McVey’s Civil War diary research presented at Frank House

Contact: Sally McVey, Frank House administrative assistant, 308-865-8284

Kearney, Neb., April 11, 2013 – Sally McVey, a graduate student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, will present the remainder of her research on the 150-year-old diary of Civil War soldier Franklin Fox, at Frank House on April 20.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Saturday at the Frank House series of events and will start at 1:30 p.m.

McVey’s research examines the life of Franklin Fox, a typical Civil War soldier, through the diary he kept during the conflict’s final months. This piece of history was found tucked away in a wall of the historic Frank House at UNK.

“The Franklin Fox diary was discovered in the Frank House by archivist Rachael Downs,” McVey said. “I was then assigned the task of electronically preserving the document.” While going through this process, McVet said she found it fascinating and decided to apply for the Undergraduate Research Fellows Program.

“I asked (geography professor Jason) Combs to mentor me through the project, because I knew about his book titled ‘Do They Miss Me at Home?’ and his experience with documents from the Civil War,” McVey said. Fox’s story and account of the Civil War’s final months provides personal insights to the events in this era, including the burning of Columbia, S.C., and President Lincoln’s assassination.

“His account adds rich personal detail to a traumatic time in America’s history, and it is through this primary source that more documentation is added to the 15th Michigan infantry’s records,” McVey said. “Franklin Fox’s diary is significant in that it personalizes the war by providing firsthand accounts of the day to day experiences of a common soldier.”

In her presentation, Hale will discuss her research process and will highlight the experiences.

The Frank House, 2010 University Drive, is the campus’s historic home, now a museum with a mission to steward, share and celebrate the house and its cultural resources. It was constructed between 1886-1889. Regular walk-in-hours for tours of the Frank House are Monday through Friday, 2-5 p.m., and Saturday, noon-5 p.m. The Frank House is closed during UNK breaks and holidays. For more information, visit


-Adrianna Tarin