Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-429
Location: LH-429

(Description ID: 606981)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

The Culbert - Nickles Family


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

This collection was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums in 2017.

Biographical Sketch
Elijah Culbert was born on August 9, 1821 in Belfast, Ireland. At the age of twelve, Elijah immigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada with his family.  On April 30, 1846, he was married at Port Hope, Canada to Eliza Day.  The couple had ten children; Eleanor, Sophia, Thomas, Samuel, John, Letitia, Charles, Albert, Mary and Edgar.  In 1858, the family travelled to the United States and eventually settled in Fremont, Ohio in April 1859.  Elijah worked in the nursery and agricultural business prior to enlisting in Company I, Twelfth Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Cavalry on September 7, 1863.  This regiment was part of the Fourth Cavalry Brigade, Twenty-third Corps, Army of the Cumberland.

In his autobiography, Elijah discusses the three major battles in which his regiment engaged in during the Civil War. The first two engagements took place at Mount Sterling, Kentucky and Cynthiana, Kentucky in June 1864.  His last, and most notable engagement occurred on October 2, 1864 at Saltville, Virginia.  It was here that Elijah was captured and confined to an old shed at Fort Breckenridge.  He was soon transferred, spending time at Lynchburg, Libby and Pemberton prisons located in Virginia.  On December 25, 1864, Elijah was hospitalized in Richmond, Virginia after developing pneumonia and spent six weeks recovering.  He was paroled and ultimately sent back to Camp Chase in Columbus, Ohio on February 5, 1865 after spending four months in captivity.  Due to poor health, Elijah never returned to active service and was discharged from the army on June 10, 1865.  He died in Fremont, Ohio on December 19, 1902 at the age of 81.        

Scope and Content
The collection spans the years from 1849 – 1945, however the bulk of the material is dated from the 1860s – 1900. The collection principally focuses on Civil War veteran Elijah Culbert and his brief autobiography.  Also included are minimal records belonging to the Culbert and Nickles families; newspaper clippings, photographs and articles.     

Ac. 5988

Box 1 


  1. Elijah Culbert – autobiography (handwritten and typed transcription)
  2. Newspaper Clippings/Articles
  3. Photographs:
    Iva Culbert, John ? and daughter
    Emily Nickles and son, Walter
    Eliza Culbert
    John and Letitia (Culbert) Nickles; daughters: Addie, Lottie, Lucy, Helen; son: Walter
    Emily Nickles family and home
    Sophia Elizabeth Culbert – 1849
    Mary Eleanor Culbert – 1866
    Sophia and Mary Culbert, Walter Nickles
    Emily Nickles, John and Lucy
    Emily Nickles family
    Don Culbert family
    Gravestones: Culbert and Day families (Oakwood Cemetery – Fremont, Ohio)
  4. Saltville, Virginia (photocopies of images)
  5. Calvin Bowersox (Civil War letter – Camp Wood, Kentucky – January 20, 1862)