Oliver Smith Rankin collection
Scope and Contents
In May 1864, General James Garfield gave a speech, recorded in the Congressional Globe, about Oliver who was "a generous and patriotic young man, engaged in a most perilous and difficult enterprise in the service of his country." In 1865, General William Rosecrans wrote: "I cannot however think Mr. Rankin is lost. It may be you will hear from him when you least expect it." This letter contains the note that Rev. B. Wilson Smith, Valparaiso, Indiana, to whom the letter was written, was the brother-in-law of Oliver Rankin, "having married Mr. Rankins' sister Ruth Anna Rankin."
In 1909, Loyd Cecil wrote about the execution of Oliver on the farm of George Polk, five miles from Columbia, Tennessee, in 1863. He stated: "After the war the bones of a human being were found there by a fox hunter and a negro." William E. Ludlow, Adjutant General of the 10th Indiana, wrote in 1911 that he had a distinct recollection of Oliver Rankin, who "was a big fine-looking fellow of pleasing personality, ... a jolly good fellow and a great favorite with everyone."
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Nelly Colfax Smith, who lived at 2122 North New Jersey Street, Indianapolis, in 1948, gathered information about her uncle, Oliver Smith Rankin, and wrote a story entitled "The Nathan Hale of the Rebellion." She gathered sworn statements and affidavits from men who knew Oliver during the war.
0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)
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- Oliver Smith Rankin collection
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