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Collection Number: 05002-z

Collection Title: Emmett Cole Letters, 1861-1862

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.


Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the microfilming of this collection.

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Size 0.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 40 items)
Abstract Emmett Cole of Barry County, