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|Size||1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 500 items)|
|Abstract||The Fries, Shaffner, and related families lived primarily around Salem (now Winston-Salem), N.C. Francis Lavin Fries (1812-1863), with his brother, Henry William Fries (1825-1905), owned and operated woolen and cotton mills and a general store in Salem. Fries was active in the Moravian church and in local government and politics, and served in the North Carolina legislature, 1858-1859. He married Lisetta Marie Vogler (1820-1903), also of Salem, and with her had seven children, including Caroline Louisa Fries (1839-1922), who married John Francis Shaffner (1838-1908); and Mary Elizabeth Fries (1844-1927), who married Rufus Lenoir Patterson (1830-1879). Shaffner studied medicine in Philadelphia and Salem, where in 1861 he joined the Confederate medical service and was named assistant surgeon of the 33rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment. He was captured and briefly held by federal forces, May-June 1862. In 1863, he joined the 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment. Caroline Fries and John Francis Shaffner were married in 1865 and together had five children. Mary Elizabeth Fries Patterson and her husband lived during the early years of their marriage at Palmyra, the Patterson family home in Caldwell County, N.C. The collection consists of the family papers, 1848-1930s (bulk 1850-1867), of Francis Lavin Fries, Caroline Louisa Fries Shaffner, Mary Elizabeth Fries Patterson, John Francis Shaffner, and other family members. Correspondence concerns Fries family news, especially health and domestic life in Salem, N.C.; the family mills, store, and related business travel, often to Philadelphia; Shaffner's medical training; Fries' term in the North Carolina state legislature; North Carolina, Confederate, and national politics; student impressions of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; and the Civil War, especially military operations in North Carolina and Virginia, camp life, Shaffner's work at the camp hospital, prisoners of war, desertion, soldier and citizen morale, homefront efforts to support the war, and conflicts with pacifist clergy. Also of note are letters documenting the family's relationship with slavery, including reports of antebellum encounters with abolitionists while traveling in the North, the health of and funerals for slaves owned by the family, and the suitability of slaves for work in the mill. There are scattered letters, 1868-1887, concerning domestic life of Fries and Patterson families and Shaffner's business interest in the development of manganese in North Carolina. Volumes include diaries of Carrie Fries Shaffner, 1861-1876; surgical notes, 1862-1863, by John Francis Shaffner; his diary, 1863-1865; and an address by him about his Civil War experiences. Typescripts of some letters and volumes are available.|
|Creator||Fries (Family : Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Shaffner (Family : Winston-Salem, N.C.)
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The Fries, Shaffner, and related families lived in Salem (now Winston-Salem), N.C. Francis Lavin Fries (1812-1863), with his brother, Henry William Fries (1825-1905), owned and operated woolen and cotton mills and a general store in Salem. Fries was active in the Moravian church and in local government and politics, and served in the North Carolina legislature, 1858-1859. He married Lisetta Marie Vogler (1820-1903), also of Salem, and with her had seven children, including Caroline (Carrie) Louisa (1839-1922), who married John Francis (Frank) Shaffner (1838-1908), and Mary (Mollie until she married) Elizabeth (1844-1927), who married Rufus Lenoir Patterson (1830-1879).
Shaffner studied medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and Salem, apparently with financial support from Francis Lavin Fries. In 1861 Shaffner joined the Confederate medical service and was named assistant surgeon of the 33rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment. Shaffner saw action at Richmond, Orange Court House, Berryville, and Fredericksburg, Va., and Frederick City, Md. He was captured and briefly held by federal forces, May-June 1862. In 1863 he joined the 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, and saw action in the Shenandoah Valley, Orange Court House, Mechanicsville, and Petersburg, Va.
Carrie Fries and Frank Shaffner were married in 1865 and together had five children. Mary Fries and Rufus Patterson lived during the early years of their marriage at Palmyra, the Patterson family home in Caldwell County, N.C.
