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James W. Watkins papers, 1861-1864

Emory University

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

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/900vr

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Watkins, James W., d. 1896.
Title: James W. Watkins papers, 1861-1864
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 413
Extent: .25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:Papers of Confederate soldier James W. Watkins of Franklin County, Georgia, including letters to and from Watkins, his wife, family and friends.
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

Typescripts of the letters are available.


Purchase from Isabelle M. Coffee, 1963.

Custodial History

Isabelle M. Coffee was the great-great niece of James W. Watkins's wife. Coffee purchased the letters from her aunt, Emaline Mathis.


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

Appraisal Note

Acquired as part of the Rose Library's holdings in Civil War history.


Processed by MRD, 1963.

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Collection Description

Biographical Note

James W. Watkins, d. June 14, 1896, a lifelong resident of Franklin County, Georgia, was a son of Job Watkins, one of the first settlers of lower Habersham County (now Banks County), Georgia. James married Frances Maxwell, who was born about 1833, the youngest of thirteen children of James Maxwell and the granddaughter of the Reverend Thomas Maxwell, Revolutionary soldier and Baptist minister who was imprisoned for his preaching and was defended by Patrick Henry. The Reverend Maxwell came to Elbert County, Georgia about 1790 and preached to the Indians. During the Civil War, Watkins's wife, Frances Maxwell Watkins, took care of their farm and their two nephews, Tom and Jim, whom they were raising.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of letters to and from James Watkins, his wife, family or friends from 1861-1864. Watkins and his wife could not write, so others wrote for them. Some of the letters were written during the Atlanta Campaign and discuss the Battle of Atlanta, fortifications, prisoners, and daily military life; others were written from other Confederate camps. The collection also contains a typescript of each letter.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in chronological order.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Geographic Names


Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 1861 August 21 -June 1, 1864
1 2 1864 June 22- September 9 and undated
1 3 Typescript: Correspondence 1861-1864