Guide to the John Mead Gould Papers, 1841-1944


John Mead Gould was a Union Army officer and bank teller, of Portland, Maine. Correspondence, diaries, official papers, clippings and other printed materials, and other papers relating to Gould's service with the 1st Maine Infantry Regiment and its successors, the 10th and 29th Maine regiments, during the Civil War. Gould served as the regiments' official historian and was extensively involved in post-war reunions and veterans' claims. Subjects include Civil War campaigns and wartime and Reconstruction conditions in South Carolina, and the career of zoologist Edward Sylvester Morse. Also includes the diaries of Amelia Jenkins Twitchell Gould, 1860-1865, who taught a freedmen's school in Beaufort, S.C., and diaries written by Samuel McClellan Gould, a Presbyterian minister, 1841-1845, 1890-1895. Other materials include photocopies of letters, 1906-1926, from veterans of Gould's Civil War regiment, mostly giving news about the deaths of former members, and a photocopy of an autobiographical and genealogical narrative by Gould and two photographs.

Collection Details

Collection Number
John Mead Gould papers
Gould, John Mead, 1839-1930
8.8 Linear Feet, 3,617 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

This rich collection contains correspondence, diaries, official military papers, clippings and other printed materials, drafts of writings, photographs, and other papers documenting John Mead Gould's experiences in the Civil War, his activities in veterans' organizations, and his work as historian of the lst, l0th, and 29th Maine Regiments.

The correspondence in the collection relates in part to Gould's service in the 1st Maine Regiment and its successors, the 10th Maine Regiment and the 29th Maine Regiment and contains descriptions of the situation in Washington, D.C., 1861; guard duty on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Relay, Maryland, 1861-1862; the battle of Winchester, 1862; the battle of Cedar Mountain, 1862; two fragments from field notes on the Maryland campaign and the battle of Antietam, 1862; the Red River expedition, 1864; operations in the Shenandoah Valley, 1864; and occupation duty in Darlington, South Carolina, 1865.

There is family correspondence, especially for 1864; correspondence relating to Gould's attempt to establish a lumber business in South Carolina, 1866-1867; correspondence with other veterans after the war concerning Gould's history of the three regiments, validating pension claims, and veterans' organizations; correspondence of Adelthia Twitchell and Amelia Jenkins Twitchell, who went from Maine to teach freedmen in Beaufort, South Carolina, 1864-1865; and letters relating to the early career of the zoologist, Edward Sylvester Morse, a close friend of Gould's.

Legal papers in the collection include commissions, discharges, furloughs, pensions, and papers from the superior provost court, Darlington, South Carolina, 1865-1866. Rolls and reports of the lst-l0th-29th Maine Regiment, 1861-1869, form the official papers of those units and concern supplies, finances, furloughs and other service records. The records of 65 consecutive reunions of the lst-l0th-29th Regiment veterans, 1869-1933, include lists of personnel, minutes, and obituaries.

The letters written by Gould during the war, which he called his "journal," were bound into several volumes by his family. Although these are not with his papers, a long series of memorandum diaries by Gould remains in the collection. These little volumes begin in 1854 at Bethel Academy and continue until 1874, when Adelthia (Twitchell) Thompson and William E. Harward died. Along with Gould's Civil War diaries there is the diary of a Levi Johnson, Company B, 29th Maine Regiment, in South Carolina, 1865. The collection also contains the diaries of Gould's wife, Amelia Jenkins (Twitchell) Gould, 1860, 1862-1863, 1864-1865; diaries written by Samuel McClellan Gould, a Presbyterian minister (Gould's uncle), 1841-1845, 1890-1895; and diaries written about excursions to Antietam, Cedar Mountain, and other battlefields of the Civil War, 1884-1912.

Printed materials include clippings, broadsides, and pamphlets, many from the Civil War era. Accounts of Civil War prisons appear in the clippings as reminiscences. Casualties are reported in clippings directly after the Civil War battles in which the regiment fought. Broadsides contain poetry, veteran materials, and political brochures. The pamphlets pertain to veterans' activities.

There is a substantial series of photographs of the men of the lst-10th-29th Maine Regiment in the war and at various reunions. Materials added to the collection in 1988 include photocopies of letters, 1906-1926, from veterans of Gould's Civil War regiment, mostly giving news about the deaths of former members, and a photocopy of an autobiographical and genealogical narrative by Gould and two photographs.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], John Mead Gould Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

(8 folders)

Includes an information folder about John Gould Papers at Maine Historical Society, and a folder of letters, 1853-1861 1st Maine Regiment.

