Moses J. Kirkland papers, 1862-1864

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Kirkland, Moses J.
Title: Moses J. Kirkland papers, 1862-1864
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 348
Extent: 1 microfilm reel (MF)
Abstract:Microfilm copy of the papers of Confederate soldier, Moses J. Kirkland, of Douglas, Georgia, who served in the 6th Georgia Infantry Regiment. Also includes letters from his brothers, Zean W. Kirkland, Timothy Kirkland, Richard Gaines Kirkland, and Harrison Kirkland, who all served in the 50th 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.


Loaned for microfilming, 1960.


[after identification of item(s)], Moses J. Kirkland papers, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


January 1960.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Moses J. Kirkland, Confederate soldier, was born ca. 1842. When the Civil War began, he lived in Douglas, Georgia. He married a woman named Lydia Ann. He and his brothers, Zean W., Timothy, Richard Gaines, and Harrison, all served the Confederacy during the Civil War, in Virginia, Maryland, and Georgia. Moses Kirkland served with the 6th Georgia Infantry Regiment; his brothers were with the 50th Georgia Infantry Regiment. Harrison and Timothy (who took part in the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1862) were killed; Zean was wounded and returned home; Richard G. and Moses were both hospitalized.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of a microfilm copy of the papers of Moses J. Kirkland from 1862-1864. The papers include correspondence, a poem, advertisements, and envelopes. Most letters dated prior to June 1864 are to Kirkland from his brothers, who entered the military before him; two other letters are to him from James A. Carver and John Birney. Nineteen letters dated afterward are written by Kirkland to his wife from near Atlanta, Georgia during the Atlanta Campaign, 1864. The poem was written by a soldier; ads are for farm implements; envelopes do not necessarily belong to the correspondence in the collection.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
MF1 1 Timothy Kirkland, 18 letters. Timothy served, as did Gaines, Harrison, and Zean in the 50th Georgia Infantry Regiment. In January, 1862 he was stationed near Fredericksburg, Virginia; on July 18 of that year he was in Georgia, but the regiment began its return to Virginia the next day; on September 14, he participated in a clash in Maryland, in which Confederate troops were severely beaten; from late September 1862 to July 1863, all of his letters are from Virginia, and he writes of being at the battle of Fredericksburg in the winter of 1862; from October 1863 to March 1864 he was encamped at various sites in east Tennessee; but by April of 1864 he had returned to Virginia. On May 22, 1864, Moses Kirkland wrote to Captain A. A. Smith to ascertain the details of Timothy's death.
MF1 2 Richard Gaines Kirkland, 7 letters. All written between June, 1862 and January 1863, these letters are mostly personal. From them and from Timothy's letters, one learns that he served in the 50th Georgia Infantry Regiment and that he spent part of his service in hospitals.
MF1 3 Zean W. Kirkland, 2 letters. While serving in the 50th Georgia Infantry Regiment, Zean was captured, but later exchanged. He was wounded, and after some unhappy time in a hospital, he returned home. He apparently spent the remainder of the war at home, though he does not seem to have been discharged.
MF1 4 Joseph? Kirkland, 1 letter. It is not certain that the author of this letter, written in October 1863, was a brother of Moses and the other Kirklands. The letter was written from Camp Mercer for the purpose of enlisting Moses Kirkland's support for his candidacy for the clerkship of the Superior Court.
MF1 5 Moses J. Kirkland, 19 letters. Three of these were written before he volunteered for Confederate service in June 1864; the remainder are all to his wife after his entrance into the army. The letters show that during the period of the correspondence (June-November 1864, with a gap from August 11 to October 28) his service was confined to Georgia. From June 1-14, he was encamped near Atlanta; from June 17 to early July at Camp Chattahoochee, Cobb County and during this period he was near the Sherman-Johnson lines and seems to have been at the front briefly; on July 5 he wrote from Cook County, reporting that Johnson was falling back; for most of the remaining period he was near Atlanta, Griffin, or headed back to Atlanta. The last letter is dated November 7, 1864. A hospital furlough dated November 25 gave him a 30-day leave; since there are no subsequent letters in the collection, it may be that he did not return to duty.
MF1 6 James A. Carver, 1 letter. Written in January 1864, this may or may not be a "soldier letter."
MF1 7 John Birney, 1 letter. Written to his wife on May 9, 1863, this letter tells of a recent battle at Fredericksburg.
MF1 8 24 miscellaneous pieces.