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Thomas L. Kane papers on the 42nd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, 1861-1906

 Sub-Series — Box: 60, Folder: 39-40
Identifier: Vault MSS 792 Series 5 Sub-Series 1

Scope and Contents

Contains letters, telegraphs, newspaper clippings, and other materials related to the formation of the 42nd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. Contains information on his role in the unit, and conflicts with Charles J. Biddle. Materials date from between 1861 and 1906.


  • 1861-1906


Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Kane family papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Charles J. Biddle (1819-1873) was an American soldier, lawyer, and Congressman.

Charles John Biddle was born April 30, 1819 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Nicholas Biddle and Jane Margaret Craig. Biddle studide law at Princeton, where he graduated in 1837. He was admitted to the bar in 1840. He served as a captain of an infantry unit during the Mexican-American war, and was eventually promoted to the rank of major. After the war, Biddle returned to Philadelphia to continue practicing law. He married Mary Emma Mather in 1854. Together they had 7 children. In May 1861, following the outbreak of the American Civil War, Biddle was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the Pennsylvania reserves. Eventually he rose to the rank of colonel, commanding the 42nd Pennsylvania Volunteers Infantry. In October 1861 Biddle was elected to the Thirty-seventh United States Congress. He resigned from the Army in February 1862. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 28, 1873.

Biographical History

Andrew Gregg Curtin (1815-1894) was an American lawyer and politician. He was the Governor of Pennsylvania during the American Civil War.

Andrew Gregg Curtin was born April 22, 1815 in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania to Roland Curtin, Sr. and Jane Gregg. After attending the Milton Academy, Curtin studied law at Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle. After his admission to the bar in 1837, Curtin began practicing law in Bellefonte. He entered into politics in 1840, campaigning in favor of Whig presidential candidate William Henry Harrison. In 1855, John Pollock appointed Curtin as state Superintendent of Public Instruction. At that time, he also served as Secretary of the Commonwealth, from 1855 to 1858. Curtin became Governor of Pennsylvania on January 15, 1861, serving in this capacity until 1867. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Curtin committed Pennsylvania to the Union cause. Curtin suffered from serious illnesses and a severe breakdown, brought on by the stresses of war. He served as Minister to Russia from 1869 to 1872. Curtin served as a Congressman from 1881 until 1887. He died in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania on October 7, 1894.

Biographical History

Thomas L. Kane (1822-1883) was a lawyer, abolitionist, Civil War soldier, frontiersman, and Mormon advocate.

Thomas Leiper Kane was born January 27, 1822 in Philadelphia to Judge John Kintzing Kane and Jane Duval Leiper. He attained the bar in 1846, after studying law with his father. He served as clerk in his father's court until 1850, at which point he resigned due to a moral conflict with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. He went on to become an active member of the Underground Railroad. Kane became interested in the Mormon migration to the West, and was crucial in securing government aid for the movement. His friendship with Brigham Young is credited with the non-violent resolution of the Utah War. At the advent of the Civil War Kane organized a volunteer Union Army regiment known as the "Bucktails" and served as lieutenant-colonel of that outfit. He later was brevetted the rank of major-general for his service at Gettysburg. After his military service he retired to found the town of Kane, Pennsylvania. In 1853 Kane married Elizabeth Dennistoun Wood, and together they had four children: Harriet Amelia Kane (1854-1896); Elisha Kent Kane (1856-1935); Evan O'Neill Kane (1861-1932); and Thomas Leiper Kane, Jr. (1863-1929). Kane died of pneumonia in Philadelphia on December 26, 1883.

Biographical History

George A. McCall (1802-1868) was a United States Army officer, brigadier general, and a prisoner of war during the American Civil War.

George Archibald McCall was born March 16, 1802 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Archibald McCall and Elizabeth Cadwalader. He was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 1822. He served during the Second Seminole War, then later during the Mexican-American War. At the beginning of the Civil War, McCall helped organize volunteers in Pennsylvania as major general of the state militia. He was commissioned brigadier general of volunteers in May 1861. He was wounded and captured Frayser's Farm, Virginia, in June 1862. He was imprisoned in Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. A previous illness worsened while he was a prisoner of war, and after his exchange in August, McCall resigned from the Army due to poor health in March 1863. He retired to his estate in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he farmed until his death February 25, 1868.


2 boxes

Language of Materials