This collection consists of photocopies of 41 letters from Daniel M. Nettleton to his mother, Maria Nettleton, and brothers, Nate, Orin, Bill, and Ben.
Daniel M. Nettleton was born in Ireland in 1840 and moved with his parents to Paw Paw, Lee County, Illinois at age four. In 1861, he enlisted at Earlville, LaSalle County and served as a non-commissioned officer in Co. I, 4th Illinois Vol. Cav. until 1864. He fought at Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, and in numerous minor skirmishes in the Western Theater. In July 1864, he was wounded at Natchez and received a medical discharge later that year. In 1872, he moved to Clay County, Nebraska, where he built his reputation as a farmer and a Republican state legislator and served as Speaker of the House in 1907.
The collection contains photocopies of letters written between September 1861 and September 1864 in which Nettleton describes his battle experiences; the rigors of military life; Union camps at Cairo, Illinois and at Memphis, Ternton, Colliersville, and Natchez, Tennessee; Morgan's Raid; General William T. Sherman; the New York Draft Riots; and African-Americans in the military. The collection also includes photocopies of company muster rolls from 1862-1864.
J. E. Shrigley of York, Nebraska donated the collection to the Nebraska State Historical Society in 1978. The Nebraska State Historical Society gave the collection to the University of Illinois Library in 2009.