By Steven Cox, Associate Professor, Special Collections and University Archivist
The Special Collections recently digitized one of its more significant collections: The Letters of the John T. Wilder Collection. General John T. Wilder (1830-1917) was a Union officer who moved to Chattanooga after the Civil War, having distinguished himself in Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee battles, particularly the battle of
He was an industrialist and an entrepreneur who, after the war, opened a series of mines in Tennessee, and also served as Mayor and Postmaster of Chattanooga. The largest monument in the Chickamauga battlefield was constructed in his honor.
The John T. Wilder Letters, many written during the Civil War, were given to the University in the early 1960s by one of his daughters. They include correspondence between officers, as well as his letters back home to his wife, who was living in Indiana, where Wilder had a foundry before the war.
There are other military documents as well. These letters provide descriptions of the battle of Shiloh and other battles Wilder was associated with, as well as other military matters. The web site gives the letter transcription, a photo of the letter or document, and pictures of General Wilder throughout his life. The entire collection can be viewed at http://www.lib.utc.edu/wilder-letters.html.