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Patrick Augustus McGriff, planter and Confederate soldier, was born November 6, 1826. He married Susan N. Harvin on June 30, 1852. He had previously been married to Susan's sister, Mary N. Harvin, who died April 5, 1851. A slave owner, he operated a large farm along the Georgia-Florida border. McGriff served in the Fifth and Twelfth Regiments of the Georgia Militia from March, 1864 to the end of the war. He died in a hunting accident on December 20, 1877, in Decatur County, Georgia.
The collection contains the letters of Patrick Augustus McGriff written in 1864 while serving in the Georgia Militia. The letters detail military, social, and economic matters. McGriff comments on the righteousness of the Confederate cause and his belief that the Atlanta Campaign would determine the outcome of the war. Among the many topics he discussed were his trip to Atlanta through Albany and Macon, refugees, hospitals, Confederate wounded, Union prisoners, conditions in Atlanta, the movements of Union and Confederate forces, his concerns for his family, news from relatives, and the activities of his black servant, Onse, who attended McGriff during his enlistment. The final letter in the collection is dated September 10, 1864, from Camp Stephens, Georgia. It was written after the fall of Atlanta, and in the letter, McGriff mentions commanding the last rear guard that evacuated the city. The collection also contains an undated speech (ca. 1864) by McGriff in which he discusses the course of the war against "an arrogant and self reliant foe" and calls for increased aid for soldiers' families.
In addition to the letters of Patrick McGriff, there are letters from two other Confederate soldiers. Two letters are from "Wm.," possibly Patrick McGriff's brother-in-law, from Camp Bartow in 1861 and James Island, S.C. in 1862. A final piece of correspondence is from "Jeff", apparently McGriff's nephew, written from Camp Milton, Florida on July 13, 1864, which contains some information about military activities in Florida during the period.
Additional Physical Form:
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In possession of donor.
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Confederate States of America. Army. --Georgia Militia Regiment, 5th. Confederate States of America. Army. --Georgia Militia Regiment, 12th.
Atlanta Campaign, 1864. Slavery Florida African Americans History To 1863. Florida
United States History Civil War, 1861-1865
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