James R. Page served in Co. A, 5th Ill. Cav. from 1861 until his death from illness in July 1863. This collection contains eleven letters Page sent to his family during the war, and also two letters to his father from friends reporting Page's illness and death. Page's letters include references to picket-line conversations with Confederate soldiers, the Emancipation Proclamation, the religious convictions of the soldiers, and Page's respect for Ulysses S. Grant. The collection also includes seventeen tintype photographs (contained in cases, a carte de visite album, or loose) collected by John C. Jones, Co. G., 54th Ill. Vol. Inf., who married Page's sister, Harriet, after the war. In addition, the collection includes a regimental pin and the 1899 pension certificate for Harriet Jones.
Dorothy Romberg and Martha Clotfelter, descendants of the Page-Jones families, donated this collection to the Illinois Historical Survey in 1989 and 1990.