Henry W. Funk, a Quaker from Danville, Ill., was a private in Co. E, 149th Ill. Vol. Inf. Funk mustered in at Danville on Feb. 6, 1865, and spent the remainder of the war stationed at Chattanooga, Nashville, and Tyners Station, Tenn. From June 1865, until the beginning of 1866, he was stationed at Dalton and Lafayette, Ga., where he often preached to the enlisted men.
This collection consists of Funk's personal correspondence, mostly with his wife Nannie, but also with his sisters Kate Brenner, Barbara Funk, and Franny Funk, and brothers-in-law Rufus Humphrey and John H. Gibson.
Henry and Nannie Funk address the following subjects: Henry's experiences preaching to enlisted men in Georgia and his attempt to establish a Sunday school at Camp Butler, Ill.; Nannie's struggles with her faith; the story of Nannie's brother John, who deserted the army, came home and became a drunk, beat his wife, and was arrested for desertion; Nannie's reports of the fall of Richmond and Lee's surrender; news from John H. Gibson about the poor conditions at Camp Butler, where he mustered out; and family news.
Henry's sisters complain about "dronkerds" attending the churches of Danville, refer to quarterly meetings of the Religious Society of Friends, and lament that Lincoln was shot in a theater rather than in a church.
One letter of note from Rufus Humphrey, Apr. 20, 1865, discusses the Lincoln assassination and its aftermath, mentioning plans for the Lincoln funeral in Vermilion County, Ill.; the conditions of William H. and Fred Seward; the reward offered by the City of Baltimore for the capture of Lincoln's assassin; and the hanging of seven men in Indianapolis, who were charged with celebrating Lincoln's death. (According to the Chicago Tribune of Apr. 15, 1865, it was actually three men, hanged at Camp Burnside for dancing, cheering, and speaking openly in favor of the assassination.)
The collection also includes a small amount of correspondence between Funk's family and friends. One letter, from James Hood to W. S. Humphrey, Dec. 25, 1864, describes the exploits of secessionist guerilla bands in Kentucky. Three letters, from 1894, document the courtship between Henry and Nannie's son, Edward Funk, and Mamie F. McCoy, of Chicago.
Diane Elizabeth Whitehead (Class of 1967) and Kenton Whitehead donated the collection to the Library in 2012.