This collection contains a diary, a photograph, and two letters, mainly documenting the Civil War service of Jonathan A. Catlin, Co. G, 52nd Ill. Vol. Inf. Throughout the war, Catlin recorded his experiences in the diary, periodically commenting on battles and skirmishes in the Western theater of the war. Catlin's diary also contains a few entries on his life before and after the war. Other items in the collection include an undated photograph of Catlin, taken in Quincy, Ill., and a letter that he wrote from Corinth, Miss., on Aug. 7, 1863, describing the execution of a Confederate spy. The collection also contains a Jan. 14, 1883, letter about family matters from Jane Van Horn of Churchville, Bucks County, Penn., to her cousins in Illinois.
The collection was bought by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1997, and placed in the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections in 2004.