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Lew Wallace letters

 Collection — Folder: S2323
Identifier: S2323

Scope and Contents

This collection contains four letters written by Lew Wallace while he served as colonel of the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The first letter is dated May 2, 1861 and was sent to Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton from headquarters regarding tendering his regiment for 3 years service. The remaining letters were sent from Wallace Barracks in Indianapolis and include a letter sent to John Vajen, Quarter-Master General of Indiana, regarding boot purchases for Wallace's men (May 4, 1861); a letter sent to Adjutant General John M. Wallace about the appointment of Drs. John S. Bobbs and A. Gall as medical inspectors (May 6, 1861); and a letter sent to Governor Morton regarding pay to Martin Klauss and his squad (June 5, 1861).


  • 1861


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

General Lew Wallace was born on April 10, 1827 in Brookville, Indiana to David and Esther Wallace. His father became the Governor of Indiana in 1837 and the family moved to Indianapolis. Lew became a copyist for the Marion County Clerk and studied law at night. He passed the bar exam in 1849 and had a law office in Covington, Indiana before moving his practice to Crawfordsville, Indiana in 1853. He served as a 2nd lieutenant during the Mexican-American War and in 1861 he served as Adjutant General of Indiana before becoming colonel of the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. He was promoted to major general and commanded troops in several military campaigns and after the war he served as Governor of the New Mexico Territory and later as United States Minister to Turkey. He was also the author of the best selling novel Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880).

He married Susan Elston on May 2, 1852 and they had one son, Henry Lane Wallace. After he completed his diplomatic service, General Wallace returned to Crawfordsville in 1885 and passed away there at the age of 77 on February 15, 1905.


General Lew Wallace Study & Museum. "Timeline." Meet Lew Wallace. Accessed November 29, 2017.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

L173: Lew Wallace collection, 1848-1885

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2017/11/29 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2017/11/29 by Laura Eliason.
Lew Wallace letters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.