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Two Flyers, Women’s Christian Temperance Union, circa 1880

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 7

Scope and Content

From the Collection: The collection includes five bound volumes of Cornelius Hanleiter’s war diary from 1861 – 1865, along with correspondence, including a letter from Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens. The collection also contains sketches of Hanleiter’s outpost in Savannah, and other documents relating to his service in the Army of the Confederacy. Also included are newspaper clippings pertaining to the careers of C.R. Hanleiter, Lemuel P. Grant, Colonel Tom Harvard, Anton L. Kontz, and Jonathan Norcross, as well as events of the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. Hanleiter’s diaries form the bulk of the collection. His frequent entries provide a very detailed account of the activities of a Confederate officer while aiding in the defense of Savannah from November 1861 until December 1864. The diaries date from November 7, 1861 to January 19, 1863 and continue sporadically through March 1865. Hanleiter apparently abstained from writing for a two-month period between January and March 1863 and proceeded with consistent entries until late July, 1863 whereupon the narrative breaks off until December 20, 1864. The last entry is dated March 29, 1865. The transcriptions of the diaries cover 350 typed pages. Hanleiter’s accounts begin at Camp Kirkpatrick in Atlanta, Georgia and continue during his company’s tour of duty in Savannah and nearby Skidaway and Tybee Island. While stationed along the coast Hanleiter describes the disorganized logistics of moving the army, their daily drills and inspections, the poor state of Confederate defenses, desertions, and the fighting, drunkenness, disorderliness, sickness and disease among soldiers. Hanleiter is expressive in his personal feelings towards his fellow officers, many of whom he regards as either incompetent or immoral. His diaries include dozens of references by name of his fellow officers and enlisted men in his and other Georgia units, by name. The diaries include reports (some very detailed) of battles and skirmishes with Federal vessels, including the Battle of Fort Pulaski. In 1862, Hanleiter was the subject of a court martial process in which he was charged with inducing a private to desert his company. He was found guilty in one case and was fined and suspended, but the penalty was later countermanded. In several other cases, he was found not guilty. His diaries give his account of the proceedings. Other entries include emotional descriptions of conversations with dying soldiers in his unit, a brief second-hand account of Andrews’ Raid, details on his units’ efforts in shoring up Savannah’s defenses, and descriptions of Union gun boats looming off the coast enforcing the blockade of Southern sea ports. Hanleiter writes about the use of slave labor to build Confederate defenses along the coast and the escape attempts made by slaves. His final entries describe the evacuation of Confederate forces from Savannah in December 1864 and his subsequent entries describe efforts to elude the Union army in the Carolinas.


  • circa 1880

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


From the Collection: 1.25 linear ft.


From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305