Additional biographical information can be found in the original finding aid filed in folder 1a.Back to Top
The collection consists primarily of personal and family papers of Francis Lavin Fries, his daughters Caroline (Carrie) Louisa Fries and Mary (Mollie) Elizabeth Fries, and Carrie's husband John Francis (Frank) Shaffner. Correspondence concerns Fries family news, especially health and domestic life in Salem, N.C.; the family mill, store, and related business travel, often to Philadelphia; Shaffner's medical training; North Carolina, Confederate, and national politics; student impressions of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; and the Civil War, especially military operations in North Carolina and Virginia, camp life, including health, the camp hospital, and regimental politics; prisoners of war; desertion and morale; homefront efforts to support the war; and conflicts with pacifist clergy. Also of note are letters documenting the family's relationship with slavery, including reports of antebellum encounters with abolitionists while traveling in the North, the health of and funerals for slaves owned by the family, and their suitability for work in the mill. There are scattered letters, 1868-1887, concerning domestic life of Fries and Patterson families and Shaffner's business interest in the development of manganese in North Carolina. Volumes include diaries of Carrie Fries Shaffner, 1861-1876; surgical notes, 1862-1863, by John Francis Shaffner; his diary, 1863-1865; and an address by him about his Civil War experiences. Typescripts of some letters and volumes are available.Back to Top
Chiefly correspondence of Francis Lavin Fries, his daughters Caroline (Carrie) Louisa Fries and Mary (Mollie) Elizabeth Fries, and Carrie's husband John Francis (Frank) Shaffner. Correspondence, 1850-1860, consists primarily of letters between members of the Fries family at home in Salem, N.C., and other family members who accompanied Francis Lavin Fries or Henry William Fries on their annual business trips to Philadelphia, Pa. Letters mention sightseeing, including a trip to Niagra Falls, N.Y. (August 1857); social life, visiting, and entertainment; encounters with abolitionists (February 1860); mutual friends; dressmaking and the purchase of clothes, cloth, and household items; health, especially Francis Lavin Fries' near fatal illness in 1860; and frequent references to visits with John Francis Shaffner and his progress at Jefferson Medical College. Letters from Salem are devoted primarily to descriptions of housekeeping; news of family and slaves, especially health, including the illness, death, and funerals of two slaves (March-May 1860); and requests for items to be purchased in Philadelphia. Beginning in May 1860, there are also comments on the national political situation. There are also scattered business letters between the Fries brothers that discuss the mill, the northern market, and management of their store in Salem. In a May 1860 letter, Francis Lavin Fries discussed at length which slaves might be suited for work in the mill and how they should be trained. There are a number of letters exchanged between Francis Lavin Fries and John Francis Shaffner concerning the latter's medical training. Fries' letters are full of advice and encouragement, with occasional commentary on local and national politics. Scattered throughout this period are letters to Caroline Carrie Louisa Fries in Salem from relatives elsewhere, including from her father while he served in the legislature in Raleigh, N.C.
Civil War letters are primarily between John Francis Shaffner, who served as a surgeon with the 33rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment (1861-1863) and the 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment (1863-1865), and members of the Fries family in Salem, N.C. Shaffner served at Camp Ellis and Camp Mangum near Raleigh (fall 1861); New Bern and Goldsboro (January-March 1862); Richmond and Orange Court House, Virginia (July-August 1862); Frederick City, Md. (September 1862); Berryville, Va. (December 1862); Fredericksburg and the Shenandoah Valley, Va. (1863-1864); Orange Court House and Mechanicsville, Va. (1864); and Petersburg, Va. (1865). Shaffner's letters report on military operations, staffing and operation of his hospital, the health and medical conditions of his regiment, camp life, food, supplies, housing, soldiers and officers in the regiment, his own trial in 1864 on charges of insubordination to Colonel Bryan Grimes, the capture and treatment of prisoners (fall 1861), and desertion (1864-1865). Other topics include pacifist clergy; the suppression of a unionist insurrection in Davidson County, N.C. (July 1861); state and Confederate politics, especially the gubernatorial election of 1862 and the effect of W.W. Holden on troop morale and desertions; Northern public opinion and politics, especially President Lincoln's reelection in 1864; and Confederate diplomacy, in particular the Mason and Sliddell affair and relations with England (December 1861-January 1862). Following his engagement to Carrie Fries in September 1863, Shaffner's letters to her became increasingly personal and affectionate. Letters written to Shaffner by Carrie and Mollie Fries deal with their daily life; mutual friends; family, especially the health of their father; church affairs, including conflicts with their ministers who opposed the war; and homefront efforts to support the war. Letters from Francis Fries to Shaffner continued to offer career advice and encouragement. There also are scattered routine military communications to Shaffner; letters from William Pfohl about service in the Confederate Army at Danville, Va. (1861), and in Greenville, N.C. (1864); letters from Cousin Alf (Vogler?) with the 11th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, describing the battle of Manassas, a train wreck, camp life, especially measles and typhoid epidemics; and from S.C. James with the Confederate Army in Liberty Mill, Va. (1862), and Port Royal, Va. (1862-1863) concerning camp life, mutual friends, the election of company officers, and deserters.
Letters from 1866 and 1867 chiefly concern family life as reported by Carrie Fries Shaffner, Mary Fries Patterson, and their mother Lisetta Vogler Fries. They discuss family affairs, including Carrie's grief over the death of her daughter; the servants; local events, including the marriage of a runaway couple; the Palmyra house and Caldwell County scenery; visiting; housekeeping; a trip to Rockbridge and the health resort at Alum Springs, Va.; smallpox at Salem Academy; and John Fries' preparations for enrolling at the University of North Carolina and his impressions and experiences once he arrived.
There are only a few scattered items between 1868 and 1887, including letters between Carrie Fries Shaffner and Mary Fries Patterson; letters to Shaffner from geologists in Philadelphia, Pa., concerning the development of manganese on property he owned in North Carolina; and a letter from a friend in Philadelphia describing the death and funeral of W.E. Albright.
Note that partial transcriptions for some of these letters can be found in Series 2.
