Benjamin Wesley Justice papers, 1836-1877

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zhnc

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Justice, Benjamin Wesley, 1827-1871.
Title: Benjamin Wesley Justice papers, 1836-1877
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 386
Extent: .5 linear ft. (1 box)
Abstract:Papers of teacher and Confederate soldier, Benjamin Wesley Justice and his wife, Ann Justice of North Carolina.
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.


Gift, 1961, with subsequent additions.


[after identification of item(s)], Benjamin Wesley Justice papers, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by Elizabeth Russey, June 22, 2004.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Benjamin Wesley Justice (June 10, 1827-September 22, 1871) was born in Wake County, North Carolina, graduated from Wake Forest College in 1850 with highest honors, and was retained there as a tutor until his marriage on December 16, 1852 to Ann Gorman of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The couple then resided in Tuscaloosa where he taught an academy for boys, attaining distinction as an instructor of youth, having been pronounced by the President of the University of Alabama to be one of the best teachers in the state. Upon the death of his brother, he gave up his teaching position to take over his parents' farm near Raleigh, North Carolina., where he and Ann lived in a small cottage on the banks of the Neuse River with their three children, John (b. 1853), David (b. 1857), and James, the youngest, who died at an early age.

Benjamin joined the Confederate Army in late 1861 or early 1862 as a 1st Lieutenant of Company E, 47th Regiment North Carolina, and at once was made Commissary of the Regiment with the rank of Captain. He later advanced to the position of Commissary of Pettigrew's Brigade.

After the war he returned to the farm and resumed his teaching. In 1868 or 1869 he moved to Raleigh to take the position of Corresponding Secretary of the Baptist Sunday School Association of North Carolina, in which he remained for a year. He then formed a business connection with the firm of A.G. Lee & Company where he worked until his death. He was active in the Baptist Church and was Corresponding Secretary of the Board of Missions at the time of his death, and was greatly beloved in his community. He was fatally injured the morning of September 22, 1871, when he fell through an open hatch-way on the third floor of the A.G. Lee & Company Store where he was supervising the hoisting of some cotton bales.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Benjamin Wesley Justice and his wife, Ann Justice from 1836-1893. The papers include correspondence from B. W. Justice to his wife, Ann, letters from Ann to B. W. Justice, miscellaneous letters to friends and family, and miscellaneous items including land deeds and the gloves worn by the Justices when they were married.

Most of the letters were written during the war, while Justice was serving with the Confederate forces. His letters, dating from 1851 to 1869, are divided between his personal feelings for his wife and family and the news of army and camp life. He describes his part in the Battle of the Wilderness, the Battle at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, and the siege of Petersburg, Virginia. Ann Justice's letters detail the activities and health of family and friends, conditions on the farm, scarcities and prices of various staples, farm products and live stock. She mentions much visiting, especially by relatives. The miscellaneous letters are from friends and relatives and are dated mainly before and after the war, as late as 1893. Included in these are two letters to the Justice children from Santa Claus.

The miscellaneous items include invitations and announcements, North Carolina paper currency, poems, a photograph of B.W. Justice, legal documents, and newspaper articles pertaining to Justice's death.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 Ann Justice, 1849-1861
1 2 Ann Justice, 1862
1 3 Ann Justice, 1863-1865
1 4 B.W. Justice, 1851-1862
1 5 B.W. Justice, 1863
1 6 B.W. Justice, 1864-1865
1 7 B.W. Justice, 1869
1 8 Miscellaneous correspondence, 1861-1893
Other papers
1 9 Cemetery plot receipt, B.W. Justice, 1872
1 10 Death notice, John Gorman, 1836
1 11 Essays, Ann Gorman, 1847
1 12 Invitation
1 13 Land deeds, 1867-1877
1 14 Memorials, B.W. Justice, 1871
1 15 North Carolina Confederate currency, 1863-1864
1 16 Obituary, B.W. Justice, [1871?]
1 17 Photograph, B.W. Justice [reproduction]
1 18 Sick leave notice for Confederate soldier, 1862
1 19 Transfer of property letter, 1871
1 20 Wedding gloves of B.W. and Ann Justice, 1852