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Alfred Rolf letters

Collection number: ahc.MSS684f

Scope and Content

The collection contains twenty-three letters written by Corporal Alfred Rolf to his parents and brother in Quebec. Between June and September 1864, Rolf traveled through northwestern Georgia, writing from Lost Mountain, Marietta and at a location described as “Chavotia River.” He wrote that he was wounded during fighting on July 28, 1864, was captured and escaped. In April 1865, he wrote from Raleigh, North Carolina and mentioned the surrender of General Robert E. Lee to General Ulysses S. Grant as well as General “Jonson’s” surrender to General William Tecumseh Sherman. He believed the war’s end would signal his homecoming. After the war, Rolf wrote from Washington, D.C., Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Most of these letters discuss Rolf’s complaints about the lack of resources, including weapons, food, pens and writing paper, and irregular pay. Rolf also sent requests to his parents for paper, pens and news from home and asked them to contact Canadian consuls to help with his military discharge. The letters cover his promotion to corporal and later his court martial for fighting with one of his sergeants.


  • 1864-1867


Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research

Administrative and Biographical History

Alfred Rolf (1844-?), son of Benjamin and Ann (Allen) Rolf from Upper Town in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, was a blacksmith by trade. On April 17, 1863, he married Bridget Quinn and had a son, John. On October 21, 1863, in Cleveland, Ohio, he enlisted in Company B, 32nd Ohio Volunteers, 17th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, under General James B. McPherson. Rolf was injured and captured in the Battle of Atlanta in July 1864, but escaped. After the 32nd Ohio Infantry disbanded on July 20, 1865, he was sent to Company G, 34th United States Infantry. Additional biographical information about Alfred Rolf has not been determined.


27 item(s) (23 letters, 4 envelopes)




America's Turning Point: Documenting the Civil War Experience in Georgia received support from a Digitizing Historical Records grant awarded to the Atlanta History Center, Georgia Historical Society, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Digital Library of Georgia by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Alfred Rolf letters
Inventory prepared by Laura
EAD created in 2011
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305