Author Archives: dwaugh

12 October 1863: “Unless we can get corn from some other county than this, I am afraid there will be great suffering among the poor of this vicinity.”

Item description:  Letter, 12 October 1863,  from Judge William H. Battle to his son, Richard Battle. The letter reveals his anxiety about provisions for the coming winter.  Food shortages caused the prices on crops to skyrocket in Orange County, North … Continue reading

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18 August 1863: “organizing the students at the University into a company to be drilled and called out in case of emergency to resist raids, &c.”

Item description:  Letter, 18 August 1863, from Adjutant General Daniel Fowle to Professor of Chemistry John Kimberly stating that Governor Zebulon Vance had suggested mobilizing a contingent of University of North Carolina students for defense of the home-front. [transcription available below image]   … Continue reading

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8 August 1863: “In Portsmouth the doings of the Council are most unique and extraordinary, putting down all currency but Greenbacks, as they are called.”

Item Description: This diary entry illustrates the social and political conditions in Portsmouth, Virginia.  It also describes the city’s unusual use of the relatively new greenbacks for currency, instead of Confederate notes. IMAGE Item Citation: From folder 2 of the Overton … Continue reading

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15 July 1863: “I was very much inclined to ask him particularly concerning you, but I was afraid he would suspect something”

Item Description:  In this love letter from 15 July 1863, William Gaston Lewis writes to his future wife (they were married in 1864) Martha Lucinda Pender (Mitte) after the Battle of Gettysburg. In it, Lewis mentions his promotion due to … Continue reading

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4 May 1863: ” [Commencement] came off without much excitement, eight graduates; the number in peace time was between eighty & ninety.”

Item description:  Letter, May 4, 1863 from John Steele Henderson to his mother.  Henderson describes the significant loss of UNC’s student body due to the war.  While he shares his experience speaking at Commencement, Henderson express more concern with securing a pair of shoes. … Continue reading

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21 February 1863: “Drawing of ‘Gen. Ledlie’s H.Q., St. Helena Island S.C.’”

Item description: Drawing, dated 21 February 1863, of “Gen. Ledlie’s H.Q., St. Helena Island S.C.,” drawn by Herbert E. Valentine, a private in Company F of the 23rd Massachusetts Volunteers, who served in the United States Army between 1861 and 1864 … Continue reading

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9 January 1863: “I havent opened my snack yet”

Item description: Letter, dated 9 January 1863, from Robert W. Parker, describing rejoining the Army of the Northern Virginia in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Parker was born in 1838 in Pittsylvania County, Va. His father, Ammon H. Parker, and mother, Frances Goggin Parker, eventually … Continue reading

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2 January 1863: “…the ladies were under a guard of Federal Soldiers haing spent the night in Jail and part of the time in a Criminals Cell!!

Item Description: Rev. Overton Bernard recounts the changing social conditions brought about by Union occupation and notions of emancipation. A white slave owner’s son, wife, and his wife’s friends were briefly imprisoned after an enslaved or servant woman was slapped for her … Continue reading

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1 January 1863: “Today is the period fixed for Mr. Lincoln’s unwise and unconstitutional emancipation proclamation…Thousands of the Poor deluded Negroes have left their homes…”

Item Description: Rev. Overton Bernard depicts the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation on the enslaved African Americans. Item citation: From folder 2 of the Overton and Jesse Bernard Diaries #62-z,  Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Item transcription: … Continue reading

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31 December 1862: “The Yankees getting decidedly the worst of it, our division was not engaged, it is stationed on the Lebanon Pike near the center of the lines…”

Item description: Letter, 31 December 1862, from Thomas W. Patton, lieutenant in Company C of the 60th Regiment North Carolina Troops, to his mother, Henrietta Kerr Patton. Item citation: From the James W. Patton Papers #1739, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North … Continue reading

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