500 Strong: Wabash College Students in the Civil War
Wabash College had the largest number of students serving in the Civil War for its size of any college in the nation. It actually ranks in total serving with the larger schools; Harvard, for instance had 1,300 Northern soldiers serving and Yale 700. The new book 500 Strong: Wabash College Students in the Civil War edited by James J. and Patience P. Barnes is the result of 25 years of student research projects. It traces the lives of the soldiers before the war, during and after the conflict.
The biographies, written by the students searching Indiana State Library records and accounts in other libraries all over the country were written by Dr. Barnes’ history majors in the 1980s and 90s and refined by the Wabash history professor and his wife, also an historical researcher and writer. There are wartime and life stories of well known generals (Lew Wallace, Edward Canby, John Coburn, among others) and new material on the John Wilkes Booth villains held in Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas commanded by Wabash man Major Valentine Stone. Included also are diaries of camp life, and accounts of individual soldiers serving in the First Alabama Northern Cavalry, New Mexico Brigade, and Colored regiments as well as stories of epidemics, raids and experiences of leading surgeons and hospitals and the struggle for advancement.