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Patrick Casey papers

Identifier: BUSC-2004-001

Scope and Contents

The Patrick Casey collection consists of a four-page narrative from 1862 and two diaries, approximately three inches by five inches, dating from 1863 and 1864-1865. They were written by Casey while enlisted with the 104th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry. A large majority of the entries in the diaries are written in second-person narrative form, as Casey employed the pronoun “you” to refer to himself.

Casey’s four-page narrative, titled, “The Travels of a Soldier in the 104th Regt. N. Y. V. Since the Date of Enlistment in Whitehall, Washington Co. to Date,” provides a chronological detail of destinations and offers a brief description of the tasks or events that had taken place beginning January 26, 1862, the date of his enlistment through September 15, 1862 when the text ends mid-sentence. In this narrative Casey also recounts his involvement in the Battle of Cedar Mountain and the Second Battle of Bull Run, both occurring in August 1862, and the Battle of South Mountain in September 1862.

His 1863 diary contains entries from January 19 through September 30 and three entries from October to the end of the year. Pages have been removed for most of January to early February, the end of November, and portions of December. Early entries include minimal information, such as prices of clothing and sundries, sending money home and being in camp. A number of entries read “in camp” or “Do” [Ditto]. At the end of April Casey’s entries become more detailed with information about the regiment’s movements and activities from Virginia to Pennsylvania, where he served in the Battle of Gettysburg and was captured on July 01, 1863. Casey describes the march to Belle Isle Prison (referenced as “Bell Island” in his text) with great detail. While in captivity he writes of the poor living conditions, sickness and death, the lack of clothing and blankets, and he questions his faith in the U.S. Union Government for not sending help for those captured. Casey writes of being released to a parole camp in Maryland on September 30th and of leaving the parole camp on October 21st.

The 1864 diary covers Casey’s return to active duty on May 14, 1864 through his journey home in February, 1865. During this period his entries detail the regiment’s movement south from Maryland to Virginia. He writes of the weather, locations where he traveled and encamped, skirmishes and battles, capture of Confederate soldiers, and loss of their own soldiers. This diary also covers his second capture near Petersburg, Virginia on August 19, 1864. During his time as a prisoner of war, Casey writes about the meager rations received, rumors of parole, the fall of Atlanta to the Union forces, and the number of prisoners brought in daily. The diary continues with his release to a parole camp on October 8, 1864 and his return to active duty in December. Subsequent entries include camp life, picket duty, and preparing for battles. His last entries center around mustering out of service and his journey home. The diary also contains miscellaneous notes with sporadic dates ranging from 1863-1865 and 1869-1871. The notes include information such as expense reports, loan records, lists of names, and receipts for clothing purchased during his military service.

This collection has been digitized and is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collection.


  • 1862 - 1865


Biographical Note

Patrick Casey was born in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland on December 28, 1829. He immigrated to the United States, arriving in 1837 (1900 census). In 1853 (family tree) he married Ellen Freel and by April 1855 they were residing in Watervliet, New York with their infant son, Sylvester. Casey was employed as a blacksmith. Five years later another child, Mary Ellen, was born and the family resided in Whitehall, Washington County, New York.

During the Civil War, Casey, at the age of thirty-three enlisted with Company I of the 104th Regiment of the New York Volunteer Infantry in Troy, New York. He served with this regiment from 1862-1865. During his three years of service Casey was promoted to the rank of corporal and then sergeant. In February 1865 Casey mustered out of service and returned to his hometown in Whitehall where he resumed his work as a blacksmith. In 1914 Patrick Casey passed away at at eighty-four years of age.


2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection consists of a brief narrative and two diaries from 1862 to 1865 written by a resident of Whitehall, Washington County, New York while enlisted with the 104th NY Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. The narrative and diary entries detail regimental movements, battles, living conditions as a prisoner of war, camp life, prices of clothing and sundries, and the weather. This collection has been digitized and is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 2004.


1860 U.S. Federal Census. Whitehall, Washington County, New York, page 113, Patrick Case.

1870 U.S. Federal Census. Whitehall, Washington, New York, page 600B, Patrick Casey.

1875 New York State Census. Whitehall, Washington, New York, page 6, Patrick Casey.

1880 U.S. Federal Census. Whitehall, Washington, New York, page 500D, Patrick Casey.

1890 Veterans Schedules of the U.S. Federal Census, image 5. Patrick Casey.

1892 New York State Census. Whitehall, Washington County, New York, page 9, Patrick Casey.

1900 U.S. Federal Census. Whitehall, Washington, New York, page 5, Patrick Casey.

1905 New York State Census. Whitehall, Washington, New York, page 8, Patrick Casey.

1910 U.S. Federal Census. Whitehall, Washington, New York, page 5, Patrick Casey.

104th Infantry Regiment Unit Roster. New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, image 24.

New York, U.S., Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900, image 149. Patrick Casey.

New York, U.S., Death Index, 1852-1956, page 171. Patrick Casey.

Public Member Trees (Taft Casey Ross Affinito). Patrick Casey.

U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865. Patrick Casey.

U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current. Patrick Casey.
Guide to the Patrick Casey papers
Guide prepared by Randall Miles and updated by Yvonne Deligato
2005, updated 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Binghamton NY 13902 USA