William Augustus Chunn letters, 1837-1879

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Chunn, William Augustus, 1840-1921.
Title: William Augustus Chunn letters, 1837-1879
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 18
Extent: .25 linear ft. (1 box)
Abstract:Letters of Confederate soldier William Augustus Chunn of Cassville, Georgia, who served in Company I, of the 1st Regiment of the 1st Brigade of the Georgia State Troops and then in Company I of the 40th Georgia Infantry Regiment.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Acquired with the Keith M. Read Confederate collection, 1938.


[after identification of item(s)], William Augustus Chunn letters, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by SSS, October 26, 1971.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

William Augustus Chunn was born January 7, 1840 near the French Broad River in Tennessee. He was the only child of Samuel Love (October 1806 September 8, 1863) and Elizabeth Word Chunn. The family soon moved to Cassville, Georgia where Samuel had previously lived. They were a prosperous planter family and owned several slaves. Willie married Lila Land, daughter of Judge Nathan and Mona Land, May 10, 1860. He enlisted in Company I, 1st Regiment, 1st Brigade of the Georgia State Troops on October 5, 1861 and was elected 2nd Lieutenant. He served at Screven Point near Savannah until he mustered out of the State Troops in April of 1862. The same month Chunn enlisted as a private in Company I, 40th Georgia Infantry Regiment. During 1862 he served in Tennessee, Kentucky, and at Cumberland Gap. In December of that year he participated in the Vicksburg Campaign. Although he was offered command of the company, he refused and instead became commissary Sergeant in which position he remained in that capacity until the Regiment surrendered at Greensboro, N.C., April 26, 1865. Mrs. Chunn and the children, Helen (b. 1861) and Jennie (b. 1863) refugeed from Cassville to Grantville and then to Brooks County, Georgia in May of 1864. Willie apparently was well educated and may have practiced law after the war. He died in 1921.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 168 items of correspondence extending from 1837 to 1879. Most of these were written by William and Lila Chunn during the time of the Civil War. William's letters are well written and very descriptive of activities in which he was involved. He reports difficulties at Cumberland Gap with the Cherokee allies taking scalps (in a letter dated September 4, 1862); he also tells of the numerous desertions on the way to Vicksburg. Forty-one of his letters were written during the siege of Vicksburg although a break occurs from April to September of 1863. Lila Chunn writes her husband of the home and family life she was experiencing. Some of the other correspondents include: Nathan P. Land., Lila's father, a prominent Cass County citizen who was involved in land settlements before the war; Elizabeth Word Chunn, Willie's mother; Samuel Love Chunn, his father; Robert C. Latimer, Willie's cousin and a member of Stuart's Brigade; and Charles G. Word, Willie's uncle.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 Correspondence, 1837-1851
1 2 Correspondence, 1852-1860
1 3 Correspondence, 1861
1 4 Correspondence, 1862
1 5 Correspondence, 1863 January - June
1 6 Correspondence, 1863 September - December
1 7 Correspondence, 1864
1 8 Correspondence, 1865 - 1879
1 9 Undated correspondence, fragments