Benjamin L. Mobley letters, 1861-1891

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Mobley, Benjamin L.
Title: Benjamin L. Mobley letters, 1861-1891
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 75
Extent: 0.25 linear foot (1 box)
Abstract:Papers of Confederate soldier and farmer Benjamin L. Mobley and his brother, James M. Mobley including family correspondence, a loyalty oath, bills, and receipts.
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.

Additional Physical Form

Correspondence arranged in chronological order.


Purchased, 1938.


[after identification of item(s)], Benjamin L. Mobley letters, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by HEA, 1977.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

Benjamin L. Mobley, farmer and Confederate soldier, was apparently born in Burke County, Georgia. He and his brother James Madison Mobley (b. 1840) enlisted as privates on August 1, 1861 in Company E of Cobb's Legion, Georgia Volunteers. Their company, also called the Poythress Volunteers, served with the infantry battalion of Cobb's Legion for the duration of the Civil War, spending much of the time in Virginia. After the war the Mobley brothers returned to their homes near Waynesboro, Georgia. It is not known what became of Benjamin L. Mobley. James M. Mobley lived on in Waynesboro until at least 1907. By then he had a wife and two children. He applied for an indigent pension, which was refused on the grounds that he was not legally indigent. Some biographical details were found in a xeroxed copy of James Madison Mobley's 1907 application for an Indigent Pension, supplied by the Georgia Department of Archives and History (filed in the last folder). Some information about Cobb's Legion may be found in James Edward Garman, "Materials for the Writing of Histories of Georgia Confederate Regiments: A Bibliographical Study," M.A. thesis, Emory University, 1961; and Horace Montgomery, Howell Cobb's Confederate Career (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Confederate Publishing Company, Inc., 1959).

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Benjamin L. Mobley from 1861-1891. Approximately three-fourths of the 82 items in the collection, are letters written by Benjamin L. Mobley and James M. Mobley to their parents and sister while they served in the Confederate Army. Most of the war letters were written from camps outside Richmond, Yorktown, and Fredericksburg, Virginia from 1861 through 1863.

The Mobleys were not well educated; neither were they very descriptive writers. Nevertheless, their letters occasionally provide interesting details about life in Cobb's Legion. In October, 1861 the winter camp at Cockle Town, near Yorktown, reported many cases of measles. James Mobley praised the commanding officer, Colonel Thomas Reade Rootes Cobb (1823-1862) in a January 14, 1862 letter. Letters written in the winter of 1863 describe snowball fights among Cobb's Legion and other Confederate units camped near Fredericksburg.

The collection contains one letter written to Benjamin Mobley while he was a prisoner in Elmira, New York, but no letters are written from that location. Also included is Benjamin Mobley's oath of loyalty to the United States signed September 27, 1865 in Waynesboro, Georgia. There are miscellaneous unidentified fragments of letters, bills, receipts, and other items, some of which date from the post-war period.

Arrangement Note

Correspondence arranged in chronological order.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 1861
1 2 1862 January - May
1 3 1862 June - December
1 4 1863 - 1864
1 5 1865 - 1891, undated, pension application