June 22 - Nov. 10, 1864. Small leather notebook, 6.5 in., with a paper label on the front cover identifying the owner as J.M. Evans. Six double pages of manuscript entries on lined paper, approx. 110 names of Civil War casualties, their rank, unit and company, and date of death. Most died at the Decatur Hospital, a few in the brigade hospital. The men are primarily Union soldiers from Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee, and Ohio, plus a handful of Confederates from Alabama. Also listed are four men belonging to the US "Colored Troops," and one unknown Federal soldier whose body was "found in the river." A few other pages contain notes related to the Hospital Fund, etc., the remainder are blank. Item #62030
This notebook likely belonged to John M. Evans, a surgeon with the 13th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. This regiment saw service in and around Decatur, Alabama in the summer and fall of 1864. According to E.B. Quiner's "Military History of Wisconsin," (Chicago: 1866) the 13th "formed part of the force designed to operate against Atlanta, but their destination was changed, and the brigade was assigned the duty of guarding the Tennessee River, between Stevenson and Decatur." Decatur was occupied by Union forces as part of Gen. Sherman's march toward Atlanta. Several battles and skirmishes took place during these months, as this list of dead attests.
Evans (1820-1903) received his M.D. at a small medical college in La Porte, Indiana which was formed in the 1840s, becoming a member of its first graduating class in 1846. He moved to Wisconsin and set up his practice in a small settlement named "The Grove," (later renamed Evansville). Dr. Evans was the town's first mayor and was elected to the state legislature in 1853. In 1861 he was commissioned surgeon for the 13th Wisconsin and served until March 1865.