Civil War Collection

Civil War Tent Camp

When word reached Kalamazoo that fighting had broken out in the South, an enthusiastic crowd gathered at Fireman’s Hall on April 16, 1861, and a recruiting office was opened. Forty-five men enlisted on the first day and another twenty-five by the end of the first week. On April 30, over 200 men from the Kalamazoo area boarded a train and headed east to join the Union Army.

By the end of the war, 3,221 men from Kalamazoo County had served and 365 had died, including 58 killed in action, 48 from wounds, 25 as prisoners of war, 22 missing in action, and 212 from disease.

The Museum’s collection is home to hundreds of letters, documents, and artifacts, from those soldiers and veterans from other areas that moved to the Kalamazoo area after the war. Represented, among others, are the collections of:

Delevan Arnold, 1st Michigan Cavalry
Smith Carlton, 28th Michigan Infantry
Joseph DeWaters, 13th Michigan Infantry
Spencer McOmber, 7th Michigan Cavalry
Orlando H. Moore, 25th Michigan Infantry
Charles Clement Webb, 13th Michigan Infantry

View a few of the artifacts in the Museum’s Civil War collection.

Camp Chair
Camp Chair, 1861-1865

Bottle of Chesterfiled Rye
Chesterfield Rye, 1863

Col.  Orlando H. Moore
Col. Orlando H. Moore, 1863

Officer's Dress Coat
Officer's Dress Coat

Specer Repeating Carbine

Spencer Repeating Carbine, 1865

Draft Box
Draft Box, 1863

Tea Service
Tea Service, 1868

Portable Field Desk
Portable Field Desk

Confederate National Flag

Confederate National Flag, 1862

Recruitment Poster

Recruitment Poster, 1863