Rufus Delano Stallings Papers, 1862-1863, 2009

Manuscript Collection #1141

  • Descriptive Summary
    Title: Rufus Delano Stallings Papers
    Creator: Stallings, Rufus Delano
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Correspondence (1861-1864) of Edgecombe County, N.C., soldier in Company F of the 30th Regiment of North Carolina Troops stationed in various locations in Virginia. All of his letters are addressed to his future wife, Miss Elizabeth S. Ward of Rocky Mount Depot, N.C. Two other letters are from North Carolina soldiers related to Miss Ward.
    Extent: 0.01 Cubic feet, 27 items , consisting of correspondence, a biographical sketch, and a disc
  • Description

    This collection contains twenty- one letters (1861-1864) written by Confederate States Army soldier, Rufus Delano Stallings of Edgecombe County, N.C., in “Company F” of the 30th Regiment of North Carolina Troops while stationed in various locations in Virginia. The letters were all addressed to his future wife, Miss Elizabeth S. Ward of Rocky Mount Depot, N.C. Also included is a compact disc (2009) containing digital reproductions of the letters, transcripts of a few letters, and a manuscript titled “More Than a Memory,” written by Ruth Garrett Wells, containing family history information. The authorship of the transcripts is generally unknown and; therefore, the accuracy of the transcriptions can’t be verified.

    Two war letters, not written by Stallings, address Miss Ward as Aunt. They are from a soldier in the 45th Regiment, Company E, stationed in Camp Davis in Wilmington, N.C., (May 1863) and a soldier with Company H of the 61st Regiment, North Carolina Troops, stationed at Walls Bridge in Surry County, Virginia (January 1863). The two other letters in the collection include one written by a cousin just a month before the start of the Civil War and an undated letter written during the war from a bank cashier in New York.

    Stallings’s letters often discuss personal topics such as sending and receiving letters from his friends and family, and how much he enjoys conversing with them. Stallings does not spend a great deal of time writing about the specifics of war, but seems to have a general attitude about not wanting to fight in it. In letters to his fiancé, Elizabeth “Betty,” Stallings wishes he were with her and frequently writes to her about his wish to be home and united with her again.

    The letters are mostly personal in nature and are typically quick updates to let his fiancé and family know where he is and that he is doing well. He does not write much about the war to Elizabeth because, according his letters, she does not like to read about it. His personal letters give insight into how the mind of a Civil War soldier worked, but give few details about the actual war. Occasionally Stallings writes about a few wartime tragedies, including the names of some wounded soldiers and soldiers killed in battle.

    “Company F” of the 30th Regiment was stationed at camps in multiple places during the war. Stallings’s letters originate from camps at Fredericksburg, Virginia (January-March 1863, March 1862), Richmond, Virginia (July 1862), Madison Courthouse (August 1863), Culpeper Court House, Virginia (October 1863), Morton’s Ford, Virginia (November 1863), Martinsburg, Virginia (July 1863), and Orange Courthouse in Northern Virginia (August 1863, January 1864).

  • Biographical / Historical Note

    Rufus Delano Stallings was born in Edgecombe County, N.C., on October 24, 1837, to Abraham and Nancy Stallings. Rufus Delano Stallings enlisted in the Sparta Group (or Sparta Band) of the Confederate forces, during the Civil War, on May 13, 1862. As a group, the Sparta Band joined the war in 1861 and was designated to the 30th Regiment North Carolina Troops as “Company F.”

    Rufus Delano Stallings participated in many Civil War events such as The Battle of Gettysburg, The Battle of Cold Harbor, 1st Manassas, Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Chancellorsville, and was present and accounted for until his surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, on April 9, 1865. During his time in the war, Rufus Delano Stallings was engaged to his soon to be wife, Elizabeth S. Ward (born in 1830) of Rocky Mount, N.C., and wrote many letters to her while he was away.

    After the war, Rufus Stallings returned to Edgecombe County, N.C., where he married Elizabeth Ward on December 28, 1865. Rufus and Elizabeth had four children, Ella Ward, Frank Ward, Rufus Washington Ward, and Sarah {Sallie} Ward. His wife, Elizabeth, died sometime before 1890.

    After the death of his first wife, Rufus remarried on May 6, 1891 to Kate Mason Huff (born 1865?) of Northampton County, N.C., Rufus and Kate had four children, Grace Mason Stallings, Nat G. Stallings, Tempie Stallings, and Joseph R. Stallings.

    Rufus Delano Stallings died in North Whitakers, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, on May 25th, 1915.

    Sources: North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2007. North Carolina, Marriage Collection, 1741-2004 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2007. United States Federal Census, 1860 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Birdsong, James C. Brief Sketches of the North Carolina State Troops in the War Between the States. Raleigh: Josephus Daniels State Printer, 1894. National Park Service. U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2007. United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls. Wells, Ruth Garrett. “More Than a Memory,” unpublished manuscript, undated.

  • Administrative Information
    Accessions Information

    March 24, 2009, 25 items, 0.01 cubic feet; Correspondence (1862-1863, 2009) of Edgecombe County, N.C., soldier in the 30th Regiment of North Carolina Troops in various locations in Virginia and two additional letters, all addressed to his future wife, Miss Elizabeth S. Ward of Rocky Mount Depot, N.C.; also compact disc with digital reproductions of letters & transcripts. 1 box. 25 items, 37 p. (ca. 0.01 cubic feet) Recd. 1/23/2009. Note: collection given to the donor by Mrs. Marie Stallings, Urbana, Virginia. Donor: Mrs. Ruth G. Wells

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mrs. Ruth G. Wells

    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

    Rufus Delano Stallings Papers (#1141), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, March 24, 2009

    Processed by Samantha Canada, September 23, 2013

Preliminary Inventory

Below is material taken from a preliminary inventory and represents content from the collection that is unprocessed.

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Preliminary Inventory

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