Acquisitions Information: Accession 101720
Chiefly letters exchanged between Francis Lavin Fries and John Francis Shaffner and letters from Shaffner to Carrie Fries, but also a few letters from Cousin Alf (Vogler?) and other family friends. The content of these letters is similar to those in Series 1. Letters from Fries include fatherly advice concerning Shaffner's medical training and critical opinions of politicians and the modern way of bringing up girls. News of the family mills is slight, with the exception of a letter, 18 December 1861, in which Henry William Fries described the diminishing market value of wool, as well as the climate and roads encountered on a business trip to Texas. Shaffner's letters document the impact of the war, with comment on the long wait for his appointment as a surgeon, anticipation of enemy engagements, the death penalty punishment for desertion, Yankee conscription, southern morale, and to a lesser extent his work as a surgeon, though an 28 October 1864 letter includes his description of the evacuation of an infirmary after the Battle of Cedar Creek. He also reported a story of Senator Thomas from Davidson, who traveled to the North and returned with quinine, but had $20,000 in goods confiscated (23 August 1861). Shaffner's letters to Carrie subsequent to their engagement in September 1863 frequently are as much about his love for her as the war. Carrie's letters chiefly report on news of home and family in Salem, including homefront activities such as the call of a Southern Lady prayer meeting for women in Winston and Salem (1 December 1862) and a theatrical performance fundraiser to benefit soldiers (6 March 1863). The letters of Cousin Alf, possibly serving in the 11th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, are replete with his opinions about regimental politics and anecdotes from camp. In a letter dated 15 September 1861, he recounted how he ordered a guard to shoot blanks at "three negroes who had been caught in the act of selling whiskey clandestinely to the men ... but just before the command fire was given permission was granted them to run."
Note that partial transcriptions for some of these letters can be found in Series 2.
1853, 1858-1860 #04046, Series: "1A. Correspondence, 1853-1885 (Addition of December 2012)." Folder 36
Includes a letter, 28 October 1853, with a description of the Crystal Palace in New York City, N.Y.
Typescripts in this series were made in the 1930s by Caroline Lisetta Shaffner, daughter of John Francis and Carrie Fries Shaffner, with the intention of writing a book about her family. Her introductory notes and outline for the volume are filed in Series 1, folder 1b. Comparison of typescripts with the original manuscripts in Series 1 and in the Addition of December 2012 indicate that letters were not transcribed in their entirety and in some cases were edited to correct spelling, omit or rewrite portions of sentences, and sometimes add explanatory notes. Note also that some typescripts do not have a corresponding original letter in the collection.
The content of these typescripts is similar to that of Series 1 and the Addition of December 2012, with additional topics such as Francis Lavin Fries' activities in the state legislature; Shaffner's problems of a military surgeon, including efforts by soldiers and their families to bribe him into signing discharges; Shaffner's brief incarceration in June 1862 by the United States Army; the welfare of men from Salem; the battle of the Wilderness in May 1864; army activity in Caldwell County; and a Christmas celebration in 1864.
Volume 1: Carrie Fries diary (typescript), June 1861-June 1864 #04046, Series: "3. Volumes, 1861-1903." Folder 28
Contains regular entries about daily activities such as housekeeping, cooking, and clothes-making; the health of family members; visitors and visiting, letters sent and received, church activities, the weather, and other topics.
Volume 2: Carrie Fries diary (fragment), January 1862-May 1864 #04046, Series: "3. Volumes, 1861-1903." Folder 29
Partial manuscript copy of the Carrie Fries diary typescript in folder 28.
Volume 3: Carrie Fries Shaffner diary, May 1864-1876 #04046, Series: "3. Volumes, 1861-1903." Folder 30
Includes entries reporting on the Yankee invasion of April 1865 and the subsequent behavior of the Yankee troops. She stopped writing regularly after June 1865 and began recording only significant personal events. From 1869 to 1876, there are only retrospective summaries of each year.
Volume 4: Confederate States of America Hospital Department Surgical Notes, May 1862-May 1863 #04046, Series: "3. Volumes, 1861-1903." Folder 31
Record of surgical cases treated by John Francis Shaffner with basic information such as the patient's name, age, regiment, company, nature of the wound, and operation performed, as well as detailed notes on especially interesting cases and one page of instructions on compounding several drugs and remedies.
Volume 5: John Francis Shaffner diary, September 1863-February 1865 #04046, Series: "3. Volumes, 1861-1903." Folder 32
Daily accounts of letters sent and received, details of Shaffner's medical work, movements of his regiment and military news from elsewhere, and camp life.
Volume 6: Printed and bound copy of John Francis Shaffner diary, September 1863-February 1865 #04046, Series: "3. Volumes, 1861-1903." Folder 33
Also included is an article, "A Civil War Surgeon's Diary," based on John Francis Shaffner's letters and diaries. The article was written by Dr. Louis Shaffner and was published in the North Carolina Medical Journal in September 1966.
Address given by John Francis Shaffner in 1903 to a Confederate veterans group, based on his war experiences.
Microfilm (M-4046/1)Back to Top
Processed by: SHC Staff
Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007
Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, March 2010
Updated by: Nancy Kaiser, January 2013, March 2021Back to Top