Thomas Henry Pitts papers, 1856-1875

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8zs1q

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Pitts, Thomas Henry, 1834-1871.
Title: Thomas Henry Pitts papers, 1856-1875
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 440
Extent: .75 linear ft. (2 boxes) ; 1 microfilm reel (MF)
Abstract:Papers of farmer, businessman, and Confederate Lieutenant Thomas Henry Pitts of Clinton, South 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.


Loaned for microfilming, 1964. Originals transferred from Georgia Archives to Emory University, February 2007.


[after identification of item(s)], Thomas Henry Pitts papers, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by Susan Potts McDonald, February 2007.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Thomas Henry Pitts (1834-1871) lived in or near Clinton, South Carolina, and was the son of a large landowner and slaveowner. Tom enlisted in January, 1861 in a state unit which became the 3rd South Carolina Infantry Regiment. He was at first a 3rd Lieutenant, was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and possibly became a captain. He was in Company I of this regiment and for a time was in command of the unit. For a time he acted as supply officer. He married his second cousin, Lizzie Craig, on May 20, 1863 while at home recuperating with a wound in the leg received at Fredericksburg. His father died in February 1863 and, because of his injury and the feeling that he was needed at home he tried to get out of the service, but without success. He received a serious wound in the battle of Chickamauga, September 20, 1863, and had to have his foot amputated. He was discharged early in 1864. He farmed after the war and he and his family suffered great hardship. In 1870 or a little earlier, he moved to Calhoun, Georgia. Early in that year he went to St. Louis to operate a commission business to sell supplies--corn, meal, bacon, lard, etc.--to Georgia and other places. He did fairly well in this business. He died suddenly in November 1871.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of Thomas Henry Pitts from 1856-1875. The collection consists mainly of correspondence between Pitts and his cousin (later wife), Lizzie. The letters of early 1861 tell much about the excitement in South Carolina following secession. He gives a good description of the 1st Battle of Bull Run (his regiment was not actively engaged); and of the Seven Day's Battle of June-July 1862. He took part in the Sharpsburg Campaign in Maryland which he opposed partly on military grounds and partly because of an aversion to offensive warfare on the part of the South. The letters written before his marriage are in large part expressions of affection for his fiancée but do contain valuable aspects of army life. He destroyed most of Lizzie's letters for fear they might fall into enemy hands. Her letters are fairly numerous for the period after he left the army and contain information on home front conditions. The Reconstruction-era letters deal very little with politics but are valuable for the light they throw on the adjustment of a wealthy person to changed conditions.

The microfilm copy of the papers also includes a newspaper clipping from a Laurensville, South Carolina paper, June 14, 1861 containing a Roster of "State Guards," "Laurens Busks," "Musgrove Volunteers," "Wadsworth Volunteers," and "Captain W. J. M. Jones' company" and 4 pages of genealogical information about the Pitts and Craig families.

Arrangement Note

Correspondence arranged in chronological order.

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Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 1856
1 2 1861
1 3 1862
1 4 1863
1 5 1864
1 6 1865
1 7 1866
1 8 1867
1 9 1869
2 1 1870
2 2 1871
2 3 1872
2 4 1873
2 5 1874
2 6 1875
2 7 no date