Collection Scope and Content Summary
Title: Isaac C. Pugh papers
Date (inclusive): 1846-1872, undated
Date (bulk): 1861-1864
Collection Number: MS
Pugh, Elvira E.
0.83 linear feet
Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
The Isaac C. Pugh papers are primarily composed of
letters written between members of the Pugh family, correspondence which provides
insight into the lives of Union soldiers during the United States Civil War and
those left behind on the home front. The bulk of the material is letters written by
Isaac C. Pugh to his wife, Elvira E. Pugh, from the years 1861 to 1864. The papers
also include letters by Pugh's son Isaac R. Pugh, commonly referred to as Rinaldo,
and Elvira E. Pugh, the two most frequent correspondents after Isaac C. Pugh.
Letters written by other family members, documents of the period, and contemporary
press clippings regarding the United States Civil War are also contained within the
Languages: The collection is in English.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright Unknown: Some material in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition,
the reproduction, and/or commercial use, of some materials may be restricted by gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions,
privacy and publicity rights, licensing agreement(s), and/or trademark rights. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected
by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other
restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility
for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
[identification of item], [date if possible]. Isaac C. Pugh papers (MS 266). Special Collections & University Archives, University
of California, Riverside.
The Isaac C. Pugh papers were purchased in 1969.
Processed by Sara Seltzer, 2008.
Isaac C. Pugh of Decatur, Illinois, was in an advantageous position to report on the
United States Civil War. From his vantage point as Colonel of the 41st Regiment of
the Illinois Volunteers, he could see events as they were planned and report on them
as they occurred. These reports were contained in the letters he sent to his wife,
Elvira, and sons back home.
Isaac C. Pugh came to Decatur from Shelby County, Illinois in 1829. He set up the
first store in Decatur and was appointed postmaster for the town. Pugh served as a
Master in Chancery from 1830 to 1860, as well as a county commissioner. He married
the daughter of Jerome Gorin, the chief banker and landholder in Decatur, and had 11
children. His sons B.G. (Bartly) and I.R. (Rinaldo) Pugh served under their father's
command at different intervals during the United States Civil War.
Pugh volunteered as a second lieutenant in the Black Hawk War and was promoted to
company commander and captain by the war's end. Afterward, he was a first lieutenant
and second in command in the Decatur Rangers, an organization responsible for
combating Indian attacks. In the Mexican War, he commanded a Decatur company and
participated in the bombardment of Vera Cruz. At the battle of Cerro Gordo, Pugh
captured $25,000 and General Santa Anna's cork leg.
In 1853 he was elected county treasurer, and in 1858 he resigned to practice equity
law. In April of 1861, he was one of the first to volunteer for the 8th Regiment of
Decatur volunteers, and was elected captain of "A" Company. After three months, Pugh
re-enlisted and was elected Colonel of the 41st Regiment of the Illinois Volunteers.
He participated in, and survived, some of the most definitive moments of the United
States Civil War, including the battle of Fort Donelson, the siege of Vicksburg, and
the battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing). Colonel Pugh was promoted to the rank of
Brigadier General for his meritorious conduct, and was mustered out of the service
on August 20, 1864.
Pugh returned to Decatur, Illinois in August of 1864 and ran for Illinois state
representative, a position he held from 1864 to 1866. He later served as mayor of
the city of Decatur. Pugh died in 1874 at the age of 69.
||Isaac C. Pugh moved to Decatur, Illinois.
||Pugh began his tenure as a Master in Chancery for Decatur, Illinois, a
position he held until 1860.
||Pugh was elected treasurer of Macon County, Illinois.
||Pugh resigned from his position as county treasurer.
||Pugh opened a private practice in equity law.
||Pugh joined the 8th Regiment of Decatur volunteers to fight in the Civil
War and was elected captain of "A" Company in April.
||Pugh re-enlisted and was elected Colonel of the 41st Regiment of the
Illinois volunteers in July.
||Pugh participated in the Siege of Vicksburg in Vicksburg,
||Pugh was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.
||Pugh returned to Decatur, Illinois after leaving the United States
Military on August 20th.
||Pugh was elected Illinois state representative, a position he held until
||Isaac C. Pugh died at the age of 69.
Collection Scope and Content Summary
The Isaac C. Pugh papers are primarily composed of letters written between members of
the Pugh family, correspondence which provides insight into the lives of Union
soldiers during the United States Civil War and those left behind on the home front.
The bulk of the material is letters written by Isaac C. Pugh to his wife, Elvira E.
Pugh, from the years 1861 to 1864. The papers also include letters by Pugh's son
Isaac R. Pugh, commonly referred to as Rinaldo, and Elvira E. Pugh, the two most
frequent correspondents after Isaac C. Pugh. Letters written by other family
members, documents of the period, and contemporary press clippings regarding the
United States Civil War are also contained within the papers. Microfilm copies of
the correspondence are available in positive and master negative forms.
This collection is arranged into three series. Series 1 is divided into nine
sub-series. The series and sub-series arrangement is as follows:
Series 1. Correspondence, 1846-1872,
- Sub-series 1.1. Correspondence 1846, 1846.
- Sub-series 1.2. Correspondence 1858, 1858.
- Sub-series 1.3. Correspondence 1861, 1861.
- Sub-series 1.4. Correspondence 1862, 1862.
- Sub-series 1.5. Correspondence 1863, 1863.
- Sub-series 1.6. Correspondence 1864, 1864.
- Sub-series 1.7.Correspondence 1865, 1865.
- Sub-series 1.8. Correspondence 1872, 1872.
- Sub-series 1.9. Correspondence undated, undated.
Series 2. Documents, 1861-1862, undated.
Series 3. Press clippings, undated.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the
library's online public access catalog.
Pugh, Isaac C., d. 1874.
Pugh, Isaac R., b. 1843.
United States. Army. Illinois Infantry Regiment, 41st
Genres and Forms of Materials
Clippings (information artifacts).