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Gillis Family Papers - MS 746 mf
The Gillis Family Papers were transferred for microfilming to the Center for Archival Collections in October 1997 with the cooperation of James Tuma, Charlotte, Michigan. Mr. Tuma is a descendant of James and Simeon Gillis.
The Gillis Family Papers consist primarily of correspondence, diaries, military records and reunion materials related to James and Simeon Gillis' service in the 68th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Also included are Gills and related family histories as well as an 1855 letter from James and Simeon's grandmother to her children.
Simeon Gillis (1842-1919) and James Gillis (1844-1863) were brothers who resided in Spring Lake, Williams County, Ohio. Both enlisted in Company K of the 68th OVI in 1861. James died of tuberculosis in 1863 while still in the service. Simeon survived the war, losing a leg at the Battle of Champion's Hill in 1863. Simeon Gillis later became the publisher of the Bryan Press and Auditor of Williams County.
Correspondence found in this collection includes, along with the letters previously mentioned, letters from family members to the Gillis brothers. Letters also included are from fellow servicemen Elisha M. Ogle and A. J. Long to Simeon Gillis.
Both diaries by Simeon Gillis cover the same time period and appear to be virtually identical with only minor differences. The diary of James Gillis details Simon's wounding at the Battle of Champion's Hill.
The official military records of Simeon Gillis include information from muster rolls and pension records. A hand-written transcript of the 1862 court martial of Private Nayce Coates, who was tried for sleeping on guard duty is included. No relationship is known to exist between Coates and the Gillis brothers other than serving in the same regiment.
Reunion materials of the tenth, thirtieth, and fiftieth reunions of the 68th OVI consist of a news clipping and two pamphlets. Simeon Gillis served as secretary and, later, president of the veterans' association.
Finally, a family history consisting of family tree charts and written anecdotes is included. These documents were prepared in the mid-1930s by Simeon Gillis' daughter Ethel (1871-1938) to support application to the Daughters of the American Revolution.
This register was prepared by Susan Hughes in October 1997. No restrictions apply to the use of the collection.
- Correspondence, 1855, 1862-1864, 1979, 1919, n.d.
- Court Martial Record--Private Nayce Coates, August 9, 1862
- Diary--James Gillis, January-July 15, 1863
- Diary--Simeon Gillis, 1862
- Diary--Simeon Gillis, 1862
- Family history (includes Gillis family), 1780-1988
- Official Military Records--Simeon Gillis (photocopies), 1861-1919
- Reunion materials--68th OVI (includes news clippings, pamphlets), [1871?], 1891, 1911
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