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 Home    Documentary Heritage of the Civil War    (Part 2, 2012: "Gone to be a Soldier")    William R. Barry correspondence, 1855-1864

William R. Barry correspondence, 1855-1864

Charleston Artillery 1863

Charleston Artillery in 1863

Public domain

Location
South Carolina Historical Society (Charleston, S.C.)
Background
William R, Barry was a Confederate soldier from the York District, S.C.; he served in the Charleston Battalion, and later in the 27th Regiment, South Carolina Volunteer Infantry.
Contents
Most of the correspondence consists of letters between William R. Barry, his wife, Sarah "Sallie" (Barber) Barry, and friends and family members. Barry's letters to his wife from Fairfax County, Va., Mount Pleasant, S.C., Charleston, S.C., James Island, S.C., Petersburg, Va., and elsewhere, concern family matters and friends, daily camp life, events and conditions in Charleston, fighting near Petersburg, Va., shelling of Fort Sumter (Feb. 1864), the difficulty of obtaining furloughs, his love for his wife and family, and desire to be with them again, his health, and spiritual matters. His letter of Jan. 19, 1863 urges Sarah to get herself and the children vaccinated for smallpox. His letter dated Apr. 8, 1863 is an eyewitness account of the ironclad attack in Charleston Harbor. Sarah's letters to her husband William from Yorkville, S.C., reflect difficult conditions at home, health troubles, periods of discouragement, concern for her husband's spiritual condition, and her faith. Lt. J.[M.] Harvey of Company B, 5th Regiment South Carolina Infantry, a friend writing from Fort Moultrie, Sullivans Island, S.C., on Apr. 20, 1861, describes troop strengths and fortifications around Charleston Harbor; later letters of his are from Virginia and Tennessee and recount in considerable detail events and conditions during the war, including the Battle of 1st Manassas (Bull Run). Other correspondents include James R. Barber, William R. Barry's brother-in-law, who writes of fighting in Virginia (1861) and in Tennessee near Chattanooga (Nov. 1863); James M. Barry, also in Virginia; James D. Barry (1800-1868), Jane E. Barry, and W.M. Enloe in York District, S.C., who send news of home; and J.B. Faris (or Faires) in Charleston (Oct. 18, 1863). Barry's letter dated Apr. 8, 1863 is an eyewitness account of the ironclad attack in Charleston Harbor. He writes:
"A monster vessel called the ironsides took position to the left of Sumpter [sic] throwing all her shot at that fort... "
and then describes how the return fire from Fort Sumter was so loud and furious that it:
"beat any thunderstorm I ever heard. "

(See the NUCMC catalog record)

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 Home    Documentary Heritage of the Civil War    (Part 2, 2012: "Gone to be a Soldier")    William R. Barry correspondence, 1855-1864
  The Library of Congress >> Cataloging, Acquisitions
   January 10, 2012
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