Papers, 1846 - 1914, of the Quattlebaum, Jones,| Manuscripts Gifts 2009 | Front Page 2009 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |
and Stewart Families
A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2009
Thirty - six manuscripts, 1846 - 1847, 1863 - 1867, 1887 - 1914 and undated, of the Quattlebaum, Jones and Stewart families augment the Paul Quattlebaum papers previously acquired by the Library. This addition provides information about Paul Quattlebaum’s extended family, including the Mexican War service of Bolivar Jones, the brother of his wife, Sarah Caroline Jones Prothro, and the Civil War era experiences of several of his children. There are also letters written to his daughter, Olivia Clara Quattlebaum Stewart, in the early years of the twentieth century that chronicle her efforts to memorialize her brother Edwin R. Quattlebaum after his death in 1906. | Manuscripts Gifts 2009 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
Paul Quattlebaum (1812 - 1890) was long associated with South Carolina militia organizations. According to a sketch written by Dr. W.T. Brooker and published in the Lexington Dispatch newspaper in July 1901, Quattlebaum was elected captain of a local militia company about 1830, and then served as captain of a volunteer company during the Seminole War. Quattlebaum was appointed colonel of a militia regiment in 1839 and elevated to brigadier general in 1843.
A letter in the collection written by General James W. Cantey from Camden on 13 April 1846 details the duties that General Quattlebaum was called on to perform in preparation for a militia encampment scheduled for Blackville (Barnwell County, S.C.). After instructing Quattlebaum "to furnish Col. William Yeadon with the number of muskets, tents &c that will be wanting," he wanted to know "what you are going to do about music." "I have no doubt that the Govr. will pay for a band, if you get one there - eight musicians I think will be sufficient." On a blank sheet of the same letter, Quattlebaum drafted a request to Governor William Aiken asking for funds to pay for a band for the next encampment and suggested that he would be "willing myself to advance the balance that may be necessary to procure it rather than do without good music."
Quattlebaum’s bother-in-law, Bolivar Jones, joined the Palmetto Regiment and left for Mexico in January 1847. In a letter addressed to his sister, Elizabeth Watson, of Edgefield District and headed Puebla, Mexico, 3 June 1847, Bolivar described his bout with "fever," from which he had suffered for three or four weeks. "I am in a hospital where there is all sorts of men and various diseases," he wrote. "Three men have died to day of our regiment, one of our company." He also complained that he had received only three letters since leaving South Carolina, and of those, two were from Paul [Quattlebaum]. "A poor private stands a bad chance to hear any news here and I am unable to give you any with regard to the war," he concluded.
Bolivar lingered for another month and died 2 July 1847 of typhoid fever. Lieutenant [John] Morangne related the details of Bolivar’s last weeks in a letter to the family. In May, Bolivar had volunteered to go with a small party from Jalapa to Vera Cruz to bring back uniforms for the regiment. "It was a bold enterprise," Lieutenant Morangne explained, "as the whole road was beset with Guerrilla parties of the enemy, but the cool & ardent spirit evinced by Bolivar gained him the applause of all those who accompanied him... unfortunately, however, he returned from the expedition with a violent attack of fever." The lieutenant also commented on the loss of others from the regiment: "we have lost more than two hundred men since our landing at Vera Cruz & they are still dying rapidly." The Quattlebaums named a son, born in 1849, Bolivar Jones to honor his uncle.
Edwin R. Quattlebaum wrote to his father from "Head Quarters 20th Regt. S.C. Vols.," Sullivans Island (Charleston County, S.C.), 24 April 1863, to thank him for sending a box containing flour and a ham. He also explained how he had rescued about eighty yards of cloth from a blockade - runner that was beached near his camp. "The Steamer ‘Stonewall Jackson’ in running the Blockade the other night was chased so closely by the Yankees that the Captain ran it ashore on ‘Long Island’ and set it on fire," he wrote. "The soldiers, I among the party, the next day armed with hooks &c &c went on board of her and fished up such things of value that had fallen in the water in the iron hull." His haul of brown linen and English shirting he valued at about $100, even though the cloth near the edge of the bolt had been scorched by the fire. He planned to send it home so his mother could make "a lot of nice shirts out of some of it."
In December 1863 Edwin applied for and received a furlough from 22 December to 3 January 1864 to visit his home in Lexington District, S.C. The nineteen - year - old soldier had been in service since 29 December 1861 and was acting sergeant major of the Twentieth Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, at the time of the furlough. Edwin’s family did not expect him home for Christmas and, in a letter dated 23 December, his sister Jennie [Virginia] expressed her disappointment that he would not be present "to complete the family circle."
