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Marcus M. Whipple Papers, 1862-1864: Finding Aid

Published in April 2009

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 217
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Marcus M. Whipple Papers
  • Dates: 1862-1864
  • Size: 1.5 linear inches (1 box)
  • Creator: Whipple, Marcus M., b. 1840
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: The Marcus Whipple Papers span two years, including fifteen months of Whipple's service in the Union Navy, from September 1862 to January 1864. The papers focus on Whipple's time aboard U.S.S. Colorado as a fireman and oiler.

Biography of Marcus M. Whipple

Marcus M. Whipple was born on August 27, 1840 to Mr. and Mrs. James Whipple. Whipple, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, enlisted in the Union Navy on September 30, 1862 for one year. After training aboard U.S.S. Santee (frigate) and a nearly month-long stay aboard the receiving ship U.S.S. Ohio (ship-of-the-line), Whipple was transferred to U.S.S. Colorado (screw frigate) of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, where he served for the remainder of his enlistment. Aboard Colorado, Whipple served as a fireman, before ultimately being promoted to oiler, a position he held until Colorado's decommissioning in February 1864.

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Description of Contents

The Marcus Whipple Papers span two years, from 1862 to 1864, including fifteen months of Whipple's service in the Union Navy, from September 1862 to January 1864. The papers (two diaries and four letters) focus on Whipple's time aboard U.S.S. Colorado as a fireman and oiler.

The Whipple Papers are arranged alphabetically by document type into a single series with no subdivisions. The two diaries, spanning from January 1862 to January 1864, consist of brief, daily, handwritten entries. Prior to his enlistment in the Navy, Whipple's diaries allude primarily to hours of work performed, recreational activities, and personal finances. The remainder of the diary entries are the product of Whipple's Navy service, and include brief mentions of weather, ports of call, purchases, ships encountered, visits by flag officers, and shipboard duties and events, such as watch keeping, cleaning, coaling, and engine repair. The letters, three of which were written by Whipple (two addressed to his mother, one to his brother Fred), make mention of his training as an oiler, conditions at home, other correspondents, the monotony of blockade duty, and his desire for the war to come to an end. The fourth letter, a letter of transmittal from Fred Whipple, conveys one of Marcus' letters to their mother.

The Marcus M. Whipple Papers, while offering few specifics pertaining to Whipple's duties and opinions, reflect the general nature, and often tedium, of blockade duty during the Civil War.

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Arrangement

The Whipple Papers are arranged alphabetically by document type into a single series with no subdivisions.

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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Marcus M. Whipple Papers are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased in January 2004.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

A diary, possibly by the same Marcus M. Whipple, is held at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Marcus M. Whipple Papers, MS 217

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in April 2009. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in April 2009.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Naval operations.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Blockades.
  • United States. Navy. West Gulf Squadron.
  • Whipple, Marcus M., b. 1840.

Genre Terms

  • Correspondence.
  • Diaries.
  • Manuscripts.
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Correspondence, 1862 November 16

To Mrs. James Whipple, from U.S.S. Colorado, Portsmouth Navy Yard. Includes descriptions of training, conditions in the engine room, and requests for supplies from home.

Box 1 Folder 2

Correspondence, 1863 February 1

To Mrs. James Whipple, from U.S.S. Colorado, Brooklyn Navy Yard. Includes discussions of engine repairs, the "dull" nature of naval duty, and Whipple's hope that peace be declared quickly.

Box 1 Folder 3

Correspondence, 1863 August 28

To Fred Whipple, from U.S.S. Colorado, off Mobile Bay. Includes discussion of Whipple's planned return home in October, loss of weight due to heat, poor food quality aboard, the military draft, and predictions of an easy Union victory at Fort Morgan, Alabama. Also includes a letter of transmittal from Fred Whipple to Mrs. James Whipple, dated October 5, 1863.

Box 1 Folder 4

Diary, 1862

Includes mentions of enlisting in the Union Navy (September 30), a man cutting his throat with a jackknife (October 29), and transfer to U.S.S. Colorado (November 5).

Box 1 Folder 5

Diary, 1863 January-1864 January

Includes mentions of the dull nature of blockade duty (March 18), visits from Admiral Farragut (April 15 and July 27), and engagements with blockade runners (March 25, April 4, May 10).

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