Selected Civil War Documents

Selected Civil War Documents - Stories


Andrew Pizzini, Jr.

    Andrew Pizzini, Jr.
    Civil War Parole Document
    VMI Archives Manuscript #00109

    Andrew Pizzini, Jr. was born on September 24, 1846 in Richmond, Virginia. His father was Juan Pizzini, a native of Corsica who for many years served as the Italian Consul in Richmond. His mother was Celeste Eulalie Pizzini, of French descent.

    Pizzini was still a schoolboy at the beginning of the Civil War. He enlisted as a Private in the First Virginia Infantry, but was discharged in September 1861 so that he could attend the Virginia Military Institute. He enrolled at VMI in December 1861 as a member of the Class of 1865, and continued until graduation. As a cadet, he fought in the Battle of New Market (May 15, 1864) as a cadet 1st Sergeant, Company B. In June 1864 he was promoted to second Cadet Captain, commanding Company D.

    Following the destruction of many Institute buildings by General David Hunter in June 1864, the Corps of Cadets was furloughed several months. In December 1864 academic exercises resumed at the Alms House in Richmond, Virginia, VMI's temporary headquarters. As the war drew to a close, the cadets were assigned to aid in the defense of Richmond, where Pizzini surrendered in April 1865.

    For 17 years after the war Pizzini was a merchant in Richmond. He subsequently became interested in the new electric power industry and was president of the city's Electrical Street Railways Light and Power Companies. He died on January 31, 1913.

    Document: Headquarters Dept. of Virginia

    April 18, 1865

    Lt. Col. Lawson Botts

      Lawson Botts was a Confederate officer who served with the 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment. He was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia in 1825, the son of Thomas Hutchinson Botts and Anne Carter Willis. Botts entered the Virginia Military Institute in 1841 and spent two years at VMI, resigning before graduation because of his father's ill health. He subsequently studied law and established a practice in Charles Town, [West] Virginia prior to the Civil War. In 1859, he served as one of the lawyers assigned to defend the abolitionist John Brown. Botts married Elizabeth Bibb Ranson (1829-1909) in January 1851. The couple four sons (Thomas, James, Lawson, Robert), and one daughter who died in infancy.

      In 1859 Botts became Captain of a volunteer company known as the "Botts Grays." When the Civil War began, this unit entered the service of Virginia as Company G, 2nd Virginia Infantry Regiment, one of the units that comprised the famous Stonewall Brigade. Botts was commissioned Major in June 1861 and became Colonel in June 1862. He was praised for his conduct during several battles, including First Kernstown, First Winchester, Gaines's Mill, and Cedar Mountain. He was mortally wounded in action at 2nd Manassas on 28 August 1862 and died on 11 September. Botts is buried at Zion Episcopal Church Cemetery, Charles Town, WV. His half-brother, Walter Browne Botts, was a member of the Class of 1854; his father, Thomas H. Botts, served on the VMI Board of Visitors from 1839-1845.

      Document: Promotion to Lt. Col.

      Botts~Order to assume duties of Provost Martial at Winchester, 1861 Nov. 18


        Botts~Request for Furlough~Jan. 1862

          Request for furlough endorsements , 1862 January

          Francis M. Boykin Papers

            Francis Marshall Boykin was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia on March 1, 1837. His ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, and his father, General Francis Boykin, was a member of the Virginia Senate. Boykin entered the Virginia Military Institute in July 1853 and graduated in 1856. He engaged in teaching until 1861. During the Civil War, he served as a Lt. Colonel in the 31st Virginia Infantry Regiment. Boykin served throughout the war and was briefly imprisoned at Johnson's Island. After the war, he was in the tobacco business in Richmond, Virginia. Boykin married Ellen B. George, and they had three children (Hamilton, Anna, Ellen). He died on May 5, 1906 in Richmond.

            Boykin Promotion to Major

              Virginia Volunteers commission document, April 29, 1861.
              Appointing Boykin to rank of Major; signed by Governor John Letcher.

              Boykin Promotion to Lt. Col.

                Virginia Volunteers commission document, December 14, 1861.
                Appointing Boykin to rank of Lt. Colonel; signed by Governor John Letcher.

                Samuel Selden Brooke

                  Samuel Selden Brooke was born on November 10, 1841 in Stafford County, Virginia, the son of Samuel Selden Brooke, Sr. and Angelina Edrington. Brooke enrolled at the Virginia Military Institute in July 1857 and was a cadet for one year. He subsequently attended the University of Virginia, and in April 1861 he joined the Confederate Army. In May 1861 he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Company I, 47th Virginia Infantry Regiment; in May 1862 he was promoted to Captain. He served with this unit until the end of the Civil War.

