Category Archives: Southern Historical Collection

8 April 1864: “A different spirit seems to be pervading our troops from what I have ever seen and I feel that this is the last year of the war and hope that by this time next year we will be blessed with peace and will be an independent nation.”

Item Description: Letter, 8 April 1864, from James Augustus Graham to his mother. In it, Graham describes a fasting day in the camp, along with the spiritual climate, detailing the church service schedule along with the creation of a Soldiers Christian … Continue reading

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7 April 1864: “It may be a belief entertained and justly founded, but I am persuaded expression would be severely criticised.”

Item Description: In this letter, dated 7 April 1864, William Brown at Richmond wrote to Robert Lewis Dabney regarding edits to the manuscript biography of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson written by Dabney. Brown suggested that Dabney rewrite potentially controversial references … Continue reading

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6 April 1864: “Since we entered the Tenn R. I can honestly say I never saw so handsome a river.”

Item Description: Letter dated 6 April 1864 written by Edward W. Allen to his parents, James and Emily Allen. Edward served in Company H of the 16th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers and in this letter was moving from Vicksburg, MS (where … Continue reading

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4 April 1964: “I believe the pickle was appreciated the most.”

Item description: Letter, dated 4 April 1864, from Peter M. Grattan to Mary E, Grattan.  Peter writes from Orange Court House, Va. about picket duty and camp life in general.  He also thanks her for a box of provisions and asks … Continue reading

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3 April 1864: “I am glad Dixie is learning to sing and I wish it was summer, so he could hear other birds sing.”

Item Description: Letter, 3 April 1864, from James Gifford to his parents, describing the burning of Cape Lookout lighthouse, the rations on his ship, his duties, and how to “take snuff” like a Southern lady. Gifford, a United States Navy paymaster steward, … Continue reading

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2 April 1864: “I cannot help but hope that this will be the last year of the war, they cant carry on the war successfully & a presidential election.”

Item description: This letter, dated 2 April 1864, was written by Confederate private J.T. Kern while he was stationed in Dalton, Georgia. Kern’s mother had written him about the trials of living under Union occupation in Mississippi and his anger … Continue reading

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31 March 1864: “…to frighten them he pointed the gun at them…”

Item description: Entry, dated 31 March 1864, from the diary of Samuel A. Agnew.  Agnew describes the accidental death of Franky, the son of two of his Aunt Rilla’s slaves, due to a gun misfiring. [transcription available below images] Item … Continue reading

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29 March 1864: “It distresses me to have you go into the army as a private. I think it is throwing so much away.”

Item Description: Letter dated 29 March 1864 from Mary Pettigrew to her brother, William Pettigrew. In it, Mary begs William to serve a position at a hospital in Raleigh rather than join the army. She also briefly discusses news from … Continue reading

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28 March 1864: “…he knows of no disease so prostrating as diptheria & that in such a severe attack as Johnnie’s has been it takes weeks and sometimes months to recover entirely…”

Item description: Letter, dated 28 March 1864, from Annie Schon in Atlanta, GA to her sister Bettie Kimberly in Chapel Hill, NC.  Annie describes her husband John and son Johnnie’s diagnosis with diphtheria and their subsequent treatment and recoveries. [transcription … Continue reading

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27 March 1864: “They went for the purpose of burning the town of Swansboro…”

Item description: Letter, dated 27 March 1864, from James Gifford, a United States Navy paymaster steward, to his parents.  He write from aboard the U.S. Release while stationed off Beaufort, N.C., and describes a failed attempt to burn the town of Swansboro … Continue reading

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