After his return to Mount Pleasant (Charleston County, S.C.), he continued to receive at least one letter each week from home. Jennie wrote on 9 February 1864 with the most recent news, including an account of their parents’ visit to Columbia, S.C., where they "camped out" in their wagon rather than "sponge on their friends" and had "a jolly time at nobody’s expense." The highlight of the trip was a visit to the "Bee" store, where dry goods bought in by the W.C. Bee Company through the blockade could be purchased. "They did not succeed in getting all they wanted," Jennie wrote, "as the stock was somewhat exhausted, but they treated each of us girls to a calico dress at $4.50 pr yard," even though they had to fight the crowd of shoppers who were "shoving and pushing."
It was the father’s turn to write the weekly letter to Edwin on 16 February 1864. His news concerned his own business affairs and the military status of his other sons. Paul was pleased to report that he had sold about $13,000.00 worth of flour "besides what I have given away & sold to Government." "By the time I close grinding of the last crop, my sales will reach full $16,000.00," he concluded. "Your brother [Paul Jones (1836 - 1883)] is getting on finely at Mobile, [Alabama]" he informed Edwin, and "he feels confident of being able to stop any approach of the Yankees by water."
Paul Quattlebaum had written a letter the day before to his son Theodore (1842 - 1865) who also served in the Twentieth South Carolina Volunteers. Sister Livvie [Olivia Clara (1846 - 1920)] wrote next, on 24 February 1864, and devoted most of her letter to a vigorous denial of the rumor that she was engaged to be married. "I assure you, my dear Eddie, if I am engaged I am unaware of the fact," she affirmed. She promised to express a box of food to her brothers in Mount Pleasant because she was "distressed to think of your having to live so hard... ." "I think it is a shame that the soldiers have to suffer for food when almost every Rail - road depot is filled with the ‘tax in kinds,’" she exclaimed; "If there is not better management, it really seems as if the Yankees will indeed ‘perish us into subjugation.’"
As late as April 1864, Edwin’s promotion to sergeant major had not been made permanent and his father was concerned about the status of the hoped for appointment. In a letter of 28 April 1864, Paul suggested that his son speak to his commanding officer, Colonel Lawrence M. Keitt (1824-1864), to "tell him what you expect and what I hope from him;" however, as a former militia officer, the father would expect "a faithful discharge of your duty, in whatever capacity you may be placed... ." Edwin’s promotion did come through in late April or early May 1864, just before the Twentieth Regiment was ordered to join Kershaw’s Brigade in Virginia, where the men arrived on 30 May 1864.
Ed’s initial battlefield experience was related in a three - page narrative written by his comrade Francis M. Pooser at the request of Olivia Stewart in 1908. Ed had been killed in an accident in Mobile, Alabama, in 1906, and at the time Pooser had composed a tribute to his friend that was published in The Lexington Dispatch on 19 December 1906. Pooser added more details in the 1908 account that he enclosed with his letter of 28 December. Pooser recalled that the men of the Twentieth Regiment saw their first engagement as infantry at Cold Harbor, Virginia, on 2 June 1864. During the attack on the enemy forces, entrenched behind breast works, Colonel Keitt was "shot from his horse." In the confusion of battle and without their leader, the men of the regiment began to retreat. Pooser saw Ed "trying to stop the men & stop the confusion." Pooser continued: "He had a big fellow in the collar with one hand, & with the other he was playing it on him with the flat of his sword, the Minnie balls & shells as thick as hail around him. I said to him, give it to him, Edd, but he failed to stop the fellow."
Pooser also remembered an October day in 1864 when Joseph B. Kershaw’s Division was in action against Federal forces commanded by General Philip Sheridan near Strasburg, Virginia. Once Kershaw’s men had driven the enemy from behind the protecting cover of a fence after a two - hour struggle, Pooser and another soldier moved to the top of a nearby hill where they were joined by General James Connor, their brigade commander. Connor ordered the rest of men of the regiment to form in line of battle at the top of the hill. "While they were lining up the regiment, Genl. Connor was shot from his horse some 50 yards to the right of us," Pooser continued. "Edd, with 5 or 6 men from the hospital corps were carrying Genl. Connor to an ambu-lance... .Another shell from the enemies gun on the opposite side of Cedar Creek, exploded and if I remember right, killed & wounded 2 or 3 of the men. A piece of this shell struck Edd, while stooping down, right under the right shoulder blade, and he too was sent off the field." Pooser assumed that Ed did not survive his injuries and was shocked when, after boarding a train in St. Matthews in 1867, he encountered his friend, "a hale, hearty young man, on his way to Poughkeepsie, N. Y., where he went to school." Ed had, in fact, recovered from his injury and had returned to South Carolina College to complete his studies that had been interrupted by the outbreak of the war. Even though he left college in 1867 without his degree, he did complete a business course at another school.
