Newton Thorne Kirk Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Kirk, Newton Thorne
Newton Thorne Kirk papers
Date [inclusive]
0.1 Cubic feet , 4 folders

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

Newton Thorne Kirk was born April 15, 1836 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Newton Thorne Kirk enlisted in Company E of the Michigan 26th Infantry Regiment in August 1862. He was promoted to Full Sergeant in July 1863. He was commissioned Captain in the 127th U.S. Colored Troops in September 1864 and then transferred to Company K, U.S. Colored Troops 118th Infantry Regiment in February 1865. Kirk mustered out in February 1866 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He married Mary E. Wolcott.

He died In Los Angeles, California on September 19, 1909.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection includes the Civil War reminiscences of Newton Thorne Kirk (1836-1909). Written between 1907 and 1909, this account was based on a war diary of Kirk's service with Company E, 26th Michigan Infantry. Wounded and made prisoner at the Battle of Spottsylvania Court House, he describes his experiences while in Confederate hands. He also comments on the inauguration of President Lincoln and on Michigan Governor Austin Blair.

Kirk's papers also include a certificate (1864) commissioning him Captain in the 127th U.S. Colored Infantry; two letters (1896,1897) describing a trip to India; a certificate of membership in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Commander of the State of California; and a memorial pamphlet containing biographical information on Kirk.

Folders 1-3 have been added to the website. Folder 4 is partially available on this website.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections July 1967

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

Revision Description

 Revised Folder Titles October 2012

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 Tom Armstrong, 1960-06-03. Transferred by Michigan State University Museum

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. Army. Colored Infantry Regiment, 127th. (1864)
  • United States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 26th (1862-1865).

Geographic Name(s)

  • Egypt -- Description and travel
  • India -- Description and travel
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Personal Name(s)

  • Armstrong, Tom
  • Blair, Austin, 1818-1894
  • Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865


  • Spotsylvania Court House, Battle of, Va., 1864

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Collection Inventory


Chapters 1 and 2 1907 


Chapter 3 1907 


Chapters 4 and 5 1909