Reception Opening Important New Civil War Collection and Honoring the Donor, Dr. McCall, Takes Place June 2

Lucius A. Gerry, 1st Lt., Battery B., 1st Maryland Light Artillery

The Society will host a reception on June 2 to honor Dr. Davy McCall, the generous donor of the Gerry Collection, an important new group of research materials pertaining to Cecil County.  The large collection, created between 1801 and 1931, contains original manuscripts related to the Civil War, Port Deposit, the Susquehanna, and the family during the time period.  The manuscripts include letters, journals, Civil War diaries and company record books, legal documents, African-American materials, and ephemera.

The reception formally opening this resource to the public takes place at the Historical Society at 135 E. Main Street., Elkton on June 2, 2012, at 2:00 p.m.  Light refreshments will be served.

A professional archivist, Jenifer Dolde, catalogued the collection and a 39 page, Google searchable, finding aid is available online.  Click here for an earlier blog post on the donation and click here to access the finding aid.

John Kilsavage, a rare book and manuscript dealer, in Havre de Grace said:  “Due to the large amount of information it [the collection] offers up from both ledgers and personal documents, researchers will be able to gain an amazing understanding of both personal life prior to the Civil War and after the war ends.  The consistency of the letters, being from one family and the vastness of the collection makes it one of a kind.”

The manuscripts specialist, talking specifically about the letters, added, “The content was amazing, both from personal observation to military logistics.  Letters discussed the loss of life to infection and illness, discussions and mentioning of both Stonewall Jack and Robert E. Lee, and actions in the field and kindness and bravery of the men.   The letters were extensive in their description and understanding of the complexity of war. ”

Please join the Society on June 2nd, as we honor the generous donor of this valuable records group and formally introduce the research materials to the public.


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