TRASK, W. L., 1832-1908.
W. L. Trask papers, 1861-1865

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Trask, W. L., 1832-1908.
Title: W. L. Trask papers, 1861-1865
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 380
Extent: 1 microfilm reel (MF)
Abstract:Microfilm copy of the papers of W. L. Trask, 2nd Lieutenant in the Confederate Army, Mississippi steamboat pilot, and Memphis newspaper reporter including a bound volume of Civil War reminiscences, newspaper clippings, and a brief biographical sketch.
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, 1961.


[after identification of item(s)], W. L. Trask papers, Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Processed by EK, 1961.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

W. L. Trask was born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, in 1832. In his early years he lived in Louisville, Kentucky. He was a steamboat pilot, living in Louisiana when the Civil War began. Early in the war he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Sumter Greys of New Orleans. In autumn of 1861 he commanded the river steamer Charm, in Confederate campaigns on Columbus, Kentucky, and Belmont, Missouri. In May 1862 he joined Bragg's army as adjutant of Austin's Battalion of Sharpshooters. He went on the Kentucky campaign and was at Murfreesboro. During the Atlanta campaign he apparently served as an enlisted courier for General W. J. Hardee. After the war he was a newspaperman in Memphis, working first as a reporter on the Memphis Star and subsequently as commercial editor for the Memphis Appeal-Avalanche and the Morning News. He died in Memphis in February 1908.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of a microfilm copy of the papers of W. L. Trask from 1861-1865. The papers include a bound volume of Civil War reminiscences, newspaper clippings, and a brief biographical sketch of Trask. The Civil War reminscences, in both manuscript and typescript, is titled "War Journal of W. L Trask, 1861 to 1865." It is divided into sections with the following headings: "May to December 1861;" "Report of the Battle of Belmont, November 7, 1861, Steamer 'Charm' W. L. Trask Commanding;" "The Campaign to Kentucky 1862 under General Braxton Bragg;" "Adams, Louisiana, Brigade at the Battle of Perryville, Kentucky, Wednesday, October 8, 1862;" "The Murfreesboro Campaign, October 1862 to March 1863;" "Tullahoma, Tennessee, Bridgeport and Florence, Alabama - January to July 1863;" and "Blountsville, Ala., Incident of the War."

Seven pages at the end of the book contain clippings of newspaper articles, one of them signed by Trask and the others probably written by him. The first clipping is from the Louisville Courier-Journal, June 5, 1898. The second is from an unidentified paper, June 6, 1871, and the third is from the Memphis Appeal, July 15, 1871. All three of the articles deal with river battles.

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