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Beloit Students in the Civil War

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The American Civil War launched the United States into turmoil when it began in 1861. By the end of the war in 1865, an estimated 620,000 soldiers were dead as a result of the war. Beloit College was not immune to the conflict, and many men associated with the college joined the Union Army.

Four hundred and seventy-nine soldiers from Beloit College served during the Civil War. Of these men, most were young and one hundred and eighty-six were privates. Fifty-three of the four hundred and seventy-nine did not come back alive.

On July 14th, 1869, Memorial Hall (now part of the Logan Museum of Anthropology) was dedicated to those Beloit soldiers who served in the Civil War. As part of this dedication, many relatives of Beloit soldiers sent in letters and memoirs to the College, recalling their lives and service.

Some of these young men had extensive letters written by family and friends memorializing them in text; the college still has these letters in its possession and some are transcribed for this project. Using these texts, as well as accounts from external sources, this exhibit seeks to map the movements of Beloit soldiers during their service in the Union Army. Five students have been selected for the purposes of this exhibit: Dudley Cowles, Edmund Dawes, Quincy Pollock, Whitney Tibbals, and Frank Edgar Woodruff.