William Allen Pepper moved from Kentucky to Coles County, Ill., in 1838. He enlisted in Co. A., 123rd Ill. Vol. Inf. on Aug. 1, 1862, and mustered out on June 28, 1862, after fighting in Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama.
This collection contains transcripts of Pepper's Civil War letters to his sister and mother. Pepper describes preparing for a Kentucky battle with Gen. Braxton Bragg's Army, a march south from Louisville, and the aftermath of a battle, with specific details on the wounded and dying. The collection also contains a transcript of Pepper's diary, July 1864 to Aug. 1865, in which he describes the weather, travel conditions, rations, camp life, and his post-war travels in Minnesota, where he made a homestead claim in Faribault County.
A. [Arnold] Kent Kilen, Pepper's great-grandson, included the transcripts in his paper, "Civil War Writings of William Allen Pepper" (Mankato State College, 1961), which he loaned to the Illinois Historical Survey for copying in 1967.