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Transcriptions, 1865

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 12

Scope and Content

From the Collection: This collection contains 1 telegram and 106 letters written between members of the Simms family. The collection also contains transcriptions of 52 of the letters. Most of the letters were written by Arthur Benjamin Simms to his sister Lucy Jane Simms, however there are also some letters written to his mother Jerusha Simms. Other letters were written by Lucy Jane Simms, James Phillip Simms, Jerusha Simms, and Richard Lee Simms, Jr. All but three of Arthur Benjamin’s letters were written from Virginia. Most of the them from his camp in and near Richmond, however other locations in Virginia include New Market, Yorktown, Petersburg, Leesburg, Fredericksburg, Gordonsville, Fisher’s Hill and Charlestown. The other three letters by Arthur were written from Goldsboro, North Carolina, Bristol, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia. The letters contain accounts of family news such as illness, births, deaths and moves. Arthur Benjamin’s letters often detail rations, campsites, marching orders, and the generally good quality of life in his Confederate infantry. He often describes the mood of the soldiers as optimistic and eager in the early years of the war, however notes increased discontent and hopes for an end to the fighting throughout 1864 and 1865. Simms says this longing was expressed in the soldiers’ increased destruction of cities and towns, regardless of the city’s allegiance to the Union or the Confederacy. The primary concern of many of these letters is money or business matters such as payment of taxes, debts or hiring of slaves. He often discusses the changing currency value of greenbacks, gold and Confederate money. When discussing battle Arthur usually describes life for soldiers in the trenches and the precautions taken to ensure the soldiers’ safety. Arthur notes the progress of General Sherman’s march through Georgia and repeatedly warns his family of the dangers for civilians when Union soldiers are present, especially for people living in the country instead of the city. In the letter from Arthur dated February 2, 1865 he writes that Union President Lincoln expects foreign nations to help fight. In this same letter he also notes that the Confederate Vice President, President of the Senate and Assistant Secretary of War had gone to Washington to discuss possible peace settlements with the Union.

Dates

  • 1865

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Extent

From the Collection: 0.84 linear ft. (1 document case, 1 oversized box)

Language

From the Collection: English

Creator

Repository Details

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

Contact:
130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305
404-814-4040