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Collection Title: Boggs (William Robertson) Letter, 1863

Collection Number: M232

Dates: November 29, 1863

Volume: 1 item

Provenance: Donated by Ernest A. Walen. This collection was separated from M123.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

William Robertson Boggs (1829-1911) was a native of Augusta, Georgia, and a graduate of West Point. He received a commission in the Corps of Engineers after graduation and then joined the Ordnance Corps where he remained until resigning in early 1861 to join the Army of the Confederacy. He was appointed captain under General Beauregard at Charleston, then transferred to the staff of General Bragg under whom he served for most of 1862. Boggs was commissioned brigadier general on November 4, 1862, and served as chief of staff to General Kirby Smith in the Trans-Mississippi during the later years of the war.

James B. McPherson (1828-1864) was a native of Ohio and an 1853 graduate of West Point. Following graduation, he remained at West Point in a teaching position for one year, then spent time on both coasts where he was involved with inland and coastal waterway improvements and seacoast fortification. In the year following the outbreak of the Civil War, McPherson served as aide-de-camp to General Halleck in the Department of the Missouri, as chief engineer with General Grant in the Tennessee Campaign, and as superintendent of railroads in West Tennessee. In mid-1862, after support activity in the battle at Corinth, Mississippi, he was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers and given command of the 2nd Division, Department of the Tennessee. He commanded the XVII Corps throughout the Vicksburg Campaign and remained in command of the District of Vicksburg until March 1864, when he assumed command of the Army of the Tennessee. McPherson was active in numerous campaigns in north Georgia. His death occurred during the Battle of Atlanta when he and an aide were returning to his command from General Sherman's headquarters.

No biographical information is available on Dr. Catlett.

Scope and Content:

This letter from Confederate Brigadier General William Robertson Boggs at Shreveport, Louisiana, was written on November 29, 1863, to Major General James B. McPherson, commander of U.S. Forces at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Boggs requests McPherson's assistance in helping the family of a Dr. Catlett travel to Louisiana under flags of truce. The letter states that the family is "in Kentucky near Nashville."

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