Collected Civil War Papers of Colonel Benjamin Franklin Eshleman

This collection contains the mementos Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Franklin Eshleman, a former commander of the Washington Artillery battalion, saved in his scrapbook. It portrays a civil war colonel’s dedication to preserving the memory of his unit along with a larger more important purpose of memorializing the era of the confederate soldier. The scrapbook itself is a leather bound book with “Clippings B. F. E.” engraved on the spine. Eshleman grouped together newspaper clippings that he pasted onto the pages, along with letters, records from confederate veterans associations, and other documents that Eshleman felt worthy of saving. Specific examples include: a newspaper clipping from the Daily Delta (1861) regarding the particulars of the Battle of Bull’s Run, an invitation to the unveiling and dedication of the Washington Artillery Monument (1880), and a letter from Eshleman to E. P. Alexander regarding Pickett’s Charge (1878). Also included in the collection is a 1911 publication depicting a personal account of the life and times of civil war soldiers entitled “A Reminiscent Story of the Great Civil War: first paper: a personal Experience.” This paper is a signed gift copy with an inscription to Eshleman’s daughter from the author, Henry H. Baker.

The scrapbook and papers were handed down the familial line from Eshleman to his daughter and eventually given to the University of South Carolina Beaufort (USCB) by the generous donation of Jack and Mindy Castles.

This digital collection was created by Melanie Hanes-Ramos of USC Beaufort. USCB library staff Spenser Anderson, Gail Jung, Jim Madl, and Kelly Martin provided valuable assistance. This project was made possible by the South Carolina Digital Library (SCDL), Kate Boyd, and the USC Digital Activities Department. In addition, Eshleman’s original scrapbook pages and other accompanying papers were carefully photocopied by graduate student Julia Nolan under the supervision of USC Special Collections Librarian, Elizabeth Sudduth.

Creating the Digital Collection
Melanie Hanes-Ramos was responsible for organizing the project, training staff, supervising the scanning of images, selecting search terms, creating metadata, loading the collection into CONTENTdm, creating the homepage, and writing the brief introduction. Spenser Anderson designed and created the background image for the homepage. To preserve the original papers, Jim Madl scanned as JPEG images at 300dpi the photocopies prepared by Julia Nolan. Jim also contributed to identifying appropriate keyword terms for use as search terms. Kelly Martin and Gail Jung assisted with editing the metadata. The metadata records follow the SCDL and Western States Best Practices Dublin Core format.

Media Types