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Jefferson Davis collection, 1861-1883

0.25 linear feet

The Jefferson Davis collection contains political and military correspondence of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America. Most of the letters are from congressmen, governors, cabinet officers, generals, and local politicians to Davis.

The Jefferson Davis collection (91 items) contains political correspondence of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America. The collection consists of 10 letters written by Davis, including three to Robert E. Lee, and one document signed by Davis. The remaining 80 items are letters to Davis from congressmen, governors, cabinet officers, generals, and local politicians. They offer a variety of opinions and advice on the Confederacy and the war effort related to both political and strategic matters. Other topics discussed include military and political promotions and appointments, Southern public opinion of the war, intelligence and updates from the battlefield, prisons and prisoners, political support in Europe, and Confederate finances.

Selected items include:
  • January 17, 1861: Jefferson Davis to George Lunt, stating that secession was forced upon the South by Northern aggression and not caused by Lincoln's election
  • September 3, 1861: Simon Bolivar Buckner to Davis recommending that they take decisive military action in Kentucky
  • November 2, 1861: James B. Chesnut to Davis explaining his part in the planning of the battle at Manassas
  • April 9, 1862: Stephen Russell Mallory to Davis concerning iron-clad ships
  • September 3, 1862: Robert E. Lee to Davis recommending that his army invade Maryland
  • October 8, 1862: Two letters to Davis concerning the suspension of habeas corpus
  • April 6, 1763: Joseph Christmas Ives to Davis containing an inspection report on Vicksburg and other forts
  • July 29, 1863: James Phelan to Davis on enforcing the Conscription Act
  • July 21, August 3, 8, 14, 1863: Letters concerning calls to remove John C. Pemberton from office
  • October 12, 1863: John H. Reagan to Davis advising that the army cut off Rosecrans in Tennessee and predicting Union gains if they fail
  • November 18, 1863: George W.C. Lee to Davis recommending that Davis visit Robert E. Lee and his army
  • June 11, 1864: Davis to the Confederate Senate concerning the destruction of the gunboat Cairo
  • August 9, 1864: Herschel Johnson to Davis explaining that the Confederate army must defeat Sherman and protect Atlanta, Georgia
  • February 2, 1865: Act written by Thomas Bocock and Alexander Hamilton Stephens to "regulate the pay…of certain female employees of the government," signed by Davis
  • March 28, 1865: George A. Trenholm to Davis arguing for the Confederate government to purchase cotton

Joseph Titcomb papers, 1861-1869 (majority within 1862-1869)

330 items (0.5 linear feet)

The Joseph Titcomb papers contain the business correspondence of a Maine shipping merchant during the first years of the Civil War and a letterbook of his outgoing correspondence dated 1863-1869. The collection includes three letters from C. Lee Moses, a naval officer, who describes his experiences around Virginia in 1862 and 1863.

The Joseph Titcomb papers contain 329 business letters of a Maine shipping merchant during the first years of the Civil War, plus a letterbook of Titcomb's outgoing correspondence (729 pages) dating from late December 1863 to March 1869. Most of the letters in the collection relate to business matters, including ship charters, insurance policies, and trade. Though many of the letters come from New York, Boston, and other northern ports, much of Titcomb's trade was also carried out internationally; the collection includes notes on trade from various ports throughout Europe, including Le Havre, France, and Swansea, Wales. Several items in the collection are written by George Nowell, who was in charge of the Tropic and who provided periodic updates on the ship's progress and business affairs. Others concern the sale of the Nathaniel Thompson in July 1862, and various business concerns of Titcomb's other ships, including the Golden Eagle, Atlas, and Greenwood.

A series of three letters from C. Lee Moses, a sailing master aboard the Mahaska, concern different engagements of the Union Navy during the Civil War. Moses was often outspoken; for example, "The Galena built at Mystic Conn. is a perfect failure, her sides fall in to such an extent that the batteries have thrown their balls completely through her" (May 23, 1862). He discussed fighting on the James River near Fort Powhatan (May 29, 1862), and his resignation at the prospect of facing a court martial "for striking [a] negro" (September 20, 1862).