Henry O. Nightingale (1844-1919) and his family emigrated from Hawkhurst, County Kent, England, to the United States in 1849.
He, his parents, and his younger brother arrived in New York from London aboard the Margaret Evans on June 30 when Henry was
5 years old. The family settled in Rochester, New York. An abolitionist, Nightingale joined the Northern army at the start
of the American Civil War in 1861. In 1862 he joined the 108th New York Infantry Regiment. He fought in numerous battles,
including Gettysburg, and on March 1, 1864 he was promoted to corporal. This collection consists of three digital objects:
two handwritten diaries (1864-1865) and an undated portrait of Henry O. Nightingale with his saber and Union hat. A majority
of entries in both diaries describe the weather and Nightingale’s daily activities during his military service. Towards the
front of the 1864 diary is a foldout assemblage of several newspaper articles and poems. The 1864 diary also includes descriptions
of company and regimental movement, and of particular note is a description of Nightingale’s injury during the Battle of the
Wilderness in May of 1864, and the subsequent near-amputation of his left arm. Following this injury he spent 13 months in
recovery at Stanton General Hospital in Washington D.C. Of significant note to the 1865 diary is a firsthand account of Abraham
Lincoln's assassination at Ford's Theatre. Nightingale was released from the hospital on June 2nd, 1865, and he married on
July 6th, 1865.
Henry Oliver Nightingale was born in Hawkhurst, County Kent, England on June 6, 1844. He emigrated to the United States in
1849, arriving in New York from London aboard the Margaret Evans on June 30th at the age of 5. His parents, Henry and Hannah,
himself, and younger brother Charles settled in Rochester, New York.