Hiram Scofield Papers

Institution: Newberry Library
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610
Phone: 312-255-3506
Date: 1857-1906
Extent: 2.5 Linear Feet
Finding Aid

Biographical/Historical Note:
Washington, Iowa, lawyer and Union officer. Born in Saratoga County, N.Y. in 1830, and a graduate of Union College and Albany Law School, Scofield emigrated to Little Rock, Ark., in 1856 and by 1857 had opened a law office in Washington, Iowa, where he remained until his death in 1906. In Apr., 1861, Scofield enlisted as a private in Co. H of the 2d Iowa Infantry, which first served in Missouri. Promoted to 2nd and 1st lieut., he commanded his company at Fort Donelson (Feb. 1862). He was appointed Asst. Adjt. Gen., serving on Gen. Lauman’s staff at Shiloh (wounded), Corinth, and in Mississippi, and on Gen. John McArthur’s staff at Vicksburg and Memphis. From May 5, 1863 to Jan. 5, 1866, Scofield commanded the 8th Louisiana Regt. of Colored Troops (later renamed the 47th U.S. Colored Infantry), which he recruited and organized at Lake Providence, La. Assigned to Vicksburg until March, 1864, the regiment then joined Gen. Canby’s division, with Scofield commanding the 2d brigade. It participated in the capture and occupation of Yazoo City in March and returned to Vicksburg. In Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas during the latter months of 1864, the 47th then served in Florida and Alabama, seeing action at Fort Blakely and occupying Mobile. After June, 1865, it was stationed at various Louisiana locations, and was mustered out in Baton Rouge.

Scope and Content Note:
Forty-four pocket diaries, 1857-1906 (lacking 1859-1861, 1868, 1877, 1884) documenting Hiram Scofield's Civil War service and his personal and professional life as a Washington, Iowa, attorney. Also a few letters to his young daughters (including one from "Old Chris" or Santa Claus) and other miscellany.

War diaries describe the weather, the life of an officer (accomodations, books read, card playing), the movements and engagements of Scofield's regiment (Fort Donelson, Fort Blakely, Mobile), news of the wider war, visits of Grant and other generals, and troop conditions and morale. Of particular interest are Scofield's observations about the training and activities of his African American regiment.

Related Material: None