The collection consists of correspondence (including one letter from Ambrose Bierce to a family member), photographs, maps,
field notes, receipts, dispatches, telegrams, and printed material, chiefly relating to the Civil War career of Bierce as
a surveyor as well as his extended family in Indiana, especially sister Almeda Sophia Bierce Pittenger (the original source
of this collection), father Marcus Aurelius and brothers Albert and Addison Bierce.
Ambrose Gwinett Bierce was born in Meigs County, Ohio on June 24, 1842, the tenth child of Marcus Aurelius and Laura Sherwood
Bierce. Little is known of his childhood; he became a printer's apprentice in Kosciusko County, Indiana, before entering the
Kentucky Military Institute in 1859. Shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War, Bierce was a laborer and waiter in Elkhart,
Indiana. Bierce enlisted in the 9th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers following Lincoln's call for volunteers and served for
nearly the duration. Bierce was one of the few war veteran writers to have such front-lines experience, surviving some the
war's most bloody battles, including Shiloh, Missionary Ridge, and Chickamauga. Bierce progressed in rank from private to
lieutenant and became the acting topographical engineer on Gen. W. B. Hazen's staff. At the battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Bierce
sustained a near-fatal head wound from which it took months to recover. It is clear that his war experiences did much to inform
his "Bitter Bierce" persona.
3.0 Linear Feet
: 2 boxes, 1 half-box, 1 flat box
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or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.
Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.