Redwood Collection Robert Dorsey Coale Papers 1897-1915, MS. 1530.2

Maryland Historical Society
Library of Maryland History

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Redwood Collection--Robert Dorsey Coale Papers, 1897-1915
Maryland Historical Society

 
 
 

(Text converted and initial EAD tagging provided by Apex Data Services, March 1999.)
 

Redwood Collection--Robert Dorsey Coale Papers, 1897-1915
Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:
Manuscripts Department
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
410.685.3750
Fax: 410.385.2105
library@mdhs.org
www.mdhs.org



Descriptive Summary

REDWOOD COLLECTION--ROBERT DORSEY COALE PAPERS, (1897-1915)

MS 1530.2

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674

 


Introduction

The papers of Robert Dorsey Coale (1857-1915) make up this collection. Coale, a science professor at the University of Maryland, was also a Colonel in the Fifth Maryland Regiment during and after the Spanish-American War.

Incoming and outgoing letters (1897-1915) of Robert Dorsey Coale concern the Fifth Maryland Regiment's preparation for participation in the Spanish-American War, and many of the letters are from training camps in Tampa, Florida and Huntsville, Alabama. A letter from Coale to his mother, Caroline Dorsey Coale, dated June 9, 1898, discusses military management; says that there is confusion about the ultimate destination of the Division; expresses the opinion that much sympathy is wasted on the troops; and that a newspaper article by Poultney and Bigelow is unjust and untrue on many points.

The above letter is interesting in light of subsequent correspondence which reveals that Coale's leadership of the Regiment was questioned. Correspondence between Coale and General L. Allison Wilmer and others reveal that people wanting the Regiment to go to Cuba and those wanting it to remain stateside were exerting pressure on politicians to intervene in the affairs of the Division. Specific charges were made against Coale's competence as a commander, and he allegedly ignored medical and sanitary problems in order that his troops would be ordered to Cuba.

Evidence of medical and sanitary problems are revealed in a sick report of August 10, 1898 giving the strength of the Regiment, and listing the number of malaria and diarrhea cases; and a letter (Sept. 17, 1898) to Coale from Dr. Crim, Surgeon of the Fifth Regiment, informing him of allegations made by Dr. J. R. Trimble that Coale did not have sinks constructed for his men, that he asked

Trimble not to talk about conditions, that sick soldiers were quartered with typhoid cases, and that Coale was intemperate and neglected his duties. A letter of Sept. 21, 1898 from Trimble to Coale denies that the allegations were made by him.

Other letters are from people urging Coale not to resign and expressing support for him; involve various Regiment personnel matters such as resignations and legal proceedings; and a memorial fund for Dr. Coale after his death (1915).

Coale's outgoing letters (1898-1907) are carbon copies of letters he wrote as a Colonel of the Fifth Regiment, and as a dean at the University of Maryland. The latter deal with students, courses, fees, and the hiring of teachers.

Coale's papers also include an alphabetical index; a printed copy of minutes of a meeting of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution in Maryland (1916); and a copy of Maryland, My Maryland by James R. Brewer (a Spanish-American War version, 1898); and a post card (1909) of the Fifth Massachusetts Regiment of Boston arriving at Camden Station in Baltimore.

 


Container List

One Box:

1897-1915

Letters of Robert Dorsey Coale

1898-1907

Outgoing letters of Robert Dorsey Coale (carbon copies)

1898, 1909

Printed Material

1916

Society of the Sons of the Revolution in Maryland - minutes (printed copy)

n.d.

Alphabetical Name Index