Robert C. Caldwell Collection

Manuscript Collection #845
Caldwell, Robert C.
Physical description
0.5 Cubic Feet, 2 containers, 209 items , consisting of correspondence
Preferred Citation
Robert C. Caldwell Collection (#845), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
Researchers must obtain permission from the Manuscript Curator or Department Head to access the original documents in Box 1. Researchers may have unlimited access to transcripts and reproductions in Box 2.

Papers (1854-1865) of Robert C. Caldwell, a private soldier from Cabarrus County, NC, who served in Company C., 10th Battalion, North Carolina Heavy Artillery during the Civil War.

Biographical/historical information

Robert C. Caldwell was born on January 13th, 1821. Not much can be gathered from his letters about his earlier life, but at the time he joined the army he was a resident of Cabarrus County, NC. He was married on March 17th, 1857, to Margaret Harris. The letters indicate that Caldwell was a farmer. He served in the Confederate army from 1863-1865 in Company C., 10th Battalion, North Carolina Heavy Artillery. Details of his life after the war are unknown. He died on October 4th, 1881.

Scope and arrangement

The papers mostly consist of letters written from Robert Caldwell (1821-1881) to his wife Margaret "Mag" Caldwell while he was serving in the Confederate army. As a result of his serving in the military, his wife was left to run the farm. Much of their correspondence concerns the farm and how it should be sustained in his absence.

Other topics discussed in the letters include Caldwell's health; food shortages and prices; the effect of cold weather on the men; Election Day (10/29/1863); destroying a "Yankee" blockade (1/10/1864); and victory at Petersburg (11/1/1864).

Also included in the papers are Caldwell's war record; his signed oath of allegiance to the Union; General's Orders to Commanding Officers (05/24/1863); an 1863 Confederate tax receipt; and a bill of sale for an enslaved man named Jack.

Other letters included in the papers are three letters from Robert Caldwell's brother, Dinson A. Caldwell, who was also serving in the Confederate army. Dinson, a member of Company F, 63rd Regiment North Carolina Troops (5th Regiment North Carolina Cavalry), describes (April 10, 1862) his experiences with the 35th Regiment North Carolina Troops in the Battle of New Bern, North Carolina, and in camp near Kinston, North Carolina; writes (November 16, 1862) from Camp Long, near Garysburg, in Halifax County, N.C.; and on January 29, 1863, he writes from Camp Robertson near Kinston, N. C.and mentions the battlefield at Goldsborough Bridge. In a letter to Margaret Caldwell, her sister Mary W. Driskell of Brownsville, in Paulding County Georgia, talks about life on the farm with a young daughter while her husband is fighting at Vicksburg; and Robert Caldwell received a letter from his brother William L. Caldwell at Camp Holmes near Raleigh N.C., who was serving as a corporal in Company B of Mallett's Battalion (Camp Guards). Two letters were written by Amzi Harris who was serving in Company C, 9th Mississippi Volunteer Regiment, at Camp Esau, Florida, near Pensacola, and in the second letter he describes his actions in the Battle of Santa Rosa Island, Florida; and one letter was received from I.J. Price, in the same company as Robert Caldwell, who wrote to Margaret Caldwell regarding her sending a box of provisions via him to Robert Caldwell.

Administrative information
Custodial History

January 9, 2002, 209 items, 0.50 cubic feet; Papers (1854-1865) of Robert C. Caldwell, a private soldier from Cabarrus County, NC, who served in Company C., 10th Battalion, North Carolina Heavy Artillery during the Civil War, including 57 letters mainly from Robert to Mag, his wife, written in New Bern, Wilmington, Savannah, Branchville, SC and Kinston (1861-1865); 38 original envelopes; 5 other documents, including Caldwell's war record written in his own hand (28 April 1865); his signed oath of allegiance to the Union (16 September 1865); an 1863 Confederate tax receipt; and a bill of sale for a slave named Jack dated 14 January 1854; also transcripts and and digital reproductions of all 62 documents. Purchase (Special Manuscript Fund), Michael Cable, Greenville, N.C.

Source of acquisition

Purchase (Special Manuscript Fund), Michael Cable, Greenville, N.C.

Processing information

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Processing completed February 17, 2017, by Megan Turner

Copyright notice

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

Key terms
Personal Names
Caldwell, Robert C.
Corporate Names
Confederate States of America. Army--Military life
Loyalty oaths--United States
Slave bills of sale--North Carolina
Soldiers--North Carolina--Correspondence
North Carolina--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns
North Carolina--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Social aspects
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Equipment and supplies
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate

Container list
Box 1 Folder g Letters from "Robert C. Caldwell" to "Mag I. Caldwell" and Miscellaneous items (1864-1865), 10 items [last 6 items in Series 2]
Box 2 Folder a [Box 1, folder "a" --> Box 1, folder "d"], 7 items, 21 pages
Box 2 Folder b [Box 1, folder "e", item 1 --> item 5], 5 items, 19 pages
Box 2 Folder c [Box 1, folder "e", item 6 --> item 14], 9 items, 34 pages
Box 2 Folder d [Box 1, folder "f"], 31 items, 89 pages
Box 2 Folder e [Box 1, folder "g"], 9 items, 23 pages
Box 2 Folder f [Box 1, folder "h"], 38 items, 38 pages
Box 2 Folder g Handwritten birth, marriage, and death records for Allen and Caldwell Families