Ransom, Matthew, W., Letter

Manuscript Collection #834

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: Matthew W. Ransom Letter
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Matthew W. Ransom letter, recounting the Battle of Second Gum Swamp (22 May), Kinston, 5/25/1863; photocopy of letter; transcript of letter.
    Extent: 0.01 Cubic Feet, 1 box, 3 items, 3 pages,
  • Description

    The letter was written by Confederate Brigadier General Matthew Whitaker Ransom, of the 35th North Carolina Infantry Division, to his wife Martha 'Pattie' Exum following the second Battle of Gum Swamp. Ransom describes how Colonel Faison of the 56th North Carolina Regiment put his men in a bad situation which led to them nearly being surrounded and crushed. Robert Ransom, Matthew Ransom's brother, arrived just in time to save Faison and his men. Matthew only tells his wife of the incident because he believes she will hear word of it through rumors and social connections. Ransom then tells Pattie that he is doing well and that he's glad their child is safe with her. He ends the letter by asking her to write back and let him know if she needs anything.

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    Matthew Whitaker Ransom was born October 8, 1836 in Warren County, North Carolina. In 1847 he graduated from the University of North Carolina, passed the North Carolina bar and began practicing law. In 1862 Ransom was elected to the position of Attorney General in North Carolina. He married Martha Exum in the following year of 1853. Ransom served as a county legislator from 1858-1861. Ransom was then sent as a delegate to the Confederate Convention in Montgomery, Alabama in 1861. At the start of the Civil War he enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army and in 1863 was promoted to the position of Brigadier General of the 35th North Carolina Infantry Division. After serving in the war, Ransom and his wife moved to Weldon, North Carolina to start a new law firm. In 1872 he campaigned and won a seat in the Senate, serving for twenty years, during which he was a notable advocate for reconciliation between the North and South. In 1895 Ransom was made Foreign Minister to Mexico and served in that position until 1897. He then moved back to his Weldon home and lived there until his death on October 8, 1904.

    Sources: https://northcarolinahistory.org/encyclopedia/matt-w-ransom-1826-1904/

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    July 19, 2001, 1 container, 3 items, 3 pages; Matthew W. Ransom letter recounting the Battle of Second Gum Swamp (22 May), Kinston, NC, 5/25/1863; photocopy of letter; transcript of letter. Donor: Brian & Maria Green.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Brian & Maria Green

    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

    Matthew W. Ransom Letter (#834), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Encoded by Apex Data Services

    Processed by Matthew Lowe, October 3, 2019

Preliminary Inventory

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Preliminary Inventory

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