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Zeph Family Documents

 File — Box: 2, Folder: 2

Scope and Content

From the Collection: This collection primarily consists of letters written between Clara and Gilmer Watts between August 1862 and July 1864. Her letters deal with her management of the family and her new occupation as a teacher. Clara’s letters also include her encouragement of Gilmer’s desire to become a preacher, as well as occasionally soliciting his advice. Gilmer writes about his sicknesses, poor rations, sporadic pay, and vagaries of camp life. His letters document his unit’s movements through Kentucky and Indiana, and also include descriptions of his time as a prisoner of war in Maryland and Missouri. After his release, Gilmer rejoined his unit and continued to write about the hard edged life of a soldier in camp until his death.

In addition to Gilmer’s and Clara’s correspondence, which include several letters written in 1855, the collection contains two separate death notices for Gilmer; currency; his enlistment papers; and three small books entitled The Soldier’s Hymn Book, A Rainy Day in Camp, and The Roll Call or How will You Answer It. Gilmer also kept a journal in which he recorded his army movements as well as a list of letters he received and sent, a list of addresses, and a list of money accounts. The remainder of the collection includes correspondence, poetry, and other Zeph family documents.


  • 1855- 1889
  • Majority of material found within 1862 - 1864

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.


From the Collection: 2 linear ft. (2 document cases, 1 oversized box)


From the Collection: English


Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305