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Thomas Ward Osborn papers, M4039

Identifier: M4039

Scope and Contents

Includes holograph materials used in the following publications: The Fiery Trail: a Union officer’s account of Sherman’s Last Campaign (1986), The Eleventh Corps Artillery at Gettysburg (1991), and No middle ground: Thomas Ward Osborn’s letters from the field (1993). The collection also includes an unpublished autobiography, two unpublished novels, and smaller works on reconstruction in Florida and other topics.


  • Creation: 1861 - 1865

Access to Collection

Collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

Army officer, lawyer, and United States Senator Thomas Ward Osborn was born in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, on March 9, 1836. After graduating from Colgate University's predecessor institution Madison University in 1860, Ward studied law in Watertown, New York. He was admitted to the New York State bar in 1861.

Osborn entered the United States Army in 1861. While serving with Battery D of the First New York Light Artillery, he rose in rank from lieutenant, to captain, to major, and, ultimately, in 1864-1865, chief of artillery under General Howard. Following the Civil War he was named Colonel and, later, Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Refugees in the State of Florida, and Chief of the Freedmen's Bureau from 1865 to 1866. After practicing law in Florida, he served as a United States Senator for Florida from 1868 to 1873.

He returned to New York after the conclusion of his Senate term in 1873, and died in New York City on December 18, 1898.

Colgate University, General Catalogue (Hamilton, New York: Colgate University, 1937): 121.


2.6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Guide to the Thomas Ward Osborn papers
Sarah Keen and Lora J. Davis
July 21, 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Colgate University Libraries Repository

13 Oak Drive
Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology
Colgate University
Hamilton New York 13346 United States US
315-228-7934 (Fax)