Guide to the Benjamin S. Williams Papers, 1792-1938


Confederate Army officer, planter, and official of Hampton County, S.C. Mainly personal letters of Williams and his family, concerning his Civil War military service in the 25th and 47th Georgia Infantry Regiments, his efforts to become a planter after the war, his personal life, and his work as sheriff and auditor of Hampton County, S.C. Includes early land deeds, and letters from a physician who served in Cuba and Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Benjamin S. Williams papers
Williams, Benjamin S., b. 1843
4 Linear Feet, 859 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

Papers of Benjamin S. Williams, Confederate soldier, cotton planter, businessman and local politician, consisting of land deeds; a marriage license; several papers relating to the sale of slaves; clippings; correspondence; general orders of the South Carolina militia in 1877; and commissions of Williams for various offices. Civil War letters from Benjamin S. Williams, from his father, Gilbert W. M. Williams (d. 1863), Baptist minister and colonel in the 47th Regiment of Georgia Volunteer Infantry, and from A. D. Williams describe camp life; Colonel Williams's duties as commander of the 47th Regiment; deserters; Abraham Lincoln; military activities in Georgia from 1861 to 1862, in Mississippi in 1863, around Chattanooga (Tennessee) during 1863, and Smithfield (North Carolina) in 1865; charges against the 47th Regiment; the death of Sergeant Albert Richardson; and the disbanding of the Brunson branch of the South Carolina militia. Other correspondence discusses the destruction in South Carolina after Sherman's troops passed through; the behavior of the freedmen; articles written by Benjamin S. Williams regarding his war experiences; Tillmanism; the United Daughters of the Confederacy; affairs of the Confederate Infirmary at Columbia; South Carolina; the United confederate Veterans; Williams's pension claim; efforts of William A. Courtenay to write a history of the battle of Honey Hill, South Carolina; the service of Dr. Abraham Dallas Williams, brother of Benjamin S. Williams, in Cuba and Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War; the activities of the "red shirts" in South Carolina; and an investigation of the financial condition of Hampton County, South Carolina, in 1906.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

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 & Permissions

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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Benjamin S. Williams Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Papers, 1792-1910
Box 1
Papers, 1910-1926
Box 2
Papers, 1927-1938 and undated
Box 3
Folder 1
Box Oversize 16
Folder 2
Oversize-folder SS:66

Historical Note

Confederate Army officer, planter, and official of Hampton County, S.C.

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Benjamin S. Williams Papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1950 and 1951.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff, date unknown

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, September 2011