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Guide to the James King Wilkerson papers, 1820-1929 and undated

Abstract

Confederate soldier, member of the 55th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Co. K; and farmer, from Granville County, N.C.

The papers of James King Wilkerson and his family date from 1820 to 1929, and consist of Civil War correspondence, a number of almanacs used as diaries, copybooks, and a few other miscellaneous papers, including a genealogical sketch. There is correspondence by Lillie Wilkerson and Luther Wilkerson, James' children, discussing social life and customs, illnesses and hospitals, employment, and personal matters; and several letters from a soldier in France during World War I. There are also two early issues of the Berea, N.C. Gazette, one from 1876, with comments on the Hayes-Tilden election, and one from shortly thereafter. The Civil War letters, written by James Wilkerson to his family, contain references to the C.S.S. Virginia, detailed descriptions of marches, comments on crop conditions as he moved from place to place, his Civil War service around Petersburg, Virginia, late in the war, and his stay in the General Hospital at Greensboro, N.C. in 1865.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Wilkerson, James King.
Title
James King Wilkerson papers 1820-1929 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
1.5 Linear Feet, Approx. 896 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The papers of James King Wilkerson (1842-1919) and his family date from 1820 to 1929, and consist of Civil War correspondence, a number of almanacs used as diaries, copybooks belonging to James when he was 16 and 17, and a few other miscellaneous papers, including a genealogical sketch. There is correspondence by Lillie Wilkerson (1877-1955) and Luther Wilkerson (1874-1942), James' children, discussing social life and customs, illnesses and hospitals, employment, and personal matters; and several letters from a soldier in France during World War I. There are also two early issues of the Berea, N.C. Gazette, one from 1876, with comments on the Hayes-Tilden election, and one from shortly thereafter.

The Civil War letters were all or nearly all written by James Wilkerson, who served in the Confederate Army, 55th North Carolina Regiment, Company K, from Aug. 1861 through spring of 1865. His letters to his family are significant for their references to the ironclad C.S.S. Virginia (the former U.S.S. Merrimac); detailed descriptions of marches, including references to orders dealing with men who couldn't keep up or fell during the march; comments on the condition of crops as he moved to different locales; and references to his Civil War service around Petersburg, Va. late in the war, and his stay in the General Hospital at Greensboro, N.C. in 1865. The collection is rounded out by a copy of The Spirit of Prayer (Nathaniel Vincent, 1840), owned by James K. Wilkerson during the Civil War.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, 1820-1899
(6 folders)
Box 1
Correspondence, 1900-1929
(3 folders)
Box 2
Miscellaneous papers and undated correspondence
(3 folders)
Box 2
Memorandum and account books, 1885-1911
(28 folders)
Box 3
Miscellaneous volumes, 1862-1914 and undated
(7 folders)
Box 3
Almanacs, 1876-1914, bulk 1890s and early 1900s
(38 folders)
Box 3
American Red Cross instructions for knitting, 1917
(1 folder)
Box 3
Print of The Old North State Almanac, 1898
(1 folder)
Box 3
Small pocket bible, undated (fragile, handle with care)
Box 3
Two copybooks belonging to James K. Wilkerson, Oak Hill, Granville County, N.C., 1858-1859
Box 4

Historical Note

James King Wilkerson was born in North Carolina June 12, 1842, probably in Granville County, the son of Alexander Hamilton and Mary Ann D. Royster Wilkerson. He enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1861 and served through the end of the war. He married Elizabeth Frances Slaughter (1849-1929) Dec. 16, 1869 and had two children, Luther C. (1874-1942) and Lillie (1877-1955); Lillie became Lillie Cutts by marriage. James K. Wilkerson died in Granville County, N.C. June 1, 1919, and is buried in the Stovall Baptist Church cemetery, Granville County, N.C.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James King Wilkerson Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The James King Wilkerson papers were purchased by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1938.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff, July 2011

Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico and Matthew Warren, April 2012

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 38-1505, 38-1562

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.