Edgar McLean Papers

Institution: Newberry Library
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610
Phone: 312-255-3506
Date: 1859-1868
Extent: .4 Linear Feet
Finding Aid

Biographical/Historical Note:
Civil War Union soldier and farmer. Edgar McLean was born in Illinois and joined the war effort as a young man. McLean was recruited for the 122nd Illinois Infantry, which was organized in August 1862. In the 122nd he started as a teamster and ended as a private. The 122nd participated in a number of Civil War duties: guarding supplies and railroads, battles with rebel forces near Huntington Tenn., at Tupelo Miss., and at Nashville, Tenn. However, McLean was promoted on December 16 1863 to become a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Alabama Colored Infantry, which later became the 110th US Colored Infantry. The 110th took part in actions such as guarding railroads in northern Alabama and performing general guard duty in Tennessee until it was mustered out on February 6 1866. After his Civil War Service McLean returned to his hometown of Kane, Ill. He was respected in the community, although some begrudged the fact that he had abandoned his local regiment to serve in a colored regiment.

Scope and Content Note:
Correspondence, writings, and official military documents of Civil War 1st Lieutenant Edgar McLean, 1859-1868.

All correspondence is incoming from relatives and friends to Edgar McLean. During this time Sarah F. McLean (and most of the other relatives) lived in Jersey and Macoupin counties in Illinois. There is some correspondence from McLean’s cousin, James S. Jennings, who served with the 137th Indiana Infantry. The correspondence mostly details local weddings and deaths and family news. Some of the correspondence deals with local military news (the gathering of Rebel prisoners, local actions towards the peace movement) as well as family financial matters, family and neighborhood sicknesses and outbreaks, and Sarah McLean’s interest in and respect for clairvoyants. There are also a few pieces of poetry and verse, as well as a number of official military documents that mostly detail the return of and accounting for equipment after the war.

Related Material: None