The Milsaps Collection was created by John Ephraim Thomas Milsaps - bibliophile, Salvationist, traveler and diarist - who joined the Salvation Army in 1883 and remained in its service until his retirement. As a professional Salvationist, Major Milsaps travelled widely in this country and abroad as a Salvation Army organizer and (San Francisco) WAR CRY editor. Along the way Major Milsaps kept a meticulous seventy-three volume diary which chronicles not only his army activities, but also a host of general observations useful to researchers. In addition, the Milsaps Papers contain extensive scrapbooks of personal and Salvationist material, personal correspondence and an extensive photographic collection. Similarly, the papers contain a significant body of Salvation Army literature and ephemera unique in this country. The Milsaps Papers also contain the Major's collection of autographs, many of which bear on nineteenth century American politics, especially in the state of Ohio. Also in the collection is a group of scrapbooks dealing with such diverse topics as the Galveston Storm of 1900 and the San Francisco Earthquake.
Major John E. T. Milsaps of the Salvation Army kept a meticulous seventy-three volume diary which chronicles not only his time in the army traveling widely and abroad as an organizer and an editor of the War Cry, but also a host of general observations about the places he traveled to. His diaries also contain sketches and photographs of the places he went and the things that he did.