Ogden Greenough graduated from Marshall College, Marshall, Ill., in 1859, before studying law in Cincinnati. He enlisted in Co. F, 30th Ill. Vol. Inf. on Aug. 26, 1861, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1862. He fought in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia, before he was killed by a sharpshooter on June 15, 1864.
This collection contains originals and typescripts of Greenough's letters during the war, and typescripts of his letters from his time at Marshall. Greenough discusses camp life, sociological aspects of the war, and political issues, and describes battles, including Fort Donelson and Vicksburg. The correspondence also reveals Greenough's social interactions with southerners, including fraternizing with Confederate soldiers and dating southern women. In addition, the collection contains an essay on "Religion & Science," written by Greenough at Marshall College, various notes from the Greenough family bible, and a family history written by Frances E. Greenough in 1936.
Before 1964, the collection was a part of Albert H. Lybyer's papers in the University Archives, his wife being Greenough's niece.