James L. Bell correspondence
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James L. Bell correspondence

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.814.4040. reference@atlantahistorycenter.com
Creator: Bell, James L., 1837-1918
Title: James L. Bell correspondence
Dates: 1909; undated
Quantity: 3.0 Item(s)
Identification: ahc.MSS27F

Biographical/Historical Note

James L. Bell (1837-1918) was born on April 24, 1837 in Jackson County, Georgia. At age twenty-three, he moved to Atlanta and began working for Atlanta and West Point Railroad. On May 31, 1861, Bell enlisted as a private in the Seventh Georgia Infantry. He was later promoted to Sergeant after the Battle of Fair Oaks in Virginia in October 1864. In that battle, he single-handedly captured the 19th Wisconsin Federal Regiment, a deed which attracted the notice of General Robert E. Lee. After the war, Bell returned to the Atlanta and West Point Railroad where he worked as a passenger conductor for fifty years. He married Alice Magnon and had one daughter, Eva. In 1893, Eva Bell married Mauson Wilson, and they had four children: Mrs Paul T. Harber, Misses Alice and Helen Wilson, and James Wilson. James L. Bell died on May 12, 1918.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains three letters to Mr. James L. Bell. Two of the letters are from William J. Hilburn, Bell’s comrade in the Civil War, and one is from Captain Charles K. Maddox, under whom both Bell and Hilburn served during their service. In the letters, the men reminisce about combat experiences and comrades. They discuss the battles of Gettysburg, 1st Manassas, Dam #1, Five Forks and mention the following individuals: David Wyatt, S.A.D. Smith, Robert Cowart, G.T. Anderson, Fitz-Lee, and Pickett. In addition, they provide each other with updates on their lives.

Index Terms

Bell, James L., 1837-1918
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives

General Notes

America's Turning Point: Documenting the Civil War Experience in Georgia received support from a Digitizing Historical Records grant awarded to the Atlanta History Center, Georgia Historical Society, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the Digital Library of Georgia by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[identification of item(s)], James L. Bell correspondence, MSS 27F, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center.

Acquisition Information


Processing Information

Collection reprocessed in 2007.


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Container List



1Correspondence, 1909 View online.