About the Digital Collection
Largely personal and family correspondence, mainly from relatives and friends, usually addressed to Alexander Brown. Correspondents include: Robert Lawrence Brown (1820-1880); stepmother Margaret Baldwin Cabell Brown (1826-1877); grandfather Alexander Brown (1796-1864); grandmother Lucy Shands Rives Brown (1794-1872); uncle Paul Carrington Callaway (1815-1876); and cousins Francis Alexander Meade and Lucy Brown Meade. The collection mentions the Walker, Bruce, Daniel, Boyd, Bouldin, Otey, Morris, Langhorne, Early, Meade, Cabell, Rives, Brown, and Poindexter families. Other individuals mentioned include: John Strode Barbour, Jr.; John and Lawrence Meem, members of the Virginia General Assembly; Willie Duke; Confederate generals Robert Augustus Toombs, Thomas Jonathon Jackson, Robert Emmett Rodes, Braxton Bragg, Edmund Kirby Smith, John Bankhead Magruder, Benjamin Huger, and Samuel Garland, Jr.; Generals' wives Julia Toombs and Virginia Hortense Woodruff Rodes; Virginia governor John Letcher; Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens; Abraham Lincoln; and Union general Benjamin F. Butler. Subjects mentioned include business affairs, crops, weather, typhoid fever, yellow fever, smallpox, commodity prices, salt distribution, and social life and customs in Virginia during the Civil War. Other topics include politics, such as the election of 1860, and newspapers, such as the Richmond Examiner and the Lynchburg Republican. Civil War subjects include Confederate and Federal prisoners; sieges of Charleston, Savannah, and Wilmington; battles of Bull Run and Antietam; women's care for wounded Confederate soldiers; and Confederate Army concerns such as sickness, casualties, hardships, shortages, food, shoes, clothing, desertions, troop movements, and recruitment.