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Samuel G. French and John Corse Civil War correspondence

Collection number: ahc.MSS26f

Scope and Content

This collection contains two letters dated October 5, 1864 that pertain to the Battle of Allatoona Pass. One letter is from Major General S. G. French of the Confederate States of America demanding the commanding Union officer to surrender his troops. The other letter is a reply to Major General S.G. French from Brigadier General John W. Corse in which he refuses to surrender.


  • October 1864


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Samuel Gibbs French (1818-1893) was born on November 22, 1818 in New Jersey to Samuel and Rebecca Clark French. He graduated from the U. S. Military Academy in 1843. He married twice, first to E. Matilda Roberts in 1853 and then to Mary Fontaine Abercrombie in 1865. He had four children from these marriages. French was an artillery officer under Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War. Gibbs was running a plantation in Mississippi when the state seceded from the Union in 861. He joined the Confederate Army as a major of artillery. He was eventually promoted to major general in 1862 and his division fought in the battles of Kennesaw Mountain and Nashville. At the end of the war, he returned to Mississippi. In 1876 he moved to Columbus, Georgia and in 1881 he moved to Winter Park, Florida where he grew oranges. Before his death on April 20, 1910, he published his autobiography, Two Wars.

John M. Corse (1835-1893) was born on April 27, 1835 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. He began studying at West Point Military Academy but left before graduation to pursue a law career. He entered the Federal Service in 1861 as a major of the 6th Iowa Regiment. He served with Major General John Charles Fremont in Missouri and then was made lieutenant colonel and transferred to General William T. Sherman’s division. He was promoted again in 1863 to brigadier general and was best known for holding his position against great odds in the Battle of Allatoona Pass. The Battle of Allatoona Pass took place in Allatoona, Georgia in early October, 1864. The battle was a decisive Union victory despite a much larger attacking Confederate force. At the end of the war, French led a campaign against the Indians of the northwest. Following his campaign in the northwest, he was involved in railroad construction, and he served as post-master of Boston. He died in Winchester, Massachusetts on April 27, 1893.


2 item(s)



Acquisition Information



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.

Processing Information

Collection reprocessed in 2008

Samuel G. French and John Corse Civil War Correspondence, 1864 Octoberahc.MSS 26F
Inventory prepared by Paul Crater
June 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305