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Guide to the Thomas Dolan Collection of Telegraph Messages
  MS 173

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on April 16, 2014
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Thomas Dolan Collection of Telegraph Messages
Dates: 1861-1863
Abstract: A collection of about 275 individual telegraph messages dating from 1861-1863 sent out by telegrapher Thomas Dolan. The materials in this collection have been digitized and are available online to on-site researchers and to users affiliated with subscribing institutions via EBSCOhost.
Quantity: 0.3 Linear feet (1 box)
Location note: Manuscript cage
Call Phrase: MS 173

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Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of approximately 275 individual messages sent out by Thomas Dolan, a soldier in the Union Army acting as telegrapher. The messages were written by various officers of the Union Army and others, listed here with the number of telegrams from each:

Abercrombie, Brig. Gen. J.J.:1
Ayres, Brig. Gen. R.B.: 1
Benhams, Brig. Gen. H.W.: 1
Berry, Brig. Gen. H.G.: 1
Biddle, Col. Chapman: 1
Bowman, Col. S.: 1
Brooks, Brig. Gen. W.T.H.: 2
Burnside, Maj. Gen. A.E.: 9
Butterfield, Maj. Gen. Daniel: 7
Casey, Brig. Gen. S.: 1
Colburn, A.A.G. A.V.: 8
Conkling, Roscoe: 1
Cooke, Gen. P. St. George: 1
Couch, Brig. Gen. D.N.: 6
Davidson, Brig. Gen. J.W.: 2
Franklin, Brig. Gen. W.B.: 2
Geary, Brig. Gen. John W.: 3
Griffin, Brig. Gen. Charles: 2
Hallick, General Henry W.: 1
Hammond, Surgeon John Fox: 4
Harris, Mrs. John (Ladies Aid): 2
Hatch, Brig. Gen. John: 1
Hays, Lt. Col. Wm.: 1
Heintzelman, Brig. Gen. Samuel Peter: 23
Humphreys, Brig. Gen. Andrew A.: 2
Kane, Brig. Gen. Thomas L.: 2
Kearny, Gen.: 1
Keyes, Brig. Gen. Erasmus D.: 3
Lincoln, A.: 1
Locke, Lt. Col. Fred T.: 1
Marcy, Gen. Randolph B.: 2
McCarter, Col. J.M: 1
McClellan, Maj. Gen. George B.: 24
McDowell, Maj. Gen. Irvin: 1
McKeever, Capt. Chauncey: 3
Meagher, Gen. Thomas Francis: 1
Meredith, Brig. Gen. Sullivan A.: 1
Morell, Maj. Gen. Geo. W.: 1
Morton, Gov. O.P.: 1
Owens, Gen.:1
Philippe D'Orleans, Capt. Louis: 1
Porter, Maj. Gen. Fitz John: 103
Revere, Jr., Capt. Wm. H.: 2
Reynolds, Brig. Gen. John F.: 11
Richardson, Gen. J.B.: 1
Richmond, Asst. Adjt. Gen. Lewis: 2
Sickles, Brig. Gen. Daniel E.: 3
Sigel, Maj. Gen. Franz: 2
Slocum, Maj. Gen. H.W.: 2
Smith, Maj. Gen. Wm. F.: 3
Stoneman, Maj. Gen. George: 1
Sumner, Brig. Gen. Edwin Vose: 9
Sykes, Brig. Gen. George: 5
Tyler, Brig. Gen. R.O.: 1
Wainwright, Col. C.S.: 1
Webb, Lt. Col, Alex: 4
Wilkeson, Samuel: 1
Willcox, Brig. Gen.: 1
Williams, Brig. Gen.: S.2

The collection also includes the text of 51 messages sent or received on May 4 and 5, 1863, relating to the battle of Chancellorsville, written out and identified by sender on 12 pages. Included are messages sent by:

Babcock: 1
Barslow: 1
Benham, Brig. Gen. R.W.: 1
Butterfield, J.H.: 8
Clements: 1
Gibbons, John: 1
Hall, J.S.: 1
Hooker, Joseph: 4
Hunt, H.J.: 1
James, Lt. J.J:. 2
Jerome, A.B.: 3
Lincoln, A.: 1
Lowe: 1
Marcy: 1
McClellan: 1
Oliver, Paul A.: 1
Owen, Brig. Gen. J.: 1
Patrick M.R.: 1
Peck, Maj. Gen.: 1
Pierce, L.N.: 2
Powell, Richard: 1
Sedgwick, Maj. Gen. John: 6
Taylor: 1
Van Allen, Brig. Gen. J.H.: 2
Warren, Brig. Gen G.K.: 2
Williams, S.: 3
Zill, Rankin: 1

The materials in this collection have been digitized and are available online to on-site researchers and to users affiliated with subscribing institutions via EBSCOhost.


The collection is arranged in five folders; the individual telegrams are arranged alphabetically by author within the first four.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Burnside, Ambrose Everett, 1824-1881
  • Butterfield, Daniel, 1831-1901
  • Colburn, A.V.
  • Couch, Darius Nash
  • Heintzelman, Samuel Peter, 1805-1880
  • McClellan, George Brinton, 1826-1885
  • Porter, Fitz-John, 1822-1901
  • Reynolds, John Fulton, 1820-1863
  • Sumner, Edwin V. (Edwin Vose), 1797-1863

Document Type

  • Telegrams

Subject Topics

  • Chancellorsville, Battle of, Chancellorsville, Va., 1863
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Family Name(s)

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Administrative Information

Custodial History note

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.

Use Restrictions

Permission to quote from this collection in a publication must be requested and granted in writing. Send permission requests, citing the name of the collection from which you wish to quote, to

Manuscripts Curator
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Thomas Dolan Collection of Telegraph Messages, The New-York Historical Society.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Telegrams from senders A-G
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Telegrams from senders H-M
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Telegrams from senders N-Q
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Telegrams from senders R-Z
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Text of telegrams to various recipients
1863 May 4 -1863 May 5

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