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William E. Arnold notebook

Identifier: MS-0018
This collection consists of a poetry notebook compiled by William E. Arnold during the period between 1849 and 1864. The bulk of the entries date from the years in which he was a student at VMI (1849-1853). Such notebooks were popular among VMI cadets of the mid-19th century and typically contain both original and copied verse. The Arnold notebook contains approximately 50 poems by Arnold, other cadets, various 19th century poets, and anonymous authors. Cadet poetry includes The Regulations by Charles Denby (VMI Class of 1850) and The Six Plebes on Leaving for Richmond by Thomas O. Benton (VMI Class of 1850). A few poems were composed by Arnold during the Civil War. The notebook also includes miscellany such as clippings, puzzles, and riddles.


  • 1849-1864


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections in the VMI Archives are made available for educational and research use. The VMI Archives should be cited as the source. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright holders. Materials from our collections may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission from the VMI Archives. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.


1 items

Biographical / Historical

William Elisha Arnold was born June 14, 1840 in Franklin County, Virginia. He was the son of James Arnold and Julia Barrow. Arnold enrolled at VMI in July 1849 and graduated in July 1853. Shortly after graduation, he married Susan Meriweather Taliaferro of Amherst County, Virginia. The couple had five children (William, Julia, James, Frederic, and Kate). Arnold taught school in Amherst County, and in 1859 began teaching math and tactics at the Lafayette Military Institute in Lexington, Missouri.

During the Civil War Arnold served briefly in the Missouri State Guard and in an artillery unit before passing his medical exams. After November 1862, he was a medical officer assigned to various commands.

After the war, Arnold practiced medicine in Springfield, Missouri. He died there on August 18, 1902.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450