H. Arthur White; William O. Wilder; Noah Wilcox; George P. Wood; Lawson D. Wood; James C. Woodworth (2). Portraits of Charles L. Rice and Charles S. Seagrave are no longer present. Four additional portraits are unidentified. Individual photos are around 1 inch high.
                                  • Folder 16 (MSN/CW 1014-16) Carte-de-visite: Portrait of Lt. James C. Woodworth, 1865. 1 item.
                                    • Folder 17 (MSN/CW 1014-17) Photograph: E. J. Woodworth, Fort Wayne, Indiana, ca. 1898. 1 item.
                                      The subject is James C. Woodworth's son.
                                      • Folder 18 (MSN/CW 1014-18) Carte-de-visite: "The Defenders of Our Union", 1862. 1 item.
                                        Group portrait of the Federal military leadership.
                                        • Folder 19 (MSN/CW 1014-19) Carte-de-visite: Portrait of Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, n.d. 1 item.
                                          • Folder 20 (MSN/CW 1014-20) Carte-de-visite: Portrait of Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks, n.d. 1 item.
                                            • Folder 21 (MSN/CW 1014-21) Carte-de-visite: Portrait of Henry Holland, n.d. 1 item.
                                              • Folder 22 (MSN/CW 1014-22) Carte-de-visite: Unidentified Union soldier, n.d. 1 item.
                                                • Folder 15 (MSN/EA 0502-15) Real photo postcard: Camp, n.d. 1 item.
                                                • Series 5: Realia 
                                                  • Folder 24 (MSN/CW 1014-24) [James C. Woodworth]: Officer's cap badge, 25th Massachusetts Infantry, ca. 1863. 1 item.
                                                    • Folder 25 (MSN/CW 1014-25) [James C. Woodworth]: 2nd lieutenant's U. S. Army shoulder straps (infantry), 1863. 2 items, approx. 5 x 2 inches.
                                                      Inscriptions on the back of each strap, dated 28 February 1863, identify these as Woodworth's.
                                                      • Folder 26 (MSN/CW 1014-26) [James C. Woodworth]: 2nd lieutenant's U. S. Army shoulder straps (infantry), ca. 1863. 2 items, approx. 4 x 1 1/2 inches.
                                                        • Folder 27 (MSN/CW 1014-27) [James C. Woodworth]: 2nd lieutenant's U. S. Army shoulder straps (infantry), ca. 1863. 2 items, approx. 3 x 1 inches.
                                                          • Folder 28 (MSN/CW 1014-28) [James C. Woodworth]: U. S. Army Infantry buttons, overcoat size, ca. 1863. 8 items. Gilt, 23 mm.
                                                            Backmark: "D. Evans & Co. / Attleboro Mass."
                                                            • Folder 29 (MSN/CW 1014-29) [James C. Woodworth]: U. S. Army Infantry buttons, cuff size, ca. 1863. 4 items. Gilt, 15 mm.
                                                              Backmark: "D. Evans & Co. / Superfine"
                                                              • Folder 29A (MSN/CW 1014-29A) Confederate North Carolina state seal button, overcoat size, ca. 1863. 1 item. Gilt, 23 mm.
                                                                Backmark: "S A Myers / Richmond Va."
                                                                • Folder 30 (MSN/CW 1014-30) [James C. Woodworth]: GAR membership medal, with ribbon and pinback, n.d. 1 item.
                                                                  • Folder 31 (MSN/CW 1014-31) [James C. Woodworth]: 25th Massachusetts Infantry annual reunion ribbon, 1899 October 17. 1 item.
                                                                    • Item 32 (MSN/CW 1014-32) [James C. Woodworth]: Foot locker, n.d. 1 item.
                                                                      "J C. WOODWORTH" stencilled on left side.