Author Archives: hasmith

23 August 1862: “He came too, to take away slaves. He wanted two especially – Rina, who was washer and ironer for the family, and the childs nurse called Bella…”

Image description: Entry, dated 23 August 1862, from the diary of Laura Towne. Towne (1825-1901) came to St. Helena as part of the Port Royal Relief Group of Pennsylvania, an abolitionist group that came to Beaufort, S.C. and the surrounding … Continue reading

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23 July 1862: “There are very many ill of the fever & Ellen & I spend a good deal of time driving to Eustis’s, where there is a crowded & sickly set of people…”

Item citation: Diary entry of Laura Towne, dated 23 July 1862. In this entry Towne notes gathering provisions for the formerly enslaved men and women of Edisto Island, as well as the health of the African American population on St. … Continue reading

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5 July 1862: “…better give a 1000 Yankees (including all the Gen’ls lately taken) than lose one of such inestimable value as your dear Brother”

Item description: Letter from M. Marshal to Mary Pettigrew, 5 July 1862. Mrs. Marshall notes her pleasure at finding that General Pettigrew, Mary’s brother, was not killed in battle but is captured, and wishes his safe return. She goes on … Continue reading

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16 June 1862: “By landing above us they can have no difficulty in cutting us off. Of course this Should not be mentioned by you living where you do.”

Item description: Letter, 16 June 1862, from Francis Wilder Bird to his sister, Mrs. Patrick Henry Winston, concerning the Eleventh Regiment’s movement from Camp Davis to Camp Wyatt, the tolerable but ultimately inadequate fortifications at Fort Fisher, and enemy fire … Continue reading

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26 May 1862: “I was in Wilmington a few nights ago, and saw the famous blind Tom of whom you have seen articles in the papers.”

Item description: F. W. Bird, an uncle of lawyer and legislator Robert Winston, wrote to his sister about life at Camp Davis, his regiment, and most importantly about seeing enslaved black musician Blind Tom, who was an autistic musical savant … Continue reading

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15 March 1862: “We hear daily from Genl Beauregard who is anxious for reinforcements from this army to assist him…”

Item description: Letter, 15 March 1862, from Jeremy Francis Gilmer to his wife Louisa Fredericka Alexander Gilmer. In this letter, Jeremy Gilmer writes to his wife about the difficulties with the weather and his living quarters in Alabama, as well as … Continue reading

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3 December 1861: “he having received a Furlough from the 3rd day of Dec to the 1st day of January at which period he will rejoin his company at /near Centreville or wherever it is they may be or be considered a deserter”

Image description: Application for Furlough for H.E. Duncan, from Captain Boykin’s Independent Mounted Company of Rangers, 3 December 1861. Item citation: From the Boykin Family Papers, #78, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Item … Continue reading

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28 October 1861:”Since the commencement of the war of the Yankees and abolitionists on the Southern people, I have not been able to hear from you…”

Item description: Letter, 28 October 1861, from Joseph Bird, in Shanghai, China, to his sister, possibly in Bertie County, N.C. Bird was a United States Navy officer on a ship, believed to be the U.S.S. Saginaw. In the letter, Bird … Continue reading

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15 September 1861: “I fear the result of the action of the K.Y. Leg. [Legislature] has damaged us very much, and that Tennessee now as a border state, will suffer severly, although the Confederate Army may & I believe will succeed in the end…”

Item Description: Letter,  A. Gardner to William S. Pettigrew, 15 September 1861. [Transcription available below images]   Item citation: From folder 246 in the Pettigrew Family Papers (#592), Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. … Continue reading

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12 September 1861: “The Commanding General has great satisfaction in making known the excellent conduct of Colonel J.E. Stewart, and of the officers, and men of his command, in the affair of Lewinsville…”

Item description: General Order No. 19, Laudatory of Col Stewart’s affair at Lewinsville, 12 September 1861 The Boykin family of Camden, S.C., included Alexander Hamilton Boykin (1815-1866), cotton planter, state legislator, and Confederate officer. During the Civil War, Hamilton Boykin … Continue reading

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