The Smith Civil War Collection is a unique collection of manuscripts, maps, and books rich in primary source titles. Particularly strong in regimental histories of Midwestern units, the collection provides the researcher with the opportunity to examine both rare and essential resources. Manuscript materials associated with the rare books support the print material collection.
Given to the college in 1962 by Ray D. Smith and his son Clifford Smith, the collection was the result of the elder Smith's lifelong interest in the Civil War. Ray Smith received a biography of U.S. Grant when he was nine and ever after he explored the history of the War Between the States. His interest in the War led him to develop an index to the periodical The Confederate Veteran that numbered over 7,000 entries.
Special Collections and Archives at Knox College is home to various manuscript collections related to the Civil War including the papers of Congressional Medal of Honor Winner, General Philip Sidney Post of the 54th Illinois Infantry; the correspondence of Stephen Fleharty of the 102nd Illinois Infantry; the Lewis F. Roe Papers (Co C, 50th Illinois Infantry); the diaries of Samuel Brink of the 39th Illinois Infantry; Lemuel B. Scott papers (84th Illinois Infantry) and other collections related to other northern states and the Confederacy.