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Collection Number: 05380

Collection Title: Munson Monroe Buford Papers, 1865-1968

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 1.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 260 items)
Abstract Munson Monroe Buford was born in Union County, S.C. He was a Confederate soldier, enlisting in 1862 in Company K, 5th South Carolina Cavalry. He accompanied General Wade Hampton's chief of staff in delivering dispatches arranging for the surrender of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston. After the war, Buford became a farmer, landowner, trial justice, and sheriff of Newberry County, S.C. In the 1870s, Buford participated in the activities of the Red Shirts, a Democratic Party movement. He was the only member of the Ku Klux Klan ever brought to trial from Newberry County, S.C., in the United States Court. This trial (1872) ended in a hung jury and a mistrial. He was a member of the United Confederate Veterans, the Masons, and the Knights of Pythias and advocated for pension increases and tax exemptions for Confederate veterans, including securing pensions for slaves who went to war with their masters. The collection contains diaries, correspondence, and other materials of Munson Monroe Buford. Diaries note the weather, farm work, travel, cotton prices, visitors, purchases, letters written and received, work done as sheriff, attendance at Confederate reunions, and the deaths of local residents and national figures. Some diaries also contain records of Buford's personal expenese and accounts. Among the diaries is one containing entries made during the Civil War beginning 4 January 1865; one from 1870 that mentions a lynching and other incidents involving African Americans; one describing court cases during Buford's tenure as trial justice, 1879-1883; and one from the 1890s that includes a roster of the 5th South Carolina Cavalry Regiment. There is also scattered business, personal, and Confederate veterans-related correspondence; bills and contracts; deeds; a few photographs; printed materials; and other items. Included are Buford's daughter's sewing notebook, containing fabric samples and stitch examples; materials of the related Kibler and Bell families; and some items relating to the United Daughters of the Confederacy. There does not appear to be materials relating to Buford's Ku Klux Klan trial.
Creator Buford, Munson Monroe, 1846-1930.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Munson Monroe Buford Papers #5380, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mary Ann Brittain of Raleigh, N.C., in February 2008 (Acc. 100873).
Sensitive Materials Statement
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, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Munson Monroe Buford was born 13 February 1846 in Union County, S.C., the son of James Chesley Buford (1815-1874) and Caroline Hedgepeth Buford (1820-1898). He was a Confederate soldier, enlisting in 1862 in Company K, 5th South Carolina Cavalry. In 1865, he alone accompanied Colonel J. Rawlin Lowndes, General Wade Hampton's chief of staff, in delivering dispatches arranging for the surrender of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston to Union General William T. Sherman. After the surrender of Johnston, Buford and other soldiers attempted to join up with General Kirby Smith's forces west of the Mississippi, who had not yet surrendered. When they discovered that Smith had also surrendered, Buford returned home to Newberry County, S.C., and later travelled to Columbia, S.C., where he took the oath of allegiance on 27 July 1865.

On returning home after the Civil War, Buford became a farmer and landowner and married Sallie A. Bell (1850-1910) of Laurens County, S.C., on 15 March 1870. They had nine children: James R. (1872-1876), Willie T. (1874-1950), John Boothe (1877-1878), George Fair (b. 1879), Mary Elizabeth (b. 1882), Robert Hayne (b. 1884), Pope Lee (b. 1886), Munson Lafayette (b. 1888), and Sallie Bell (b. 1890). In the 1870s, Buford participated in the activities of the Red Shirts, a Democratic Party movement. Buford commanded one of the companies of the Mollohon section of the county. He was the only member of the Ku Klux Klan ever brought to trial from Newberry County, S.C., in the United States Court. The trial (1872) ended in a hung jury and a mistrial. From 1879 to 1883, Buford was a trial justice for Newberry County, S.C. He ran unsuccessfully for sheriff of the county in 1892, but was successfully elected in 1896 and was reelected three more times, holding the position until 1913.

In his later years, Buford attended Confederate reunions and was active in the United Confederate Veterans, holding the post of Adjutant of the James D. Nance Camp. Buford was also a member of the Masons and the Knights of Pythias. He advocated for pension increases and tax exemptions for Confederate veterans, including securing pensions for slaves who went to war with their masters. Buford died 7 August 1930 at his home in Newberry County, S.C.

