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Benjamin L. Askue Archival Collection

Identifier: WC-BA-1982

Scope and Content

The Askue archives occupy only nine linear feet, but include a collection of flyers, advertisements, and pamphlets from the 19th century, a multitude of transcribed letters to his wife, books, and realia, such as a beaver top hat, the medical bag Askue used in practice, and ambrotypes of himself and his wife, Flavia. The collection spans the years 1851 to 1952.


  • 1851-1952


Language of Materials

The records are in English

Biography of Benjamin L. Askue

Born in Ashtabula County, Ohio in 1833, Benjamin Askue was a nurse during the American Civil War. He did not, however, go the traditional educational path. Instead, he studied under the hand of a local doctor and eventually became a practitioner of homeopathic medicine. Askue joined the Union Army in 1861, serving for the 23rd Ohio Volunteers Infantry (O.V.I.). Under the leadership of future President Rutherford B. Hayes and William S. Rosencrans, Askue eventually became a field nurse for the O.V.I., putting his medical training to use. While in the army, Askue was captured several times by the Confederacy and even hid in the forest of West Virginia to avoid capture on one occasion, but he always managed to escape. His brother, Oscar Askue, had also been a soldier in the Union Army, and when Oscar was killed in battle, Benjamin Askue escaped the Confederates and made his way to the battlefield where his brother’s body lay. Upon arrival, he had his brother shipped back to Ohio. Benjamin Askue married his cousin and “Ever Dear Companion,” as he referred to Flavia in his letters, in 1854, though he later remarried after her death in 1893. After leaving the army in July of 1865, when the Civil War ended, Askue returned to Ashtabula, where he practiced homeopathic medicine until his death in 1906.


9 Linear Feet


A collection of papers and realia belonging to Benjamin L. Askue, a doctor in the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the American Civil War, which include letters written to his wife, Flavia Pritchard Askue.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is organized into six series, arranged by item type. Categories include: "Almanacs, booklets, and flyers," "Articles and publications," "Miscellaneous documents," "Correspondence," "Realia," and "Books."

Physical Location

Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions

Guide to the Benjamin L. Askue Archival Collection
Edited Full Draft
Finding aid prepared by Laura Meece, Veronica Buchanan
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Cincinnati, Health Sciences Library, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions Repository

Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library
231 Albert Sabin Way
Cincinnati Ohio 45267-0574