Branch family papers

Branch family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Branch family
Title: Branch family papers
Dates: Bulk, 1860-1868
Dates: 1830-1961, bulk 1860-1868
Quantity: 7.0 Linear feet (3 document boxes, 4 oversized boxes, 1 flat box)
Coll. Number: ms25

Biographical/Historical Note

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.

Index Terms

Alabama--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
Atlanta Campaign, 1864.
Bull Run, 1st Battle of, Va., 1861.
Bull Run, 2nd Battle of, Va., 1862.
Fort Delaware (Del.)
Fort Pulaski (Ga.)
Georgia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863.
Kennesaw Mountain, Battle of, Ga., 1864.
Military administration--Confederate States of America.
Mississippi--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
Morris Island (S.C.)
Patriotic societies--Georgia.
Pennsylvania--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
Savannah (Ga.)
Seven Days' Battles, Va., 1862.
Tennessee--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Prisoners and prisons.
Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.
Women--Georgia--Societies and clubs.

General Notes

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.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Branch family papers. MS 25. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Margaret Branch Sexton Letters

11Correspondence, prior to 1860 View online.
2Correspondence, 1860 View online.
3Correspondence, 1861 January-May View online.
4Correspondence, 1861 June-July View online.
5Correspondence, 1861 August-December View online.
6Correspondence, 1862 View online.
7Correspondence, 1863 View online.
8Correspondence, 1864 January-June View online.
9Correspondence, 1864 July-December View online.
21Correspondence, 1865 View online.
2Correspondence, 1866 View online.
3Correspondence, 1867-1868 View online.
4Correspondence, 1870-1900 View online.
5Correspondence, 1900-1950 View online.
6Correspondence, 1960-1961 View online.
7Correspondence, undated View online.

Sanford W. Branch letters, 1861-1863

28Sanford W. Branch letters, 1861-1863 (copies)



United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) material

210United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) material

Hamilton M. Branch

31Hamilton M. Branch letters to his mother, 1861-1865 (typescripts)
2Hamilton M. Branch letters, resolutions, rosters, 1861-1899 (typescripts)

Branch-Sexton genealogy

33Branch-Sexton genealogy

Oversize Materials

4Certificates and memorials
Photographs and pictures
Mementos and souvenirs
Poems and writings
Marriage licenses and legal documents
Scrapbook pages
4aRoll of Oglethorpe Light Infantry, John L. Branch, 1857
Autograph book, Charlotte Sawyer, 1830-1833
Autograph book, Meta D. Branch, 1879-1882
Address and list book, S. W. Branch, 1864
Scrapbook, West Point pictures and clippings, 1890
Scrapbook, West Point pictures and clippings, Lottie Branch, 1890
Family Ancestral Album, Branch family, compiled by Hamilton McDevit Branch
Scrapbook of clippings, Lottie H. Branch, 1877
Scrapbook of obituaries, etc., 1861-1876
5Treasurer's book, UDC, Margaret Branch Sexton, 1899-1908
Application book, UDC, Marie E. Branch, 1894-1899
Genealogy - Branch family
Rosters (incomplete) of various Georgia companies including Oglethorpe Light Infantry Co. F, 22 nd Georgia Pulaski Guards
Scrapbook of clippings, 1855-1860
Letterbook, Margaret D. Branch, UDC, 1900
Autograph book [confederate veterans?], nd
Diary, Margaret Branch, 1894 trip to England
Diary, Margaret Branch, 1895 trip to Italy
6Scrapbook compiled by H. M. Branch and Margaret Branch Sexton, 1860-1927
7Confederate Battle Flag (reproduction; stars and bars)