Clara Culver Culbertson, a native of Carlisle, Pa., taught school in Mount Holly Springs, Md., before marrying Dr. Samuel D. Culbertson in 1866. The material in the collection includes a number of Civil War letters written by Clara's brother, Joseph E. Culver, who served in the 39th Pa. Vol. Inf. before receiving a commission in the U.S.C. Inf. The letters give brief accounts of events such as the siege of Petersburg and its aftermath, and the capture of Fort Fisher. Culver also reports on conditions in camps during the war. In addition, the collection includes correspondence about various illnesses and cures on the frontier, and a detailed description of frontier Tacoma, Wash.
Wallace Perry acquired this collection from the estate of Helen Culbertson, daughter of Clara. Perry's cousin, Rebecca O. Barber of Champaign, Ill., donated it to the Library in 1982.