Box 1
(8 folders)
Box 2
(5 folders)
Box 3
(7 folders)
Box 4
(7 folders)
Box 5
1900-1935 and undated
(6 folders)
Box 6
Box 6
Provost Marshal cases, 1865-1866
Box 6
Box 6
29th Maine Regiment (1860s) and the 10th Maine Regiment (1863), and other papers
Box 7
History of the 1st-10th-29th Maine Regiments
Box 8
Manuscript on the Battle of Antietam, 1892
Box 8
Box 8
Box 9
Box 9
Box 9
Newspaper clippings
Box 9
(7 folders)
Box 10
(7 folders)
Box 11
(4 folders)
Box 12
Rolls and reports of 1st-10th-29th Maine Regiment
(1 box)
Box 13
Reunions, circa 1870s-1925
(22 folders)
Box 14
Excursion of 1889
Box 15
Excursion to Cedar Creek
(3 folders)
Box 15
Unknown battlefield
Box 15
Red River Dam
Box 15
Antietam, 1910 and undated
(2 folders)
Box 16
Cedar Mountain, 1912 and undated
(2 folders)
Box 16
Veterans, soldiers, and others
Box 16
Prints of officers of 1st, 10th, and 29th Maine Regiments
Box 16
29th Maine
Box 16
1st, 10th, and 11th of Maine
Box 16
Long Island, Casco Bay, Maine and Portland, Maine
Box 16

8. Volumes Series, 1854-circa 1920 and undated

6 boxes

Boxes 19-22 in this series have been given basic processing; materials may not have been arranged beyond original order.

Directory of the 1st-10th-29th Maine Regiment (red covers), 1889-circa 1920 (32 volumes)
Box 17
Directories of the 1st-10th-29th Maine Regiment (white covers)
(circa 60 volumes)

The career of a Louisiana freedman, Harry Johnson, who followed the regiment home to Maine, is related in the white-covered volume marked "Jennings."

Box 18
Regimental records
(18 volumes)
Box 19
Regimental records
(8 volumes)
Box 20
Diaries of Amelia Jenkins (Twitchell) Gould, 1860, 1862, 1863, 1865, 1889
(5 volumes)
Box 21
Diaries of Samuel McLellan Gould, 1841-1845 and 1890-1895
(6 volumes)
Box 21
Miscellaneous financial records of John M. and Edward Gould
(8 volumes)
Box 21
Memorandum diaries of John Mead Gould, 1854-1874
(15 volumes)

With Gould's Civil War diary is that of Levi Johnson, Co. B, 29th Maine, in South Carolina, 1865.

Box 22
Photograph, 48th Reunion, 1-10-29 Maine Regiment Association, Long Island, Maine, 1916, Aug. 10
Oversize-folder 1
Photograph, Randall B. Williams, 1924, July
Oversize-folder 2

Historical Note

John Mead Gould was born in 1839 in Portland, Maine, the son of a local banker, Edward Gould. His closest friend beginning with his school years was Edward Sylvester Morse (1838-1925), who became a well-known biologist; there are some papers in the collection that relate to his life and career.

Gould enlisted in the Portland Light Guards in April 1861, which then became part of the 1st Maine Regiment, commanded by Colonel Nathaniel Jackson; he then re-enlisted with the 10th Regiment in September 1861, which was commanded by Colonel George L. Beal (who later led the 29th Regiment). This regiment traveled and fought in Harper's Ferry, Winchester, Cedar Mountain, Antietam, and other places in Maryland and in the Shenandoah Valley. During this time Gould was promoted to First Lieutenant and Adjutant, a position which required him to maintain the regiment's records. Gould enlisted again in late 1863 with the 29th Maine Regiment, under Nathaniel Banks, and saw action in the Red River campaign, Louisiana, and in the last campaigns of Virginia in 1864 and 1865. He was elected major of the regiment in 1864. Gould was in a hospital in Harper's Ferry when Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865.

After the war's end, he traveled with the 29th Maine Regiment to Georgia and South Carolina, where he took on the duties associated with an occupying army. His comments in his diaries reflect on this time of reconstruction and chaos. He resigned his commission in February 1866 and moved to Yauhanna Ferry, South Carolina, where he lived until 1867, and profited from selling lumber to Maine shipyards.

John Mead Gould returned to his home state of Maine in 1866 and married Amelia Jenkins Twitchell, whose diaries are also in the collection; the couple lived in South Carolina for a time, but financial troubles forced them to return to Maine in 1867. He and Amelia had three children, a daughter and two sons. Gould became active in the veterans' association, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR); he also was appointed to serve the Maine Regiment as their chief historian and secretary. During this time he wrote a history of the regiment and other pieces of writing.

In his later years, Gould entered the banking profession, and retired by 1915. His wife Amelia passed away in 1926 and John Gould died in 1930 at the age of ninety, in Bethel, Maine.

[Adapted from a biography of John Mead Gould published on a descendant's website.]

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The John Mead Gould papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1967 and 1988.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff

Encoded by Tanya Lee, Carrie Mills, and Paula Jeannet, March 2014

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 1967 and 88-084

Parts of this collection have been given basic processing: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.