The correspondence in this collection covers the years 1837-1918. Of particular interest is a series of Civil War letters (1863-1864) between family members. Several of the McCallum men were stationed in North Carolina and Virginia, serving with the N.C. Infantry. J. B. McCallum was with the 24th N.C. Regiment (Ransom's Brigade) and describes his company's movements between Kinston and Goldsboro, N.C., and a skirmish involving the 49th N.C. Regiment at Cove Creek, N.C. (1863). At Petersburg, Va., in 1864, he notes the Union shelling of the town, the strength of their own trenches, Union sharpshooters, and enemy possession of the railroad between Petersburg and Weldon, N.C. Doddridge McCallum was stationed at Fort Caswell (1863) and mentions the health of the troops there and his understanding that enemy troops were in the vicinity of Union Church. The following year he joined Neill McCallum at Fort Holmes and served with the 40th N.C. Infantry. Both men describe the death of a cousin while Neill mentions the death of a soldier from typhoid fever at a Smithville hospital, building quarters for the men, and the absence of fighting (March 1864). In July, Neill notes steamers continuing to run the blockade on the Cape Fear and comments on soldiers looting wrecks on the beach and selling the goods for profit. Other correspondents mention a battle near LakeCity, Florida (1864), and experiences of members of the 30th and 25th Alabama Regiments in battles at Port Gibson and Bakers Creek (Champion's Hill), Miss., during the Vicksburg Campaign in 1863 (1864). Other Civil War materials include a receipt for Confederate tax (1863) and a soldier's tax slip (1864).
Education is an occasional topic in the correspondence, financial papers, and miscellany. Included in the correspondence are comments on life as a teacher at Prospect Hall and the beauty of the area around Bladen, N.C. (1855); teaching at an elementary school in Copiah Co., Miss. (1858); and activities at Davidson College (1857-1858). A commencement party invitation (1859) for the college is also included. Financial records include a promissory note (1872) by subscribers in the township of Alfordsville in Robeson Co., N.C., to pay for the services of a teacher for four months. Elementary school grade reports (1906) and a North Carolina elementary school teacher's certificate (1922) are filed with miscellany.
Other topics discussed in the correspondence include immigration westward to Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas (1853-1854); droughts (1854); illnesses, including scarlet fever and cancer (1858) and typhoid and smallpox (1864); deaths (1853, 1857, 1864, 1902, 1915); weddings (1854, 1857); religion (1858, 1864, 1916); distilling (1864); and the growth of Montgomery, Ala. (1857). Also of interest are comments concerning a construction accident at Davidson College (1857); the price of corn and poor wheat and good apple crops in Alabama (1864); and post Civil War political disorganization (1867).
Financial records include an agreement for the sale of a slave (1816) and a receipt for the building of Ashpole Church (1863). Clippings include a history of the Ashpole Presbyterian Church. A photograph of the church is filed in miscellany along with an undated plat of the J. B. McCallum land in Robeson Co., N.C., and nineteenth century amateur verse and ballads. Also found in this collection are 1892 wills for Susan McCallum and Laura Brown McCallum of Robeson Co., N.C.