Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Morris, M. mss., 1856-1903, consist of correspondence and documents relating to Civil War soldier Mark M. Morris, 1841-1902. Morris was born in Knightstown, Henry County, Indiana and determined to join the battle against slavery early in 1861. He joined Company A, 57th regiment of the Indiana Infantry Volunteers, December 13, 1861. Having served the three year term of the regiment, he rejoined in 1864 and was promoted to Sergeant. June 1, 1865, Governor Oliver P. Morton signed his appointment as 2nd Lieutenant and then as 1st Lieutenant on June 12 of that year. His discharge came in Victoria, Texas, December 14, 1865.

The earliest items in the collection relate to James Newby and family: an 1856 land sale document by Joseph and Rebecca Pearson of Henry County, Indiana to James Newby, and two verses, undated, by Delphia Pearson (later Mrs. James Newby). The Morris portion of the collection follows and includes three letters to "Aunt Mollie" (Mary J. Manlove) during the war - two from Mark Morris and one from W.J. Morris; the signed appointments of Mark Morris as Sergeant, November 1, 1864, 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant, his discharge, and a list "...of Comrades of the 57 Regt. Ind. Vol." The post war documents include a property tax receipt, January 31, 1873; a letter to Mark Morris from George Morris in 1881; two certificates of election of Mark Morris as Trustee for Wayne Township, Henry County, Indiana, April 1886 and April 1888; a handwritten 1890 statement by Mark Morris about Robert Allison; a certificate of election to the office of Recorder, Henry County, signed by Governor Claude Matthews and Secretary of State William D. Owen, November 1896; a 1902 typed copy of Morris's obituary; and a 1903 pension certificate for Sarah E. Morris, widow of Mark M. Morris. The last item in this portion is an eight page undated text of a talk, probably by Morris but unsigned, regarding his history of joining the army and denouncing the "Democrat" party, and relating a few of his war experiences. The last item in the collection is an undated printed broadside that appears to be the text of a talk delivered at a reunion of the 57th regiment and is possibly by Mark Morris.

Gift. Matthew C. Morris. Bloomington, IN 2001

Collection size: 22 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.