                  After the war, Brooke resided in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he studied law and opened a practice. In 1882 he moved to Roanoke, VA, where he was a newspaper editor and Clerk of Court. He married Bettie Lewis Young in 1872; they had 6 children (Samuel, Henry, Edgar, Vena, Sarah, and Cary). Brooke died January 10, 1918 in Roanoke.

                  "Marching I do detest and fighting I love no better."

                  Document: Amnesty Oath

                  Brooke Commision Document

                    Commission document, 1861,  Signed by Virginia Governor John Letcher.

                    Brooke Authorization to Recruit

                      Special Order

                      December 1864,  Recruiting trip authorized.

                      Henry H. Dedrick

                        Henry H. Dedrick, was born in Rockingham Co., Virginia, 1836 May 17, and was a farmer in that county until the beginning of the war. He enlisted in the 52nd Virginia Infantry at Waynesboro, Virginia, July 15, 1861. The following is a summary of his service record: Present 11/1861-4/1862; reenlisted 5/1/1862; wounded in action at Cross Keys, 6/8/1862 and Gaines Mill, 6/27/1862; AWOL 7/18/1862-4/19/1863; fined all pay 7/18/1862-8/1/1863; present 7/3-27/1863; AWOL 7/27-10/1863; deserted to the enemy at Clarksburg, WVA on 10/24/1863, took oath and was sent north; physicial description- 5' 8", dark complexion, blue eyes, dark hair. After the war, Dedrick returned to Virginia and was a farmer in Augusta County until his death there on November 10, 1921.

                        He is buried in Sherando Methodist Church Cemetery.

                        Samuel Garland Commission Document

                          Samuel Garland, Jr., VMI Class of 1849, served as a Colonel in the 11th Virginia Infantry and led his regiment at 1st Manassas. He was promoted to Brigadier General in May 1862 and commanded his brigade at Seven Pines, Gaines's Mill, and Malvern Hill. Garland was mortally wounded on Sept 14, 1862 at South Mountain and is buried at Lynchburg, Virginia.

                          This commission document, dated May 8, 1861, appoints Garland a Colonel in the Virginia Volunteer Forces. The document was signed by Governor John Letcher and there is an endorsement on the back by Lewis B. Butler, Justice of the Peace for Prince William County, certifying that Garland took various prescribed oaths.

                          Document: Front & Back


                            Samuel Garland

                            Florida Ordinance of Secession

                              Florida Convention of the People, Ordinance of Secession, 1861
                              Series S972
                              "...the State of Florida is hereby declared a sovereign and independent Nation..."

                              Parole form for Private A. Geiger, prisoner of the Army of Northern Virginia

                                Geiger, A. Florida--History--Civil War, 1861-1865. United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.

                                Oath of Allegience

                                  Oath of allegiance to U.S. signed by Confederate soldier after Civil War "...I will, in like manner ABIDE BY AND FAITHFULLY SUPPORT ALL LAWS AND PROCLAMATIONS which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves--SO HELP ME GOD." Signed by John Wiley Gilbert in Coweta County, Georgia. Dated September 1, 1865.Monteen Moore Cave

                                  Letter to the Govenor of Florida

                                    Letter to the Governor of Florida
                                    "...Said Oglesby is a large able bodied man, and will make a good soldier, if he can be broken of stealing, should the Federalists ever take him a prisoner, he is the best man I know to break their concern, by stealing it out."

                                    John Leonard Weeks~Alton Prison

                                      John Leonard Weeks' service in the Confederacy.

                                      Photo # 1: Three documents concerning his treatment for small pox while a prisoner at Alton Prison in Illinois. They are dated from Nov 1863 to Jan 1864.

                                      Photo # 2,: documents indicating his parole from Fort Delaware Prison dated 28 Sep 1864 and his transfer for exchange to Aiken's Landing, VA dated 30 Sep 1864.

                                      John Leonard Weeks enlisted in the 16th Alabama Infantry at Moscow, Alabama as a Private. He was enrolled by Captain J.B. Powers in Company K. Also enlisted in the 16th Alabama Infantry were his uncle, Samuel Weeks (killed at Shiloh), and his cousin, William Burton Weeks (Samuel's son). Seven other of my ancestors were also in the 16th Alabama Infantry. They were Joshua J. Weeks (killed two weeks before Shiloh), William Henry Weeks, Martin Taylor, James H. Butler, Bisha W. Tarwater (wounded at Shiloh), James Bussey, and Zachariah Bussey.

