John C. McLain Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
McLain, John C.
John C. McLain papers
0.1 Cubic feet , 1 folder

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

John C. McLain enlisted with Company C, Fourth Michigan Cavalry on August 8, 1862 and was stationed in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. His company participated in the Murfreesboro Campaign (May-December, 1862), the Chickamauga Campaign (June-September, 1863), the battles around Chattanooga (November 1863), the Atlanta Campaign (May-August, 1864) and the Franklin and Nashville Campaign (September-December, 1864). He was discharged at Nashville, Tennessee on July 1st, 1865.

McLain later became County Treasurer of Van Buren County, Michigan. He typed his Civil War notes in 1883.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of a typewritten copy of the Civil War diary (1862-1865) of John C. McLain. The diary gives a good account of Company C's movements and of daily army life. Of special interest are references to troop morale, the capture of Jefferson Davis (May 10, 1865) by General B. B. Pritchard of the Fourth Michigan Calvary, and the demobilization of the armies.

The typewritten copy of the diary has been scanned and placed online at

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections January 1968

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  February 2000

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial History

Gift of Carleton W. Benton, 1959-12-00.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. Army -- Demobilization.
  • United States. Army -- Military life -- History -- 19th century.
  • United States. Army. Michigan Cavalry Regiment, 4th (1862-1865).


  • Diaries

Personal Name(s)

  • Davis, Jefferson, 1808-1889

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Collection Inventory


Diary 1883 


Photograph- Portrait of John C. McLain (copy) undated