Charles Iverson Graves papers, 1831-1962.

Creator: Graves, Charles Iverson, 1838-1896.
Collection number: 2606
View finding aid.

Abstract: Charles Iverson Graves of Newton and Floyd counties, Ga., and Caswell County, N.C., attended the U.S. Naval Academy; served as a U.S. and Confederate naval officer; taught school and operated a farm near Rome, Ga.; spent 1875-1878 in Egypt as an officer in the Egyptian army; and worked as a civil engineer on construction of the Georgia Pacific and Memphis & Vicksburg railroads, 1881-1884. Charles and his wife, Margaret (Lea) Graves (fl. 1860-1898), had five children: Charles Iverson, Jr., William Lea, Mary Hinton, Robert William, and Anne Parke. The collection is chiefly correspondence of Charles Iverson and Margaret (Lea) Graves, especially documenting his military career in the U.S. and Confederate navies and his civil engineering career, particularly his service in Egypt, but also his work on the Georgia Pacific and Memphis & Vicksburg railroads. The pair exchanged several hundred letters from 1875 to 1878 detailing his experiences in Egypt and her life at Locust Hill, Caswell County, N.C., where she tried to raise five children with limited economic resources. There is also correspondence relating to Charles’s time at the U.S. Naval Academy; to the couple’s courtship; to the couples’ independent struggles–he on active duty and she on the the homefront at various places, including Mobile, Ala.–during the Civil War; and to the operation of the family farm in Rome, Ga. Other letters contain information about the experiences of other family members, particularly members of the Lea family, who moved to Alabama and Mississippi before the Civil War, and those of a relative in California after the war. Also included are genealogical materials about the Graves, Lea, and related families, reminiscences by Margaret (Lea) Graves, and Charles Iverson Graves’s writings on Egyptian culture. There are also other writings, notes, and pictures, including materials relating to a book on Civil War veterans in Egypt by William Best Hesseltine.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Image 2606/5 depicts an unidentified group of eight white children with three black women and one donkey. Subseries 1.5 also contains correspondence of Graves while working in Egypt, description the life and culture in various areas of North Africa.