DeWitt County Civil War books to be digitized

Vespasian Warner Library District Receives Grant from Illinois Prairie Community Foundation

CLINTON – More items will be added to the digital archives at the Vespasian Warner Public Library District with support of a digitization grant of $1,888 from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation. The funding will allow the library to transcribe and digitize three handwritten books, which show the contributions of DeWitt County men who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Two of the books are muster roll books for the 20th Illinois Regiment, Company E, which record the names of the men who served in the company, where they fought, who was wounded, killed, or deserted. The third is a book of personal experiences created in 1891 by the local chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic. These are first-hand accounts of the contributions DeWitt County made to preserve the Union, which do not exist elsewhere.

All three books are unique and irreplaceable. Because of the nature of the books and their fragile condition, they are not currently accessible to the public. However, through the transcription and digitization process, the books will be made available for everyone to enjoy.

The Vespasian Warner Public Library District has more than 900 local history items in its collection which can be accessed for free at Transcription of the books has already been started and the final digitized items will be uploaded to the archive in the spring of 2019. 

For more information, call (217) 935-5174.

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