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The Dimitry, Hardeman, Stuart, and Mayes families were white Southerners involved in education, government, business, and the military during the time just before and after the Civil War. The collection includes correspondence that documents the lives of family members in the South from the 1850s to the 1890s. In addition to local family matters, there are accounts of Confederate army service and views on politics and government. Extensive writings on religious and mathematical topics as well as poetry are also to be found. Family members who are featured in the collection include Colonel Oscar J. E. Stuart, Sarah Hardeman Stuart, Oscar, James, and Edward Stuart, Ann Lewis Hardeman, William and Mary Hardeman, John Bull Smith Dimitry, Adelaide Stuart Dimitry, Bettie Stuart Mayes, Fanny Harris Mayes, Robert Burns Mayes, Robert Burns Mayes, Jr., and Robert Burns Mayes III.

The John Bull Smith Dimitry Papers, 1848-1922, 1943 (bulk 1857-1922), consists of writings by various members of the Dimitry, Hardeman, Stuart, and Mayes families, who were related by marriage. Correspondence includes detailed discussions related to the Confederacy, Civil War, and Reconstruction from the point of view of white Southerners living in the Mississippi, Virginia, and Kentucky areas. This correspondence provides considerable information on family affairs, including business and legal matters and the role of women. There are also letters describing life in South America in the 1870s. Poetry, religious, and mathematical writings relate primarily to the Mayes family.

This collection appears to have incorporated an earlier Mayes-Hardeman-Stuart Collection and there are many mimeographed copies of originals held by the Mississippi Deparment of Archives and History. These seem related to Aunt Ann's Boys, an unfinished project by Robert Burns Mayes, Jr. which compiled correspondence between James, Oscar, and Edward Stuart and their aunt, Ann Lewis Hardeman.

Details of these families are found in O'Brien, Michael (ed.). An Evening When Alone: Four Journals of Single Women in the South, 1827-67, Southern Texts Society/University Press of Virginia, 1993, which publishes the 1850-1867 journals of Ann Lewis Hardeman.

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Lewis F. Henderson Letters, 1862-1865 0.2 Linear Feet — 12 Items

Corporal in the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 32nd Regiment (3rd reserve), Company D. Letters from Corporal Lewis F. Henderson to an unidentified friend in Philadelphia contain accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg; the Battle of Cedar Creek; and the Battle of Lynchburg. Other topics include Union hospitals; the burning of Virginia Military Institute and Governor John Letcher's home; Union and Confederate desertions; and "copperheads" in Philadelphia. Letters provide description of Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 and the last days of the Civil War.

Letters from Corporal Lewis F. Henderson to an unidentified friend in Philadelphia contain accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg; the Battle of Cedar Creek; and the Battle of Lynchburg. Other topics include Union hospitals; the burning of Virginia Military Institute and Governor John Letcher's home; Union and Confederate desertions; and "copperheads" in Philadelphia. Letters provide description of Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 and the last days of the Civil War.

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Libbie Ward papers, 1828-1913 and undated 1.2 Linear Feet — 110 Items

Ward served with the U.S. Christian Commission in hospitals in Louisville, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn., from 1864 to 1865, where she worked in the kitchens and as a general aide to the soldiers who spent brief periods there. Mainly letters between Libbie Ward and her family and friends.

Mainly letters (106 items, 1828-1913) between Sarah Elisabeth "Libbie" Ward and her family and friends. There are letters from other hospital workers, United States Christian Commission administrators, and family members of soldiers Ward tended. The bulk of the letters date from Libbie's time working for the U.S. Christian Commission at Foundry Hospital. Topics include health and illness, religion, death, politics and the war, and family life. Ward refers to arguments with friends and co-workers about women's rights and race, and discusses her changing opinions of African-Americans due to her work with them in the South. She writes, "There are some very intelligent and fine-looking colored men here I tell you it makes one feel bad to see so many who can neither read or write, who have so unfairly been deprived of the privilege." Includes two diaries, one combined with an account book. The diary, which comprises regular entries from 21 Sept. 1864 to 1 Jan. 1865, describes her daily routines in the kitchen and on the wards at the Louisville hospital and contains her thoughts on her day-to-day struggles, often using religious language. She mentions the 1864 Battle of Franklin's aftermath several times and refers to seeing "the noted female soldier." There is an additional diary combined with an account book that includes financial details from 1865-1870, a poem, a Union election advertisement, a telegram, an essay on Intemperance, and what appears to be letter drafts. Some early letters to her father are included and letters she wrote and received in her later life (1913) to and from young relatives. (01-039).