Category Archives: Southern Historical Collection

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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26 March 1864: “The gunboats are firing. I see one of my houses burnt to ashes…”

Item description: Entry, dated 26 March 1864, from the diary of Frances Woolfolk Wallace.  Wallace describes destruction and evacuation during the Battle of Paducah, Kentucky. [transcription available below images] Item citation: in the Frances Woolfolk Wallace Diary, #3063-z, Southern Historical … Continue reading

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24 March 1864: “…as I mentioned yr name a flush spread over her and there was a momentary flash of the eye as if I was treading on forbidden ground.”

Item description: Letter, dated 24 (and 27) March 1864, from George S. Barnsley to Lancelot Minor “Lanty” Blackford.  Barnsley writes about his time as a surgeon in Richmond, and also discusses gossip regarding Blackford’s brother and a popular “Miss Jennie.” … Continue reading

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23 March 1864: “Considered a drawn fight.”

Item Description: In this diary entry of 23 March 1864, Kenneth Rayner Jones, then a lieutenant in the 27th North Carolina Regiment, described a snow fight between Cooke’s and Kirkland’s brigades. Twelve inches of snow had fallen the day before … Continue reading

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22 March 1864: “Negroes must not be connected with this in any manner whatsoever.”

Item Description:    Letter dated 22 March 1864, written by  George William Logan, about burying ammunition in secret stockpiles, with a note, “Negroes must not be connected with this in any manner whatsoever.”  George William Logan (1828-1896) served as a lieutenant … Continue reading

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