Civil War Collection
When word reached Kalamazoo that fighting had broken out in the South, an enthusiastic crowd gathered at Fireman’s Hall on April 16, 1861, and a recruiting office was opened. Forty-five men enlisted on the first day and another twenty-five by the end of the first week. On April 30, over 200 men from the Kalamazoo area boarded a train and headed east to join the Union Army.
By the end of the war, 3,221 men from Kalamazoo County had served and 365 had died, including 58 killed in action, 48 from wounds, 25 as prisoners of war, 22 missing in action, and 212 from disease.
The Museum’s collection is home to hundreds of letters, documents, and artifacts, from those soldiers and veterans from other areas that moved to the Kalamazoo area after the war. Represented, among others, are the collections of:
Delevan Arnold, 1st Michigan Cavalry
Smith Carlton, 28th Michigan Infantry
Joseph DeWaters, 13th Michigan Infantry
Spencer McOmber, 7th Michigan Cavalry
Orlando H. Moore, 25th Michigan Infantry
Charles Clement Webb, 13th Michigan Infantry
View a few of the artifacts in the Museum’s Civil War
Spencer Repeating Carbine, 1865
Confederate National Flag, 1862
Recruitment Poster, 1863