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Ernest A. Walen Collection

Identifier: M123

Scope and Contents

This is a collection of documents collected by Ernest A. Walen of Longmeadow, Massachusetts. The collection contains original letters, orders, printed material, official documents, photographs, newspaper clippings, prints, etc. covering the 19th Century with an emphasis on American Civil War materials and some 20th Century materials concerning the Civil War. Most of the material on the Civil War concerns the Confederacy, with some Federal documents included.


  • 1821-1955

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

Ernest A. Walen was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on June 8, 1896. He had prepared to enroll in Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall of 1916, but when his summer employment in a manufacturing plant resulted in a promotion and a salary increase, he "postponed further education." Walen's business activity in the mid-1960's centered in a corporation, located in Springfield, Massachusetts, named the Heatbath Corporation, which manufactured metal treating processes.

In 1958 Ernest A. Walen began corresponding with Dr. William D. McCain about membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He became an honorary member of Camp 584 in Jackson, Mississippi, in that same year. By late 1960 Walen had requested a life membership in the organization. His interest in the Confederacy continued, and by mid-1962 he was conducting genealogical research which he hoped would lead to his membership in the Order of Stars and Bars, an internal organization of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for descendants of Confederate officers.

As early as the 1940's, Walen began to collect materials on the Confederacy and the South in general. He continued this hobby for more than twenty years, amassing more than 5,000 published volumes along with 600 Confederate imprints, numerous pamphlets, and other materials. The collection, which was willed at his death to the University of Southern Mississippi, was appraised at $53,294.50.

Ernest A. Walen died January 4, 1969, in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. His collection was received at the University of Southern Mississippi in October 1969.


1 Cubic Feet (total) : MC1/D25

Language of Materials



This collection has five subgroups: Subgroup I contains pre-Civil War documents subdivided into three series. Series I contains slave documents, series II contains a tax assessment, and series III contains a mortgage.

Subgroup II contains documents from the Civil War period and is subdivided into five series. Series I contains personal correspondence of enlisted soldiers, relatives of soldiers, and people writing about the war. Series II contains official correspondence, mostly by officers, concerning matters of an official nature such as orders and requests. Series III contains printed matter such as newspaper extras, broadsides, and note paper. Series IV contains Confederate passes. Series V contains financial documents such as ration purchases, bond purchases, postal business, and Confederate currency.

Subgroup III contains documents from the post-Civil War era concerning the Civil War including passes, letters, newpaper articles, photographs, and prints.

Subgroup IV contains miscellaneous documents of the late 19th and 20th Centuries including letters, receipts, newspaper clippings, cigarette cards, etc.

Subgroup V contains miscellaneous artifacts which accompanied the collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the University of Southern Mississippi by Ernest A. Walen in October 1969.

Ernest A. Walen Collection
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001