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John B. Beall letters

Identifier: Am-Mss-Beall

Scope and Contents

The John Bramblett Beall letters consists of seventeen letters written by Beall, a Confederate soldier, from September 19, 1861 to June 16, 1862. The letters were sent from various camps of the 19th Georgia Infantry Regiment as it moved through Virginia during the American Civil War. They are addressed to Beall’s mother; an unnamed niece; and his cousin and wife Mary J. Merrell. The letters discuss Beall’s life while serving in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He writes about his love for Mary, and includes passages from the Bible and quotations from other sources in many of the letters to her. In the single letter addressed to his niece, Beall inluded spiritual passages to be put into her album. The letters mainly focus on the ways in which Beall misses his family members and his musings on life as he participates in military campaigns. There is little discussion of military matters.


  • 1861 - 1862

Conditions Governing Access

The John B. Beall letters is open for research. Researchers are encouraged to contact Special Collections staff prior to a visit.

Conditions Governing Use

In consultation with Special Collections staff, reproductions may be made upon request. Material in this collection is in the public domain.

John Bramblett Beall (1833-1917)

John Bramblett Beall was born in Carroll County, Georgia in 1833. In 1855 Beall joined the Confederate Army and served until 1860 with the 1st Cavalry. When the Civil War began, he led a company that was mustered into the 19th Georgia Infantry Regiment. Beall served in the Virginia campaigns in 1861 and a year later was wounded in Mechanicsville. While he recovered from his hip injury, he worked as a conscription officer in Manning, South Carolina and as a tax collector in Carroll County. In 1864, after he was fully recovered, Beall was elected Major of a battalion of cavalry from Caroll and Heard counties. Beall served with this unit until it was furloughed at Altamaha Bridge. After the war ended, he went on to become a judge and work on newspapers in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. He also published a number of books, including In Barrack and Field: Poems and Sketches of Army Life (1906). He died in 1917 at the age of 57, leaving behind his wife, Mary J. Merell, and their children.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically.

Physical Location

L2 Storage.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Raynors' Historical Collectible Auctions, September 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by Julia Itzler, Bennington College Intern, Winter 2020.
John B. Beall letters
Itzler, Julia
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Chapin Library Repository

26 Hopkins Hall Drive
Williamstown Massachusetts 01267