Josiah Robert Peele Ellis Papers, 1863-1864

Manuscript Collection #566

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

Title: Josiah Robert Peele Ellis Papers
Creator: Ellis, Josiah Robert Peele
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Papers (1863-1864) including correspondence, transcribed letters, supplementary information, and genealogy.
Extent: 0.055 Cubic feet, 51 photocopy pages, consisting of transcribed letters, supplementary information, and genealogy.

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

Accessions Information

December 12, 1988, 51 pages, photocopies; Typescript of Civil War letters of Wilson County, N.C., resident (1863-1864) and genealogy. Gift of Mrs. Martha Edwards Croom, Stantonsburg, N.C.

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

Josiah Robert Peele Ellis Papers (#566), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Mrs. Martha Edwards Croom

Processing Information

  • Processed by L. Yoder, February 1989

  • Encoded by Apex Data Services


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

Josiah Robert Peele Ellis of Wilson County, N.C., was drafted to serve in the Confederate Army in the last months of 1863. He joined Company C of the 43rd N.C. Infantry Regiment, leaving behind his wife and eleven children.

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

The introduction to the letters prepared by Hugh Buckner Johnston of Wilson, N.C., traces the movement and engagements of the 43rd Regiment from November 26, 1863, to November 22, 1864. There are also eight pages of footnotes identifying the names of people and places mentioned in the letters.

All of the letters were written by Ellis to his wife Elizabeth Grimes Ellis. He tells of the cold, hunger, and exhaustion experienced in camp and on marches. He describes battles at Batchelor's Creek (near New Bern) and Plymouth, North Carolina, as well as fighting in Virginia around Richmond and at "Modern Ford." He mentions the hanging of seven deserters at Kinston and gives a casualty report on the regiment after a battle in the Richmond area.

Most of the letters contain instructions to his wife on managing the farm and financial affairs, with frequent cautions to be sparing with supplies, especially corn. Encouraging comments to his children are also included from time to time. Ellis mentions that he could be released from service if he had legal assistance but sees no hope of this happening.

In his last letter Ellis describes himself as "broken down" by the hardships of the continuing war. The final letter in the collection is from the regiment's surgeon telling Mrs. Ellis of her husband's almost certain death.

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

Container List 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. To see what's been digitized in this collection, please click on the "View Digitized Objects" tab, or look for hyperlinks in the container list
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