The war changed everything for the Quattlebaum family just as it did for all other Southerners. Theodore had been killed 16 March 1865 at Averysboro, North Carolina, in one of the last battles of the war. Two daughters had married in early 1865, Claudia to Thomas Furman Brodie on 1 February 1865 and Olivia to Thomas Oswald Stewart on 14 February 1865, and left Pinaria, the family’s home. Livvie [Olivia] moved to the plantation owned by her husband’s family near Gainesville, Florida, from which place she described her new life in a series of four letters written between March and August 1866. Because of the lack of house servants, Livvie and her mother - in - law had to "do everything that is done," she related to her sister Toddie [Claudia] in a letter written 3 - 4 March. "Ma... has to cook every meal we eat," she lamented, and "I have to clean up my room, wash dishes & attend to the house in general. I assure you," she continued, "I am heartily sick of this kind of living but there is no help for it & therefore I do not complain." In another letter to Toddie, this one written 25 August 1866, she commented, "cotton picking has commenced & I think we have in about two bales." She also hoped her husband would finish the fall’s work quickly: "I am exceedingly anxious to see the gin in operation as I am anxious for Tommie to get through so that we can go home early in December any way." She also mentioned, "this is a great day with the negroes." "They are all to be lawfully married, & we sent this morning to Gainesville for the Judge of Probate to perform the ceremony," she explained. "I guess it will be quite amusing to see them, some aged couples in the crowd - one old man & woman have been living together forty years." Livvie and Tommie did return to the Quattlebaum home that winter and brought with them their first child, a daughter, Virginia, who had been born 6 September 1866.
Writing from Pinaria (Lexington County, S.C.) on 16 March 1867, again to Toddie, Livvie mentioned that her husband had returned to Florida and he was "getting on very well." Toddie and her husband, Furman Brodie, were living in Charleston, S.C., and were the parents of two children. Ed left South Carolina for Mobile, Alabama, where, in 1875, he opened a modest sewing machine business. After twelve years of hard work, his business had "grown into large proportions, embracing hundreds of fancy, useful & ornamental articles, in addition to my sewing machine department," he explained to his mother in a letter of 11 April 1887. Ed had married Anna Getz of Mobile in 1879 and could, in the letter to his mother, describe the activities of three daughters - Livvie, Mamie, and Nannie - and his four - month - old son, Edwin Paul, who was "the jolliest little fellow I ever saw." Edwin remained in Mobile for the remainder of his life and died there.
Two letters written to Livvie by her nephew Sam Quattlebaum from Covington, Kentucky, in 1907 reestablished a correspondence that had been dormant for five years. Samuel Winston Quattlebaum was the only son of Livvie’s brother Paul Jones Quattlebaum who had died in Columbus, Georgia, in January 1883 while supervising federal government improvements to the Flint River. Paul’s widow and son had moved back to her home state of Kentucky where Sam worked as an accountant for a railroad system. He wrote his aunt on 27 March 1907 with news of his wife, son and his own life. "My life is far from a bed of roses, for I have to work so very hard, that at times, I wonder brain & body stand the strain," he remarked. Sam also expressed concern for his grandmother, Sarah Jones Quattlebaum, who at age ninety - one still resided at the family home in the care of her daughters Jennie and Claudia. Sam was encouraged, he wrote, by "the tidings you give me of her renewed strength, though I feel we cannot hope to have the dear old mother, & grand mother with us very much longer." Sarah Quattlebaum died 19 April 1908, a few months shy of her ninety - third birthday.
In addition to the letters in the collection, there are also a few newspaper clippings related to Confederate history, souvenir postcards from Asheville, North Carolina, and Fredericksburg, Virginia, and a most unusual hand - crafted envelope addressed to E.R. Quattlebaum, Twentieth Reg[imen]t, S[outh] C[arolina] V[olunteers], at Charleston made from the yellow wrapper printed by Evans & Cogswell in December 1860 for the pamphlet Declaration of the Immediate Cause Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union.... One photograph is also present. The image of Gordon Stewart Leslie, "18 months old," dated 22 May 1898, bears the name of Newberry photographer J.Z. Salter. Gordon was the son of Virginia Stewart and Elijah H. Leslie and grandson of Olivia Stewart.