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Newton Thorne Kirk papers

Identifier: c-00028

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the Civil War reminiscences of Newton Thorne Kirk (1836-1909). Written between 1907 and 1909, this account was based on a war diary of Kirk's service with Company E, 26th Michigan Infantry. Wounded and made prisoner at the Battle of Spottsylvania Court House, he describes his experiences while in Confederate hands. He also comments on the inauguration of President Lincoln and on Michigan Governor Austin Blair.

Kirk's papers also include a certificate (1864) commissioning him Captain in the 127th U.S. Colored Infantry; two letters (1896,1897) describing a trip to India; a certificate of membership in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Commander of the State of California; and a memorial pamphlet containing biographical information on Kirk.

Folders 1-3 have been added to the website. Folder 4 is partially available on this website.


  • Creation: 1864 - 1909


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Newton Thorne Kirk was born April 15, 1836 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Newton Thorne Kirk enlisted in Company E of the Michigan 26th Infantry Regiment in August 1862. He was promoted to Full Sergeant in July 1863. He was commissioned Captain in the 127th U.S. Colored Troops in September 1864 and then transferred to Company K, U.S. Colored Troops 118th Infantry Regiment in February 1865. Kirk mustered out in February 1866 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He married Mary E. Wolcott.

He died In Los Angeles, California on September 19, 1909.


0.1 Cubic Feet (, 4 folders)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Gift of Tom Armstrong, 1960-06-03. Transferred by Michigan State University Museum

Legal Status

Copyright: Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Property Rights: Michigan State University

Newton Thorne Kirk Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
July 1967
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US