Zines of the War of the Rebellion
October 7, 2012 6:54 PM   Subscribe

"THE UNION" - a pre-1990 Civil War history and/or hobbyist newsletter?

I have been exploring my family's experiences in the Civil War in Missouri. I have done this occasionally, primarily online, over the past 20 years, and the the past five or so, the amazing amount of material that has come online is simply flabbergasting. I can read the same newspapers my ancestors did, for god's sake.

However, the resources that are digitized are, as may be expected, monolithic governmental resources, such as the Official Records or to varying degrees local-authority information such as land probate and the like.

Before the internet, people of all professional disciplines published their research in small circulation newsletters. It was a common way for historical research to proceed, and these newsletters were very frequently something like 'zines. The lack of academic authority associated with these publications has put them down toward the bottom of the list of things to digitize, sadly.

My mother has some photocopies of a photograph of one of my relations and a fellow officer in uniform, published accompanying a plea for more information concerning the depicted parties, apparently duplicated from one such publication.

The plea implicitly identifies the newsletter as "THE UNION."

For obvious reasons, Googling "Missouri newsletter civil war THE UNION" does not produce helpful links.

Does anyone know more concerning this newsletter, or, failing that, can anyone point me to a zine-and-newsletter searchable database that has sufficient depth? I fervently hope that whoever ended up with the Factsheet Five archives has had the vision to extend the data to vernacular publications in general.

Thanking you in advance,

I remain,

Yr Ob'dt Sv't,
posted by mwhybark to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Would you mind posting a picture or a scan of the images you do have? Are there any authors listed? You might be able to track down it through the bylines.

I did find this site for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, which publishes a newsletter called the Missouri Unionist; even if it's not the same, if the one you're looking for is from Missouri, I suspect the website's devotees would know the publication and be able to provide you more information. The Kansas City Public Library also has quite an extensive list of Civil War resources here (my apologies if you've seen this) and you could contact the librarians in charge of it to see if they have any links to local historical communities and newsletters. It's possible the State Archives or Historical Societies might also have such materials in-house, even if their catalogs aren't listed in WorldCat or bigger internet databases. Good luck!
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:48 PM on October 7, 2012

Response by poster: Good lead, and I will touch base with The Unionist.

*I* don't have the images or photocopies, my mom does. Which she promises to scan and send. But in the meantime, I thought this might help.

The guys in the picture are not anoymous or unknown. They are Captains Peter Hagan and Levi Whybark of companies E & F of the 12th Missouri Cavalry. At the time THE UNION appealed for info about the gents, all they had to go on was the photo's inscription.

Today, it's, well, not trivial exactly, but not hard in the least to locate photos of each man's service records and significant portions of their wartime correspondence. My thinking is, as the newsletter publisher came across this personal memento, it seems likely after asking they may have found more.
posted by mwhybark at 8:42 PM on October 7, 2012

The Missouri History Museum (in St Louis) also has a large research wing. Here are some links.
posted by scrambles at 6:00 AM on October 8, 2012

Response by poster: I think I have a decent lead.

The photocopy shows IBM Selectric typescript and mostly recounts, in a mildly chatty way, some events of the war in and around Perryville, Missouri. There is a page number in the lower left, "61." It is in a different font than the typescript.

My conclusion is that the page is from a book which collected a newsletter. The copy on the page does explicitly refer to running out of room and getting to some more info "next week," which seems like quite a schedule for retelling hundred year old news.

Googling for "Perry County newspapers Civil War Missouri" produced multiple hits for a Civil War era paper, the Perryville Weekly Union. Sadly, no complete browsable online archive appears to exist, but the paper was microfilmed, and the page I have states that the summarization of the paper's contents was derived from microfilm housed at the state historical society.

Digging a bit more, I found the website for the Perry County Historical Society. Its site lists a number of publications, including a 79-page publication devoted to abstracts from the Perryville Weekly Union in the era we are concerned with.

I bet a donut that's the source of my scanned page. I've dropped a line.

The page implicitly identifies the holder of the photograph by name, and I have been able to locate his family and trace his likely reason for having the picture; both his father and Levi moved to Oklahoma after the war. He would have been very much alive at the time the page was written. I hope his kids know where his papers are.

So to summarize, I'm close and awaiting further information from correspondents in the field.

I remain faithfully,

Your ob'dt sv't,
posted by mwhybark at 10:45 PM on October 8, 2012

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