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James R. Crew papers

Identifier: ahc.MSS79f

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence, military documents, and other personal records of James R. Crew. Correspondence includes letters Crew wrote to his wife about life in Atlanta during and after the Civil War. Crew did not date the letters but he describes contemporary war events such as battles in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Florida, and New Orleans, Louisiana. He talks about the hanging of "bridge burners," referring to a group of Union spies known as Andrews Raiders. Crew also wrote a detailed letter describing the devastation of Atlanta by Union troops. He refers to "negro" troops who were used to garrison the city. In addition, he describes outbreaks of small pox, attending church, his work with the railroad, and buying food and clothes for his wife. Crew also wrote to his wife from Macon and other sites of railroad terminals in Georgia. Military records include travel passes and draft exemptions for private citizens. Other documents in the collection are his passport, a biographical sketch on his life, and remarks by Reverend Malard at Crew's funeral.


  • approximately 1860-1932, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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

Administrative/Biographical History

James R. Crew (1823-1865) was born in Covington, Georgia. In 1843 he moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to work on the Georgia Railroad. In 1851 he became the General Ticket Agent for the Georgia Railroad, the Atlanta & LaGrange Railroad, and the Macon & Western Railroad. In 1850 he married Jane Louisa Killian in Atlanta. Crew was elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1860, 1861, and 1862. He worked for the railroad throughout the Civil War. On the night of November 29, 1865, Crew was attacked on his way home from the ticket office and died as a result of his injuries two days later. Additional biographical information about James R. Crew has not been determined.


4 folder(s)



Existence and Location of Copies

Transcriptions for James R. Crew's personal letters are included in folder four of this collection.


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.

Description Control

This collection was re-processed in 2012.
James R. Crew papers
Paul Crater
June 2012
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared According To Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

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

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305