                                      John Leonard Weeks name appeared on muster rolls for 15-31 August 1861 dated 23 Oct 1861. In some other records he was listed as James Leonard Weeks, John Weeks, J. Weeks, and J. Wickes.

                                      On 14 Oct 1863, John Leonard Weeks was wounded in the right arm and leg and captured in Tippah Co., Mississippi (at or near Ripley). He was received at a prisoner of war camp at Alton, Illinois on 24 Oct 1863. The prison was an old civilian penitentiary. He was received in the Alton Prison Hospital on 29 Nov 1863 and diagnosed with Small Pox. He was returned to quarters on 23 Dec 1863. On 02 Jan 1864 he was again received in the Alton Prison Hospital and discharged on 18 Jan 1864 at which time he was returned to duty. He was transferred to a prison camp at Fort Delaware on 4 Apr 1864. Fort Delaware was located in the Del River, about 48 miles from Philadelphia, and was best known as a place of confinement for private soldiers. Small Pox was reported to be high at Ft. Delaware and the transfer of prisoners had been halted 26 Oct 1863. By 1 Mar 1864 (one month before John Leonard Weeks was transferred there) there were no cases reported. Barracks were constructed within a wall surrounding the fort and the number of prisoners was large. The ground was several feet below the level of high water, which was kept out by means of dikes. Barracks were poorly constructed in the shape of a "T" and were often damp and cold during the winter. The commander of the fort was a Hungarian refugee named Gen. A.A. Schoepf and it was the most dreaded northern prison. After more than a year of being held as a Prisoner of War, on 28 Sep 1864 he was listed to be delivered by John E. Mulford, Major and Asst. Agt. for Exchange to Varina, Virginia for exchange on 05 Oct 1864. He was transported to Aiken's Landing, Virginia on 30 Sep 1864. On 09 Oct 1864 he signed (his mark) for clothing. On 10 Oct 1864 he was listed with a detachment of paroled and exchanged prisoners at Camp Lee, near Richmond, Virginia. It was noted that he was last paid by Lt. Malden on 30 Sep 1863. One document listed him as paroled on 14 Oct 1864 due to bad health. Copies of his special orders dated 8 Oct 1864 were obtained from the Alabama Archieves in Montgomery by myself. Also obtained was a furlough for 40 days with instructions to report to Camp of Instruction at Macon, Georgia. A copy of his pass for the Danville Railroad dated 11 Oct 1864 was also obtained. It listed permission to visit Moscow, Alabama.

                                      The next record of service in the Civil War shows he next joined Loy's Company, Alabama 4th (Roddy's) Cavalry, as a Private in Jan 1865 at Henson Springs, Alabama. He fought in Wilson's Raid from 22 Mar 1865 to 24 Apr 1865 while assigned to Roddy's Brigade, Forrest's Cavalry Corps, Department of Alabama, Mississippi, and East Louisiana. He next fought various conflicts from Montevallo, Alabama to Selma, Alabama, ending with the Battle of Selma on 02 Apr 1865. He was either captured at Selma on 02 Apr 1865 or surrendered at Pond Spring. The remainder of the unit surrendered at Meridian, Mississippi on 04 May 1865. He was paroled in May 1865 at Henson Springs, Alabama.


                                      1st. Lt. Robert Sedgwick Edwards

                                        Robert Edwards enlisted on 1 August 1861 in the "Continental Guard," a volunteer regiment subsequently designated the 48th New York Infantry. A document in the collection dated 2 August 1861 and signed by the Continental Guard's colonel, Rev. James H. Perry, and acting adjutant (later regimental quartermaster) Irving M. Avery, describes Edwards as a lieutenant and authorizes him to recruit men for the regiment. Edwards was formally commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the 48th New York's Company D on 21 August 1861, and soon after transferred to Co. E. On 15 April 1862, upon his promotion to 1st lieutenant, Edwards was transferred from Co. E to Co. C. He was officially commissioned 1st lieutenant on 29 April. He was killed on 18 July 1863 on Morris Island in the failed Union assault on Fort Wagner, a strongpoint in the network of Confederate fortifications guarding the approaches to Charleston Harbor.

                                        Photo: Newspaper clipping telling of death.