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Isaac White Letters

Identifier: Ms-1997-013

Scope and Contents

The Isaac White papers consist of letters written mostly by White to his wife, Mary Virginia Day White, while he served with the Confederate Army as an assistant surgeon during the Civil War. He refers to her as Jinnie in the letters. Many of the letters are written while encamped along the Shenandoah Valley. Other papers include literature gathered by Bess Duvall White Snead, Isaac White's grand-daughter, in her search for military information about Isaac White.


  • 1861 - 1938


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

Isaac White was born in Charlottesville, Virginia, on January 29, 1837. He graduated in 1859 from the Medical College of Virginia. He married Mary Virginia Day (1840-1922) on November 6, 1860. He and Mary bore two sons, John Day White (1864-1923), and George White. On May 27, 1861, White was commissioned as an assistant surgeon in the Virginia Active Volunteer Forces, with the rank of captain. He was appointed as an assistant surgeon in the Confederate Army on September 2, 1861, and served in the 31st Virginia Infantry Regiment until his resignation on December 6, 1861. On May 13, 1862, he was appointed a major in the 29th Virginia Infantry Regiment, effective until his resignation on October 18, 1862. He served as acting assistant surgeon in Montgomery White Sulphur Springs Hospital (a resort before and after the war) in Montgomery County, Virginia, from September 8, 1862, until January 8, 1863. He was appointed assistant surgeon in the 62nd Virginia Regiment Mounted Infantry on March 24, 1863. It is unknown when he ended his service with this regiment. White was captured on December 10, 1864, and taken as a prisoner of war, until he was released at Camp Hamilton, Virginia, on January 6, 1865. After the war White was a resident physician at Montgomery White Sulphur Springs and Allegheny Springs resorts, and wrote for the Lynchburg and Richmond newspapers describing the history and social conditions of the local resorts as they were in the their glory days. Isaac White died on August 3, 1889, at his home in Shawsville, Virginia, and is buried in the family graveyard on the property.


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 box; 1 oversize folder)


This collection is arranged chronologically.

Alternative Form Available

The letters, with complete transcripts, are available online.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Isaac White Letters by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Isaac White Letters commenced and was completed in 1998. Additional description was completed in 2009.

A Guide to the Isaac White Letters, 1861-1938
Laura Katz Smith
2001 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Revision Statements

  • 2020-09-28: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags

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