This biography includes information from: The Annals of Newberry: Historical, Biographical and Anecdotical (1982) by John Belton O'Neall, page 756; Men of the Time: Sketches of Living Notables. A Biographical Encyclopedia of Contemporaneous South Carolina Leaders (1902) by J.C. Garlington, page 61; and Buford's obituary in Confederate Veteran, Volume 37, number 9, September 1930, page 353.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection contains diaries, correspondence, and other materials of Munson Monroe Buford of Newberry County, S.C. Diaries note the weather, farm work, travel, cotton prices, visitors, purchases, letters written and received, work done as sheriff, attendance at Confederate reunions, and the deaths of local residents and national figures. Some diaries also contain records of Buford's personal expenese and accounts. Among the diaries is one containing entries made during the Civil War beginning 4 January 1865; one from 1870 that mentions a lynching and other incidents involving African Americans; one describing court cases during Buford's tenure as trial justice, 1879-1883; and one from the 1890s that includes a roster of the 5th South Carolina Cavalry Regiment. There is also scattered business, personal, and Confederate veterans-related correspondence; bills and contracts; deeds; a few photographs; printed materials; and other items. Included are Buford's daughter's sewing notebook, containing fabric samples and stitch examples; materials of the related Kibler and Bell families; and some items relating to the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930.

11 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Folder 1

Civil War pocket diary, 4 January 1865-25 February 1866 #05380, Series: "1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930." Folder 1

Very brief entries note weather; travels; skirmishes; and the names of sick, wounded, and dead soldiers. Includes partial transcription.

Folder 2

1870 Almanac and diary, 19 January 1870-31 December 1870 #05380, Series: "1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930." Folder 2

Brief entries note weather, church attendance, farm work, trips, deaths, and marriages, including his own: "I had a little dance - a jolly time." In August, he organized a company of militia which travelled to Columbia, S.C. Other entries refer to a railroad accident, a trip to the fair, and news of a lynching and other incidents involving African Americans.

Folder 3

Diary and account book, 1877-1884 #05380, Series: "1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930." Folder 3

Contains expenses and various accounts, 26 January 1877-26 April 1884, as well as Buford's diary, 1 January 1877-30 April 1884. Entries note weather; farm work; deaths; births of his children; organizing a company of militia and traveling to Columbia, S.C., to present them to the Governor; and meetings of the Democratic Club, Palmetto Guards, and Mollohon Rangers.

Folder 4

"Criminal Docket of Trial Justice" and account book, 1879-1892 #05380, Series: "1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930." Folder 4

Contains the date, name of defendant, offense, witnesses' names, constable's name, trial costs, and verdict for various court cases in Newberry County, S.C., during Buford's tenure as a trial justice, 20 June 1879-20 June 1883. The remainder of the volume is personal accounts, 10 January 1889-25 December 1891.

Oversize Volume SV-5380/1

Diary and account book, 1883-1890. #05380, Series: "1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930." SV-5380/1

Contains diary entries, 1 May 1884-30 April 1890, and personal expenses and accounts, 28 December 1883-12 October 1890.

Oversize Volume SV-5380/2

Diary and account book, 1890-1898 #05380, Series: "1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930." SV-5380/2

Contains diary entries, 1 May 1890-31 May 1898, and expenses, 8 July 1890-31 May 1898. There is a handwritten roster of Company K, 5th South Carolina Cavalry, Confederate States of America, listing soldiers names, and dates and locations of when and where they were wounded or killed in battle, and whether they were living or deceased. The back of the volume has pasted-in election results from 1892 and 1896, showing Buford's vote tallies for sheriff.

Folder 5

Account book, 1891-1894 #05380, Series: "1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930." Folder 5

The volume contains personal accounts, 19 December 1891-7 January 1895.

Folder 6

Loose account sheets, 1903-1907 #05380, Series: "1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930." Folder 6

Loose account sheets not connected to any volume, covering work done as sheriff for various court cases, 1903-1907.

Oversize Volume SV-5380/3

Diary and account book, 1907-1923 #05380, Series: "1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930." SV-5380/3

Contains Buford's diary, 1 June 1907-31 August 1923, and expenses from the same period. Included are several pasted-in obituaries for Confederate Colonel Rawlins Lowndes (page 309) and a list of family members with birth and death dates (pages 528-529). The end papers contain pasted-in election results from 1918 and 1920 for national and state offices. Notable entries include attending his daughter's graduation, and his last day as sheriff.

