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Reverend John Wesley Stipe Papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS685f

Scope and Content

This collection consists of genealogical information about John Wesley Stipe as well as typewritten and handwritten memoirs of his childhood, the days of his first marriage, Civil War service, and career as a Methodist Episcopal circuit pastor. His typewritten memoirs describe life in rural antebellum Georgia including such activities as justice courts, log rolling, and corn shucking. Of particular interest are two handwritten journal entries, written in the style of a newspaper series, entitled "The Rebel Soldier's Passtime" (sic). They are dated April 4th, 1864, and February 8th, 1865, respectively, and describe in great detail the activities of Stipe and his infantry unit from April of 1863 through November of 1864.

Stipe describes troop movements, camp food, weather and terrain, winter quarters, and many of the diseases common to Civil War infantry soldiers including measles, smallpox, scurvy, and dysentery. He served as rear guard in several engagements and describes the taking of Union prisoners and materiel as well as the treatment and execution of Confederate deserters. Stipe's writings often discuss his feelings on religion and education as well as the moral character of the men with whom he served.

In addition to his memoirs, the collection contains genealogical information on John Wesley Stipe that was compiled by his descendants. Typed transcripts of the letters as well as digital surrogates of the original letters are in Folder 1.


  • 1864-2003, undated
  • Majority of material found within 1864 - 1961


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

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Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright law.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.

Administrative/Biographical History

John Wesley Stipe, the son of John Stipe (1804-1890) and Emily Smith (1815-1908), was born June 9, 1841, in Palmetto, Georgia. Stipe married Arminda Parker (1839-1868) on November 8, 1860, and had at least three children with her: John Wesley, who died in infancy; Emma (1863-1932); and Mary Elizabeth Mamie (1866-?). John Wesley Stipe mustered into the Confederate States Army in April of 1862 as a private in Company C, 35th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry. He was apparently captured twice, once at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, after which he was released as part of a prisoner exchange; and again at Petersburg, Virginia on April 2, 1865. After cessation of hostilities, Stipe was released at Point Lookout, Maryland, on June 19, 1865.

Stipe was licensed to preach by the Methodist Episcopal Church South in 1868. He served as a circuit pastor throughout north Georgia; his appointments include Jonesboro, Carrollton, Lawrenceville, Roswell, and Dahlonega, where he served as Presiding Elder from 1876-1878. In 1874, he married Margaret Evans (1856-1905) and had at least three children with her; Charles Evans (1875-1908); John Wesley III (1878-1947); and Elizabeth, who died as a child. Shortly before his retirement from the ministry in 1912, Stipe married a widow, Mary Ellen Robbins (1871-1953), and settled in the Ben Hill community outside Atlanta where he farmed until his death on February 2, 1917.


12 item(s) (2 folders)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Susan Stipe Wilson, 2008 (2008.101)


  • Lillian Henderson, Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia 1861-1865, Volume III (Georgia Division, United Daughters of the Confederacy, 1994), 3:872.
  • Harold A. Lawrence, ed., Methodist Preachers in Georgia: 1783-1900 (Tignall, Georgia: Boyd Publishing, c. 1984), 531.
  • Harold A. Lawrence, ed., Methodist Preachers in Georgia: 1783-1900, A Supplement (Milledgeville, Georgia: Boyd Publishing, c. 1995), 180.
  • Reverend John Wesley Stipe Papers, MSS 685f, James G. Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center (Atlanta, Ga.).

Description Control

Collection processed in 2011.

Reverend John Wesley Stipe Papers
Sue VerHoef
April 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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