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James C. Franklin Letter, 1863 (Ms2009-076)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2009-076


  • 1863


Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the James C. Franklin Letter must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Biographical Information

James C. Franklin, son of Tarlton W. and Elizabeth G. Shelton Franklin, was born in 1836 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He married Susan W. Shelton (daughter of William Christopher and Christiana Arnold Shelton) on August 8, 1861; the couple had six children. Franklin enlisted in Company D of the 57th Virginia Infantry at Galveston (Pittsylvania County) on August 1, 1861. He deserted from the regiment on February 21, 1863, but later rejoined. Franklin deserted again on June 12, 1863, then rejoined April 29, 1864 and remained with the regiment through the remainder of the war.

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

The James C. Franklin Letter was purchased by Special Collections in 1993.

Related Material

The Manuscript Department of the William R. Perkins Library, Duke University, holds 17 letters from James C. Franklin of Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

General Physical Description note

1 container; 0.1 cu. ft.


Letter from James C. Franklin, of the 57th Virginia Infantry, to wife Susan in Galveston (Pittsylvania County), Virginia, describing a recent, difficult march through rain and snow near Fredericksburg, recounting a massive snowball fight between Toombs' and Cross' brigades, and advising his brother to bring a surgeon's certificate when he returns to duty.


This collection consists of a letter from James C. Franklin, a soldier in Company D, 57th Virginia Infantry, to his wife Susan in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Writing from a camp near Guinea Station, Virginia, Franklin describes a recent, difficult march through rain and snow near Fredericksburg. He then briefly recounts a massive snowball fight between Toombs' Brigade and Cross's Brigade. "It was verry dangerous they hurt some of the men verry bad," he writes. Franklin discusses the unlikely possibility of receiving a furlough but states that those not receiving furloughs are likely to desert soon. "[T]hey wil run away in the Spring and I will be one in the crowd if I live." He complains of short rations and the price of goods, then advises his brother John Billy to bring a surgeon's certificate when returning so that he will be paid for the time he was absent.

Processing Information

The processing and description of the James C. Franklin Letter commenced and was completed in May 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