Oversize Volume SV-5380/4

Diary and account book, 1923-1930 #05380, Series: "1. Diaries and accounts, 1865-1930." SV-5380/4

Contains diary entries, 1 September 1923-23 June 1930; expenses, 1 September 1923-30 June 1930; and scattered contracts and accounts, 1912-1930. Entries note the weather, cotton prices, travels, visitors, purchases, and letters written and received. The end paper contains a pasted-in letter, 21 May 1927, from the Trustees of the Bush River Centralized High School thanking Buford "...for the donation of twelve acres of land for the erection of the High School Building."

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers, 1879-1968.

About 250 items.
Folder 7

Correspondence, 1879-1957, and undated #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." Folder 7

Miscellaneous business and personal correspondence; copies of letters-to-the-editor; and letters relating to Confederate veterans. There is almost no family correspondence. Included are a copy of a letter from Munson Monroe Buford, 28 March 1885, to former Confederate General Wade Hampton asking to be recommended as Deputy Collector; a letter, 18 December 1896, from the American Consul to Brazil, John Malcolm Johnstone, to Buford; and a letter, 9 April 1927, from Buford to "Engineer" Zeigler of the C. and W. C. Railroad reminding him how Buford saved his life 26 years previously, in a 20 June 1901 train accident.

Folder 8

Number not used. #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." Folder 8

Image Folder P-5380/1

Photographs, undated #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." P-5380/1

Photocopy of a photograph of Munson Monroe Buford as a young man; one undated photograph of the related Bell family, labeled on the back; and five thumbnail-size photographs of unidentified individuals found in Munson Lafayette Buford's 1908 pocket calendar.

Folder 9

Clippings, 1872-1930, and undated #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." Folder 9

News stories about Munson Monroe Buford regarding his time as sheriff, criminal cases Buford was involved in as sheriff, several lengthy profiles of Buford containing his Civil War reminiscences, two political acrostics by Buford, Civil War veteran-related stories, letters-to-the-editor, obituaries, marriage announcements, recipes, remedies, and various election results for Newberry County, S.C.

Folder 10

Sallie Bell Buford papers, 1907-1908 and undated #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." Folder 10

Sewing notebook of Buford's daughter, Sallie Bell Buford, 20 September 1907-28 May 1908, containing cloth sewing samples and examples of different stitches, and "The Study of a Novel," an undated book report on John Halifax, Gentleman (1856).

Folder 11

Financial papers, 1874-1930 #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." Folder 11

Scattered bills, receipts, and handwritten copies of various contracts to rent property and for farm and household labor.

Folder 12

Other papers, 1887-1955 and undated #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." Folder 12

Notes, calculations, unfinished drafts of letters, lists of names with date of death, and recipes.

Folder 13

Deeds, 1887-1901 #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." Folder 13

Five Newberry County, S.C., deeds, all relating to the Kibler family.

Folder 14

Bank book and pocket calendar #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." Folder 14

Bank book, 1926-1927, of Munson Monroe Buford from the National Bank of Newberry, S.C. Pocket calendar, 1908, of Buford's son, Munson Lafayette Buford (b. 1888)

Folder 15

Printed items, 1907-1955 and undated #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." Folder 15

Pamphlets, fliers, advertisements, a railroad timetable, the 27 September 1924 issue of The Pathfinder, a receipt from the Loyal Order of Moose for Munson Monroe Buford's son-in-law W. W. Cromer, and other items. Also included are two fliers distributed by Buford: one dated 1900, denying that as sheriff, Buford received free travel on the railroad; the second advertising Buford's 840 acre plantation for sale, due to "...old age and can not attend to business."

Folder 16

United Daughters of the Confederacy materials, 1921-1968 #05380, Series: "2. Other Papers, 1879-1968." Folder 16

1921 dinner ticket signed by Munson Monroe Buford, the United Daughters of the Confederacy president's message of 1930, and yearbooks of the Calvin Crozier Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy for 1953, 1961-1962, 1964-1965, 1966-1967, and 1967-1968. Also included are some handwritten notes on chapter meetings, presumably by Mrs. W. H. Tedford, a descendant of Munson Monroe Buford.

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Processing Information

Processed by: T. Mike Childs, June 2008

Encoded by: T. Mike Childs, June 2008

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