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John E. Dooley, SJ Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS49

Scope and Contents

The John Dooley, SJ Papers contain reminiscences written between 1865 and 1873 detailing his service as a Confederate soldier in the First Virginia Infantry Regiment (1862-1863) and subsequent imprisonment at Fort McHenry and Johnson’s Island (1863-1865). Also includes an essay he wrote on secession (circa 1861), poetry (1870-1873), and a few pieces of correspondence (1860-1909). Materials are arranged in a rough chronological order except for the bound reminiscences in folder 8.


  • 1861 - 1909


Conditions Governing Access

The John E. Dooley, SJ Papers are on deposit at Georgetown University and are the property of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus. As stewards of the Archives, the Georgetown University Library’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections is responsible for managing access to the material based on policies set forth by the USA East Province. Researchers may view these materials in the Reading Room of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. General policies for using Special Collections can be found here.

Access to the Archives is governed by the USA East Province and is subject to all Library and Special Collections policies and procedures in addition to the specific guidelines below. These guidelines are a summary of access policies; the Archives may include materials that fall outside the scope of these general guidelines. For information on access to specific materials, please contact the Special Collections staff.


1. All Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring before January 1, 1940, shall be open for review unless otherwise restricted, subject to Library policies and procedures.

2. All unpublished Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring on or after January 1, 1940, shall be open for review upon request subject to a decision by the Provincial or someone designated by the Provincial.

3. Researchers may quote from the materials.

4. Researchers may take their own photographs of the material for scholarly and research purposes. Allowing photographs is not an authorization to publish or to deposit the material in another library or archive.

5. Written permission from the USA East Province is required for the publication of substantive portions of any material or publication-quality reproductions of any material.

6. Material not yet processed is not available to researchers; permission will not be granted to access any unprocessed material.

7. Audiovisual, microfilm and other material in the Archives, the original of which is held in another archive, may be consulted and transcribed only. Written permission from the archive holding the original material is required for any duplication, reproduction, or publication of that material.

8. Use the Permission Request Form to request permission (i) to access any restricted processed material or (ii) to publish reproductions or quote substantive portions of the material. Send the completed form by email to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections (

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical Note

John E. Dooley (1842-1873) was one of eight children born to John J. and Sarah Dooley of Richmond, Virginia, where John, Sr., was a Commercial Savings Bank officer and a director of the Virginia Insurance Company. In 1856 the younger Dooley entered the preparatory department at Georgetown College with his brother James, where they were members of the cadet corps and the debating society. James graduated in 1861 but John, who was supposed to be in the class of 1863, did not return to school in the fall of 1861. He instead joined the home guard in June 1862 and then the First Virginia Infantry Regiment (Company D) two months later as a private, participating in the Battles of Second Manassas, Antietam (Sharpsburg), and South Mountain.

In the spring of 1863 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant (Company C); soon thereafter, however, he was wounded and captured during the Battle of Gettysburg. He was subsequently imprisoned at Fort McHenry (Baltimore) and Johnson’s Island (Sandusky, Ohio); released on parole in late February 1865; and returned to his family home in Richmond. After traveling to Lynchburg and then to Charlotte, Dooley went to Washington, DC, and entered the Society of Jesus in September 1865. He was stationed at the novitiate in Frederick from 1865 to 1867 and, because of his declining health, at Georgetown from 1868 until his death in 1873.


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was previously part of the University Archives (prior to 1970).

Related Materials

Fr. Joseph T. Durkin published portions of these writings in 1945 as John Dooley, Confederate Soldier: His War Journal. Historian R. Emmett Curran published John Dooley’s Civil War: An Irish American’s Journey in the First Virginia Infantry Regiment in 2012, an expanded and more complete look at the contents of this collection.

Processing Information

This collection was rehoused into acid-free boxes and folders in March 2024.

John E. Dooley, SJ Papers
Aleksandra Kinlen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057