Othniel Gooding Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Gooding, Othniel
Othniel Gooding papers
Date [inclusive]
0.1 Cubic feet , 3 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

Othniel Gooding was born about 1835 in New York. Gooding enlisted in Company A, Michigan 4th Cavalry Regiment on August 28, 1862. He was mustered out on July 1, 1865 at Nashville, TN.

He married Lucy Jane Dexter. Gooding died in 1920.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of Civil War letters from Othniel Gooding of the 4th Michigan Cavalry to his fiancee, Lucy Dexter of Milan, Michigan. The 4th Michigan Cavalry was organized in August 1862, and spent much of the war in Tennessee and Kentucky, in scouting and foraging work. This work brought them into frequent clashes with Confederate forces. Gooding's letters describe life in camp, as well as foraging and scouting expeditions. He also comments on Union leaders such as George Thomas and William Rosecrans, passes on war news and camp rumors, and discusses political news. He reported that the realities of war and soldier's life had worn down his patriotism, and he remained opposed to freeing the slaves.

The collection also includes a booklet, "Col. R.H.G. Minty and the 4th Michigan Cavalry," which describes the regiment's war service.

The letters 1862-65 and the booklet have been transcribed, scanned and placed online at http://civilwar.archives.msu.edu/collection/7-1C-F/gooding/.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections December 1964

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

Revision Description

 added biographical note November 2013

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 Chamberlain Memorial Museum, date unknown. Transferred by Michigan State University Museum

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Chamberlain Memorial Museum.
  • United States. Army. Michigan Cavalry Regiment, 4th (1862-1865).


  • Letters (correspondence)

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Personal Name(s)

  • Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876
  • Hooker, Joseph, 1814-1879
  • Minty, R.H.G., Col., (Robert Horatio George), 1831-
  • Rosecrans, William S., (William Starke), 1819-1898


  • Atlanta Campaign, 1864
  • Chattanooga, Battle of, Chattanooga, Tenn., 1863
  • Chickamauga, Battle of, Ga., 1863

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Collection Inventory



 August 1862-July 1863  


 August 1863-June 1864 


 July 1864-May 1865, 1892