William & Mary | Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections Database


Nathaniel V. Watkins Family Papers, 1846-1889

Nathaniel V. Watkins Family Papers, 1846-1889
Mss. 39.1 W32 and 2008.306
2.0 Cubic Feet
Scope and Contents

Letters, chiefly 1862-1865, written by Nathaniel Venable Watkins to his wife Nancy Daniel Watkins. During the Civil War, Watkins served with Co. H, 4th Virginia Heavy Artillery, which became part of the 34th Virginia Infantry Regiment. Watkins appeared to have saw little combat, spending much of his time in defensive positions guarding artillery batteries. His unit was stationed at Gloucester Point (during the Peninsular Campaign), near Richmond (Chaffin's Bluff) and near Petersburg. His letters concern camp life, religion among the soldiers, his work as a clerk for courts-martial; and he gave directions to his wife concerning the management of their farm in Granville, N. C.

The collection also includes correspondence of other members of the Watkins family of Prince Edward County, Va. and of the Daniel family of Granville County, N. C. Some letters concern and are written by Richard H. Watkins who served in the Prince Edward Dragoons, 3rd Virginia Cavalry and who was a farmer in Prince Edward County, Va during Reconstruction.

The collection includes letters concerning slavery before and during the Civil War as well as letters written from former slaves.

Charles Lewis Read is the father of Jane Eliza Read who married James B. Daniel.  Their daughter, Nancy Venable Daniel, married Nathaniel Venable Watkins. Betsey Anne Ballentine was the sister of Nathaniel Venable Watkins.

Addition 2008.308 contains material for the Read, Daniel, Ballentine and Watkins families.  The donor organized the papers and this order has been maintained.

Watkins, Nathaniel Venable
Ballantine, Elisha (Rev.)
Daniel, James B.
Read, Charles Lewis (1794-1869)
Sherrill, Nancy Read
Watkins, Richard H.
Ballentine family
Confederate States of America. Army. Virginia Cavalry Regiment, 3rd
Confederate States of America. Army. Virginia Infantry Regiment, 34th
Daniel family
Granville County (N.C.)--History--19th century
Peninsular Campaign, 1862
Prince Edward County (Va.)--History--19th century
Property tax
Read family
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)--Virginia
Slavery--Virginia--19th century
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Watkins family
Receipts (financial records)

Detailed Description

Full Finding Aid/Box List

Administrative Information

Collection is open to all researchers. Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
Acquisition Note

The materials in this collection were donated to Special Collections in batches in 1942 and 1950 by various Watkins family members and friends of the Watkins family.

Mss. Acc. 2008.306 was donated by W.B.C. Watkins of Laurel, Mississippi via Richard L. Morton.

Related Publications
Some materials from this collection were published in Jeff Toalson, <i>No soap, no pay, diarrhea, dysentery & desertion</i> (Lincoln, Neb.: iUniverse, 2006)
Preferred Citation
Nathaniel V. Watkins Family Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
Finding Aid Revisions:
Acc. 2008.308 addition added in 2011 by Anne Johnson.
Collection Material Type:
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