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Austin C. Chapel Civil War diary

Call Number: RH MS P739


This 110-page Civil War diary of Austin C. Chapel, 5th Sergeant of Company G in Wisconsin's 13th Infantry Regiment, chronicles his daily activities in 1863 while guarding Union supplies in Tennessee. Documents which accompany the diary include Chapel's notice of appointment as 5th Sergeant, a 4-page letter written by Chapel in 1862 while posted at Fort Scott, Kansas, and his photograph in uniform.


  • Creation: 1863; also documents dated 1857, 1861, 1862


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Austin C. Chapel.

Austin C. Chapel was born September 15, 1830 in Richland County, Ohio to John and Martha (Rice) Chapel. In October 1853, Austin Chapel emigrated to Spring Grove, Green County, Wisconsin and engaged in farming. A year later, Chapel's widowed mother and seven of his siblings also emigrated from Ohio to Spring Grove.

On September 7, 1861, Chapel and his brother Reuben H. Chapel enlisted in Company G of Wisconsin's 13th Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Austin was appointed 5th Sergeant of Company G on October 17, 1861. His regiment left Wisconsin for Leavenworth, Kansas in January 1862, and in early February marched to Fort Scott, Kansas. In the summer of 1862, the regiment relocated to Kentucky, and by January 1863 was posted in Tennessee, where it guarded Union supplies, supply transport, and Confederate prisoners throughout the year. Chapel was discharged from service November 19, 1864, and returned to farming at Spring Grove, Wisconsin. On June 22, 1867, he married Madeline King, with whom he had seven children. Chapel died at Spring Grove in December 1893.


5 folders

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

In his Civil War diary, 5th Sergeant Austin C. Chapel describes his daily activities from January 1, 1863 to December 12, 1863 while stationed in Tennessee with Wisconsin's 13th Infantry Regiment. He chronicles his duties while guarding supply steamers between Fort Henry and Hamburg Landing, his subsequent guard duties at Fort Donelson, and movements of his regiment thereafter in guarding Union supplies. At RH MS P739.2 and RH MS P739.3 are three items from a pocket of the diary. They include two printed cards from Chapel's niece Viella (daughter of Chapel's brother James) and a promissory note written from Chapel to his brother Reuben H. Chapel on October 20, 1857.

Other documents at RH MS P739 include Chapel's 1861 notice of appointment to 5th Sergeant and March 6, 1862 letter written from Fort Scott, Kansas to James R. Coulter, husband of Chapel's sister Harriet. He describes various residents of Fort Scott, his health and duties, and conditions of the Kansas soldiers. At RH MS-P P739 is a photograph of two uniformed soldiers, one of which is Austin Chapel--the other possibly his brother Reuben H., who also served in Company G.

Physical Location

RH MS P739

Physical Location

RH MS-P P739

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Charles Apfelbaum, 2006

Guide to the Austin C. Chapel Civil War Diary
Austin C. Chapel Civil War diary
Finding aid prepared by mh, 2007; revised by cl, 2010; Finding aid encoded by mh, 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in <language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Chapel, Austin C, 1830-1893, Civil War diary, Kansas Collection, RH MS P739, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States