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Augustus Caesar Buell Diary and Sketchbook
Wyles SC 40  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Augustus Caesar Buell Diary and Sketchbook,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1867-1868
    Collection Number: Wyles SC 40
    Creator: Buell, Augustus C., 1847-1904.
    Extent: .05 linear feet (1 folder)
    Repository: University of California, Santa Barbara. Library. Department of Special Collections
    Santa Barbara, California 93106-9010
    Physical Location: Vault
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    Augustus Caesar Buell Diary and Sketchbook. Wyles SC 40. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Purchase, 1987.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Augustus Caesar Buell was born in 1847, and fought in the Civil War as a member of Company L of the 20th New York Cavalry, having enlisted on August 21, 1863. Although he was promoted to corporal the following November, by April 1864 he had been demoted back to private. He was mustered out of service at the end of July 1865 and returned to New York. Buell was living in the area of Chittenango and Utica in upstate New York, near Syracuse, when he kept his diary/sketchbook, which contains entries dated 1867 and 1868.
    In 1890, Augustus C. Buell published a fraudulent Civil War memoir, "The Cannoneer," Story of a Private Soldier, in which he claimed to have fought in the Battle of Gettysburg in early July 1863. He would later find fame for his mostly fabricated biographies of naval hero John Paul Jones (1900) and President Andrew Jackson (1904). A spurious account of the life of William Penn was published shortly after Buell's death in 1904. His writings were debunked in "Augustus C. Buell, Fraudulent Historian" by Milton W. Hamilton in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography v. LXXX (1956) and "Pursuing the Elusive 'Cannoneer'" by Silas Felton in Gettysburg Magazine, July 1993.
    The diary contains Buell's account of some misadventures he had during a spate of burglaries, notes on the Greek language and his thoughts on the Iliad, long ruminations on topics such as the characteristics of German immigrants and the nature of self-reflection, passages written in German, Latin, and Greek, and several sketches of Civil War-era scenes. It concludes with a recipe for lemon cake filling.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Buell, Augustus C., 1847-1904.