This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.
This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities; this finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.
|Size||1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 460 items)|
|Abstract||Lafayette McLaws was a United States and Confederate Army officer, and a postmaster and collector of internal revenue in Savannah, Ga., 1885-1886. The collection includes letters and military papers of Lafayette McLaws including items related to the United States Army campaigns against the Navajos, 1858-1860, and the Civil War campaigns in which McLaws participated. Civil War actions discussed include the Peninsula Campaign and Maryland Campaign in 1862; the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863; action in Tennessee in late 1863, especially in the vicinity of Knoxville; McLaws's court-martial in 1864 for failure to cooperate with General James Longstreet, and his exoneration; his command in Georgia and South Carolina in 1864; and actions in North Carolina in 1865. Civil War maps of sites in Virginia, and Gettysburg, and other battles are also present. Post-war items include articles and addresses on military campaigns, especially the Battle of Gettysburg, and McLaws's relationship with General Longstreet. Earlier items are miscellaneous McLaws family papers. Volumes consist of a letter book, 1858-1864, containing abstracts of McLaws's letters to his wife during the Navajo campaign, and an order book, 1865, with journal entries for military operations in North Carolina, and a biographical sketch of McLaws.|
|Creator||McLaws, Lafayette, 1821-1897.|
The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.
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Lafayette McLaws (1821-1897) was a United States and Confederate Army officer, and a postmaster and collector of internal revenue in Savannah, Ga., 1885-1886. During the Civil War, McLaws served in Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina. He was engaged in the Peninsula and Maryland campaigns in 1862; the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863; action in Tennessee in late 1863, especially in the vicinity of Knoxville; in Georgia and South Carolina in 1864; and actions in North Carolina in 1865. In early 1864 McLaws was court-martialed, and later exonerated, for failure to cooperate with General James Longstreet.
McLaws was the son of James and Elizabeth McLaws of Savannah, Ga. He married Emily Allison Taylor, niece of Zachary Taylor. They had at least five children including William, John Taylor, Laura, Uldrick Hugenin, and another daughter.Back to Top
The collection includes correspondence, maps, orders and official documents, speeches, and clippings, chiefly related to Lafayette McLaws's military career. There is little personal or family information except as relates to his personal health and living conditions in the various camps at which he was stationed.
The bulk of the papers relate to McLaws's service as a Confederate officer during the Civil War. Items, 1861-1865, are chiefly letters from McLaws to his wife commenting on Union and Confederate troop movements and strategy, military engagements, and criticize other Confederate officers. The letters and other military papers disuss campaigns in which McLaws participated, includind the Peninsula and Maryland campaigns in 1862; the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863; action in Tennessee in late 1863, especially in the vicinity of Knoxville; McLaws's court-martial in 1864 for failure to cooperate with General James Longstreet, and his exoneration; his command in Georgia and South Carolina in 1864; and actions in North Carolina in 1865. Civil War maps of sites in Virginia, and Gettysburg, and other battles are also present. The papers also include a letter from Robert E. Lee, 1862; papers in McLaws' defense following the evacuation of Pocotaligo; and journal entries concerning his role in the North Carolina campaign.
Post-war papers are primarily articles and speeches made by McLaws on military engagements, especially the Battle of Gettysburg, and McLaws's relationship with General Longstreet. The papers, 1876-1896, consist mainly of correspondence about Civil War issues and battles between Lafayette McLaws and James Longstreet. There are also scattered letters from Goode Bryan, Benjamin G. Humphries, P. G. T. Beauregard, Marcus J. Wright, D. Wyatt Aiken, Edward Porter Alexander, J. B. Kershaw, and Thomas Munford. Topics include battles of Gettysburg, Knoxville, Harpers Ferry, the Maryland campaign, and Seven Pines.
The earliest papers include items related to Lafayette McLaws's youth and career in the United States Army prior to the Civil War, some concerning his involvement in the Utah campaign against the Navajo Indians.Back to Top
Northern Virginia around Spotsylvania County, Va. "From Richmond to Fredericksburg + a little North + West to Culpepper CH."
One printed map of the vicinity of Brown's Ferry in Tennessee. Other hand drawn and traced maps include areas in or near the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, Chickamauga River in Tennessee, and Lookout Mountain in the vicinity of Knoxville, Tenn. Also contains a photostatic copy of an unidentified map and two unidentified hand drawn battlefield maps labeled "Gen Petty's line of assault from rear of Railroad" and "Several successive lines of Federals whose advance reached the wheat field."
|Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-472/1||
Post bellum printed maps of the Battlefield of Chattanooga and the Battlefield of Antietam. Other hand drawn maps are of the "Battle Field of McLaws Division" at Gettysburg, Penn.; Battle of Chancellorsville; Hanover County, Va.; area east of Chattanooga, Tenn.; and North Carolina around Halifax County.
Volume 1: Letterbook, 1858-1864 #00472, Series: "Lafayette McLaws Papers, 1836-1897 and undated." Folder 42
Entries are not in Lafayette McLaws's hand, but contain what appear to be excerpts of his letters to his wife written while campaigning against the Navajos and in the opening months of the Civil War.
Volume 2: Order book, Lafayette McLaws, 1865 #00472, Series: "Lafayette McLaws Papers, 1836-1897 and undated." Folder 43
Also includes journal entries from the North Carolina campaign.
Processed by: SHC Staff
Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007
Updated by: Kate Stratton and Jodi Berkowitz, October 2009; Nancy Kaiser, April 2021
This collection was rehoused and a summary created with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This finding aid was created with support from NC ECHO.Back to Top