Skip to main content

Miles Dahmer Papers

Collection Number: A&M 3390

Scope and Contents

Papers of the Dahmer family of Upper Tract, Pendleton County, WV, featuring the papers and artifacts of Miles Dahmer, who served the Confederacy in the 25th Virginia Infantry.

There are 6 original documents (ca. 1861-1862) directly related to the service of Miles in the Civil War, including an order to muster troops to active duty (1861 April 29) and a "morning report of officer of the day" (1861 December 10) by Miles to General Jackson of the Army of the Valley. In addition, there is a notebook with very short and sporadic entries recording unit activities for a period during 1861.

There are also several letters from Miles to his aunts "Phebe" and "Anna" (1856-1857) regarding his experiences in traveling to the Kansas Territory (including steamboat travel), impressions of Grasshopper Falls, Kansas Territory (where he settled), and descriptions of Indigenous Americans, among other topics. (Though Grasshopper Falls, Jefferson County, was involved in the contest as to whether its political affairs should be controlled by the Pro-slavery or Free-state party in 1856-1857, there is no mention of this in the letters of Miles or others found in this collection.) Other letters include ones to Miles from his aunts (1857) regarding family and local news; letters from the Harmans (1857-1859), Miles' friends and neighbors in Grasshopper Falls, about local news; and letters from the Harmans (1865-1869) that discuss legal and financial matters pertaining to the disposition of Kansas land purchased by Miles, as well as opinions regarding the Confederacy and Dahmer's participation in the Civil War. (The Harmans had been acquaintances of Miles in Upper Tract, Virginia before moving to Kansas.)

There are miscellaneous financial and legal papers of the Dahmer family (1854-1891), including a 1791 deed to John Skidmore from Virginia Governor Beverley Randolph for land in Upper Tract, West Virginia. (This land was inherited by the Dahmer family.) There is also a 6' x 8' group portrait photograph, ca. 1900-1915, showing what appears to be a reunion of a Civil War Unit.

The collection also includes several artifacts used by Dahhmer during the Civil War.

Series include:
Series 1. Miscellaneous, 1840, 1995, undated (Box 1, Folders 1-2)
Series 2. Virginia Militia Documents, 1858, undated (Box 1, Folder 3a)
Series 3. Civil War Documents, 1861-1862, undated (Box 1, Folder 3b)
Series 4. Diaries, 1859-1861, 1884-1887 (Box 1, Folder 4)
Series 5. Outgoing Letters -- From Miles Dahmer to Aunts Juliana and Phoebe, 1856–1857 (Box 1, Folder 5)
Series 6. Incoming Letters -- To Miles Dahmer from Phoebe and Juliana Dahmer, 1857, undated (Box 1, Folder 6)
Series 7. Incoming Letters -- To Miles Dahmer, 1854-1869, undated (Box 1, Folders 6-8)
Series 8. Miscellaneous Correspondence -- Miles Dahmer, 1886-1891, 1913 (Box 1, Folder 9)
Series 9. Incoming Letters -- To Phoebe and Juliana Dahmer from Emily Harman and James Daughmer, 1857–1858 (Box 1, Folder 10)
Series 10. Incoming Letters -- To Phoebe and Juliana Dahmer from Sallie Dahmer, 1874–1881 (Box 1, Folders 11-12)
Series 11. Ephemera, undated (Box 1, Folder 13)
Series 12. Legal Papers -- Miles Dahmer, 1854–1882 (Box 1, Folder 14)
Series 13. Legal Papers -- General, 1860–1875 (Box 1, Folder 15)
Series 14. Bills and Receipts -- Miles Dahmer, 1860s-1890s, undated (Box 1, Folders 16-20)
Series 15. Bills and Receipts -- Phoebe and Juliana Dahmer, 1866–1887 (Box 1, Folder 20)
Series 16. Printed Material, 1830, 1879-1890, undated (Box 1, Folder 21)
Series 17. Photographs, ca. 1900-1915, 1993 (Box 1, Folders 22-23)
Series 18. Civil War Artifacts, ca. 1858-1862 (Boxes 2-5)


  • Creation: 1791-1913


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please see the Permissions and Copyright page on the West Virginia and Regional History Center website.

Biographical / Historical

Miles Dahmer was born 1825 April 10 and was raised in Upper Tract, Pendleton County, western Virginia. After settling briefly in Grasshopper Falls, Kansas around 1856-1857, he returned to western Virginia around 1858, and was appointed to serve the 3rd Division of the Virginia Militia as a Major. He later served the Confederacy in the 25th Virginia Infantry. He died on 1894 March 14 in Pendleton County, West Virginia. (See: Armstrong, Richard L. 25th Virginia Infantry and 9th Battalion Virginia Infantry. Lynchburg: H.E. Howard, 1990.).


1.4 Linear Feet (1 ft. 3.5 in. (1 document case, 5 in.); (1 small flat storage box, 3 in.); (1 small flat storage box, 1.5 in.); (2 large flat storage boxes, 3 in. each))


Papers of the Dahmer family of Upper Tract, Pendleton County, WV, featuring the papers and artifacts of Miles Dahmer, who served the Confederacy in the 25th Virginia Infantry.

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:


Miles Dahmer Papers, 1791-1913
Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US