|Title: ||Branch family papers|
|Dates: ||Bulk, 1860-1868|
|Dates: ||1830-1961, bulk 1860-1868|
7.0 Linear feet
(3 document boxes, 4 oversized boxes, 1 flat box)
|Coll. Number: ||ms25|
Charlotte Sawyer Branch (1814-1894) was the widow of John Henry Salah Branch (d. 1846) and resided in Savannah, Georgia. Her sons, Sanford W., John L., and Hamilton McDevit fought in the Civil War. John L. Branch served first in the 1st Georgia Infantry Regiment (1861) then the 8th Georgia Infantry Regiment and was killed at Manassas, Va.; Sanford W. and Hamilton McDevit served in Company B of the 8th Georgia Infantry Regiment. Sanford was wounded at Manassas and taken prisoner of war, and Hamilton fought at Manassas and in Georgia.
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of the papers of the Branch family of Savannah, Georgia from 1830-1961. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence between Charlotte Sawyer Branch and her sons John L., Sanford W., and Hamilton McDevil Branch, who served mainly in the 8th Georgia Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. John L. writes first (1861) from Ft. Pulaski while serving with the 1st Georgia Infantry Regiment. During this period, the collection contains official "Guard Reports" (March, 1861) for Camp Berrien. After the brothers are united in May 1861 in the 8th Georgia Infantry Regiment, the letters describe going to Harper's Ferry (W. Va.), then Winchester (Va.), and on to Manassas (Va.). The letters describe the 1st Battle of Bull Run, the death of John, and the subsequent capture of Sanford (who had stayed with his dying brother).
After his capture, Sanford wrote letters from the Old Capital Building prison (Washington, D.C.) from July 1861 - April 1862. He rejoined his regiment and later describes the regiment's involvement in the Seven Days Battle, the 2nd Battle of Bull Run, and the Battle of Gettysburg, where Sanford was wounded and captured again. Sanford's letters during capture came from Gettysburg (Pa.), Baltimore (Md.), Ft. Delaware (Del.), Morris Island (S.C.), and Fort Pulaski (Ga.) where he was released in December 1864.
Hamilton transferred to the 54th Georgia Infantry Regiment and writes about the regiment's involvement in the Atlanta Campaign particularly the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. He also writes from Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee while serving with Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.
Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online as part of
America's Turning Point: Documenting the Civil War Experience in Georgia.
Branch family papers. MS 25. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.