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Agnes Paton Foy Memoir, 1861-1865

Manuscript Collection #362

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Agnes Paton Foy Memoir
Creator: Foy, Agnes Paton, 1845-1921
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Memoir(1861-1865) including correspondence, Civil War Memoir, typescript copy.
Extent: 0.073 Cubic feet, Civil War Memoir, 14 pages, typescript copy.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

May 4, 1978, 14 pages; Civil War Memoir, typescript copy. Original in possession of Mrs. Graham Barden, New Bern, N.C.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Agnes Paton Foy Memoir (#362), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. Graham Barden

Processing Information

  • Processed by E. Dunn, January 1981

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Agnes Charlotte Paton, the daughter of Anne Farrow and David Paton, was born on December 1, 1845, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr. Paton had come to North Carolina from Scotland in 1833 to accept the position of architect for the new Capitol building in Raleigh. While in North Carolina, he met Miss Farrow and they married. The couple returned to Scotland after the completion of the Capitol building. The family returned to North Carolina when Agnes was about seven years old and settled near Washington, N.C. Miss Paton married Claudius E. Foy of Jones County, on July 6, 1871. He was the son of Enoch Foy and Elizabeth P. Oliver. Mrs. Agnes P. Foy died in New Bern on January 1, 1921.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

This memoir is an account of life around Washington, N.C., during the period of the Civil War. It is unclear who authored this memoir. It appears that the first section of the text relates the experiences of an unnamed acquaintance of Mrs. Foy, and the remainder of the memoir discusses Mrs. Foy's experiences and observations.

The memoir deals primarily with the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of Mrs. Foy during the ordeal of the Civil War. She expresses the feelings of loss and helplessness at the deaths of many of her friends in battle. Mrs. Foy also discusses the effect of the Civil War on the social life of her area. She relates the story of a dinner party given before the fall of New Bern, N.C., and compares the abundance of food at that time with the deprivations the family suffered afterwards. She also discusses the restrictions placed on her by the fighting.

Of particular significance in this collection are Mrs. Foy's accounts of the fall of New Bern to Federal troops in 1862, and its subsequent occupation, raids by GeneralFoster's troops around the Washington, N.C., area, and the Confederate Army's preparation for the defense of Richmond in 1865.

The memoir also describes confrontations with Union and Confederate troops. Mrs. Foy gives very vivid descriptions of several Union raids on her family's home, in which her attitudes towards the Federal troops are very clear. She also refers to an encounter with Confederate forces and comments on the poor condition of the Southern troops.

Mrs. Foy also states that the family's slaves remained with the family after the war and that during the war she gave them cloth "trophies of war " (given to her by Confederate soldiers) to make into clothes.

Subject Headings Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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