Simpson Library in Mechanicsburg, PA Digitizes Civil War Records
Recently, the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library digitized three record books belonging to the Grand Army of the Republic, Col. H.I. Zinn Post, No. 415, an association for Civil War veterans. The project was made possible by a $2,500 grant from the Mechanicsburg Area Foundation, a regional foundation of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, and now enables researchers, teachers and students worldwide to access theses resources online via the Internet Archive website.
One record book contains “Personal War Sketches,” with pages of handwritten narratives of the veterans’ time in military service, while the other two volumes contain meeting minutes dating from 1887 – when the group began meeting – to 1900.
In addition to the newly digitized records, the Simpson Public Library also has another connection to the Civil War through its building’s history. In June of 1863, when Brig. Gen. Albert Jenkins and his cavalry troops occupied Mechanicsburg for two days, the library building – then a grain warehouse – was used as a hospital and served as a source of grain for the cavalry mounts.
The records can be found online at the following links, or by visiting http://archive.org and searching under “GAR Post 415” or “Personal War Sketches.”
Personal War Sketches - http://archive.org/details/personalwarsketches
Twenty-first century technology is making it possible for the world to view nineteenth century first-hand information.