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Smith Family Letters, 1861-1865, 1912-1996 (Ms1996-018)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms1996-018


  • 1861-1865, 1912-1996, n.d.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Smith Family Letters must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Biographical Information

no content

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

The Smith Family Letters were donated to Special Collections in October 1996.

General Physical Description note

14 folders; 0.2 cu. ft.


The collection contains forty-nine Civil War-era letters written by four brothers of Carroll County, Virginia: James R., Stephen Mitchell, William Alexander, and Barton Pierce Smith. All four served in Confederate units from Virginia. The collection also includes a family history and notes by Frederick R. Smith.


The collection consists of forty-nine letters written by the brothers of the Smith family of Carroll County, Virginia, mostly while they served as soldiers for the Confederacy during the Civil War. A majority of the letters are written to one of the brothers, Stephen Mitchell, from encampments in Virginia. Other correspondents include: their father Alexander; Stephen's wife, Mary; and two sisters, Sarah (Sallie) and Polly.

Most of the letters are reports of recent events in camp and daily life, frustrations with the "soldier's life," and inquiries for news and letters from home. The letters also share information on family and friends from Carroll County who are serving with the brothers. William's letters include some description of the battles at Lewisburg and Chancellorsville. Letters to Stephen often contain discussion of the Home Guard and warnings to be cautious and avoid being dragged into service.

The collection includes one letter by John Nichols Ridgway of Franklin County, written in 1862. The collection also contains supplementary information about the Smith family compiled by Frederick R. Smith.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Smith Family Letters commenced in October 1996 and was completed in November 1996. Additional description was completed in April 2009.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US