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James L. Wilson letters

Collection number: ahc.MSS310f

Scope and Content

This collection contains two letters written by James L. Wilson. The first was written to his cousin Mollie on September 5, 1861, from Manassas, Virginia. In this letter he describes the conditions of life in the army camp and his relationships to other soldiers as their Captain. Attached to this letter is a piece of wood Wilson claims was from the gallows of the abolitionist John Brown, who was publicly hanged in Virginia on December 2, 1859. The second letter was written to James’ cousin Ellen on November 19, 1863, from the Orange Court House in Virginia. This letter contains a description of the Confederate General Hampton’s attack on a Union camp and the capture of prisoners, and provisions during the Battle of Mine Run on November 18, 1863. He notes that as a Confederate soldier he draws good rations and clothing from the army.


  • 1861, 1863


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Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright law.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

James L. Wilson (?-1902) was born in Decatur, Georgia. In 1861, he enlisted as a private in Company G, 12th Regiment of the Georgia Cavalry in Cobb’s Legion. He achieved the rank of Captain before mustering out. He survived the war and became the Sheriff of his county in Georgia. On October 26, 1902, he died at the home of his son in Eatonton, Georgia. Additional biographical information about James L. Wilson has not been determined.


2 item(s)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1974


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.

Description Control

Collection reprocessed in 2009

James L. Wilson letters
Paul Crater
December 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