I was searching through our blog archives today and realized how long it’s been since I posted anything here that wasn’t a simple copy-and-paste of a press release. So here’s a short summary of where things stand as far as the digitization of our Civil War materials at the NC State Archives.
Tiffanie Mazanek is still working on scanning and doing the metadata for Civil War diaries in our collection. In fact, you should soon see a blog post from her about the last of the William H.S. Burgwyn diaries.
Tiffanie and Alexis Pittman, one of our Meredith College interns, spent the latter part of 2011 working on materials from the Williams-Womble Papers. I’m currently reviewing those and adding them to the NC Digital Collections. For some context, here’s the description of the collection from our online catalog MARS:
Papers of three soldiers in Co. G, 7th Regt. NCST. Letters from Pvt. George A. Williams of Wake Co. are from Carolina City (1861), Kinston (1862), and Virginia, describing Battle of Bristoe Station, lack of food and clothing, speeches to soldiers by Gov. Zebulon Vance, and preference for W. W. Holden (Apr., 1864). Three letters are from brother-in-law Pvt. Richard Womble, and a few papers (1843-1876) relate to his father Jacob Womble of Wake Co. and other family members. Unidentified diary kept by a noncombatant in the company may have belonged to musician William B. Howard (Harward) of Chatham Co., killed at Gettysburg. The diary describes marches and battles from May 4, 1862, to June 28, 1863, including Seven Days’ Campaign, Cedar Mountain, Second Manassas, Harpers Ferry, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville; crossing the Blue Ridge (Nov., 1862); and reception in Maryland and Pennsylvania towns en route to Gettysburg.
If you want to see items from this collection, you can find them here. I’d also like to share some quotes from letters written by George A. Williams that caught my eye recently:
“Dear wife I will know will tell you a little about the movements of this army for the last 15 days on the morning of 9th of this just we commanced marching and we just marched rite towards the yankess we expected to get in to a fite ride off but as luck would have it just as sonn as the yankess found that we was advancing…on them they began to fall Back and they kept on on falling falling back until we persued them close till they got to Bright Station which is near mannasses…”
“…I have seen some heard times in the cors of the last two weeks all lay in line of Battle 4 days and Knights in the cold time that we have had this um [illegible] all come very neare freesing and starving to death we draws 3 days rations in 8 days and one of them was a hogs head and a hook bone and 3 crackers to the man for 30 men and thought that we was doing well to get that thear is one third of the men in the Brigade Barefooted and in thear drawrs and no Blankets at all and them is hundreds of them that cant hide thear nakedness at all I cant ware Britches more than a day or two more I never was as naked before in my life and I intend to quit doing duty untill they get me some cloths for I dont intend to by any thing to ware at all…”
“…The great Governer Vance has Bin out hear making speaches though I dont think they will have a much affect more than he will loose many voat by speeking in the way he did he wants to fight untill hell freases over and then figt on the ice and we ar not willing to figth so long as that and thinks Mr Holden is not for fighting that long and he is our choice By a large majoety…”
“…it has bin snowing or raining most every day for two weeks and is still raining now and the mountins and the Blue ridge it covered with snow and ice and has bin for 2 or 3 weeks and the weather cold though as soon as the weather settals I am confident that we will have to try our hands though if reports as true…”
“…it isssomend in camps that Col. Haywood is likely to get the 7th Regement to camp Homes he has bin home on furlow and is 8 or 10 days Behind Time and col Davidson recieve a mesage from him yesterday that all of his papers was rite so far and he has bin to Richmond and has gone Back to Raleigh and we are all in hopes that he Bee scuccesful in his undertaking and are anctious to see him return…”
George A. Williams to his children, June 17, 1864 [George A. Williams was killed in battle on July 28, 1864.]:
“…children I want you to be Smart and all ways have respect for olde peples dont gave them any provication of corsecting you I want you to be smart and take good advise from a friend who is capable of advising you I will aclose I remain as ever your fearther [father] untill death G. A. Williams…”