Mississippi State University Libraries has made available in its digital collections the Civil War era, first-hand accounts of the Orville Babcock Diaries and Letters of Pvt. Arthur McKinstry.
The Babcock and McKinstry materials are a part of the overall Ulysses S. Grant Collection, which is housed at the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library on the first floor of Mitchell Memorial Library at MSU’s Starkville campus. MSU is one of only five universities in the nation that have the distinction of hosting a presidential library.
Orville Babcock was a Union Army officer and engineer, who eventually became General Grant’s aide-de-camp late in the Civil War. His diaries begin in 1863, notably including his perspective on the siege of Vicksburg, and continue into 1869. Also included are Babcock’s wartime experiences in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee before finally being summoned to Virginia. Additionally, they contain information regarding his post-war experiences in Washington, D.C., where Babcock served as personal secretary to Grant during his presidency, including his famous mission to Santo Domingo in 1869. This collection also includes supplementary materials of speeches, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.
You can read more about this online collection at https://goo.gl/n1VfyZ. Both the Babcock Diaries and the McKinstry letters are available for viewing at http://digital.library.msstate.edu/cdm/usgrantcollection.