Sallie Lightfoot Tarleton Papers, 1861-1868

Manuscript Collection #71

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

Title: Sallie Lightfoot Tarleton Papers
Creator: Tarleton, Sallie Lightfoot
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1861-1868) including correspondence, information on defense, wartime letters written to his future wife, assorted incidents.
Extent: 0.11 Cubic feet, 178 items , correspondence, photocopies of typescripts.

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

Accessions Information

December 3, 1968, 178 pages; Correspondence 1861-1868, loaned for copying by Dr. William N. Still, Jr., Greenville, N.C. Originals in the possession of Mrs. Frank L. Duvalle, Mobile, Alabama.

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

Sallie Lightfoot Tarleton Papers (#71), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Processing Information

  • Processed by T. Sloan, December 1968

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services

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

Robert Tarleton (1838-1868) was a member of a wealthy Mobile, Alabama, family. He was educated at Princeton University and later studied medicine in New York City. Upon returning to the South on the eve of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Confederate army as a private and served as clerk in Gen. Braxton Bragg's headquarters. He was commissioned lieutenant in Smith's Battery and stationed at Fort Morgan on Mobile Bay. Tarleton was captured with the surrender of the fort in 1864, but he escaped. He turned to cotton farming in Louisiana before returning to Mobile (1868) to enter the produce business. He had married Sallie Lightfoot in 1864, shortly after his escape.

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

The correspondence is largely concerned with personal affairs, but it contains considerable information on defense and military activities prior to the fall of Mobile.

Numerous comments describe the federal blockading and invasion fleet, including ironclads; the activities of the Confederate defending fleet and the C.S.A. ironclad TENNESSEE; picket duty; the grounding and defense of two blockade running vessels at the Mobile Bay entrance; and the siege of Mobile.

The wartime letters, written to his future wife, also have candid descriptions of camp quarters, travel on steamers, camp fare and delicacies from home, fortifications, Yankee conscription of ex-slaves for labor, and assorted incidents. The military activities at Fort Morgan, Tarleton's duty post at Mobile, are also closely described.

Tarleton's postwar letters reflect the problems in securing reliable Negro farm labor in the face of propaganda by Federal forces that ex-slaves would benefit from a division of land. A quasi-belief in the restoration of slavery among white landowners is also mentioned.

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 Department, 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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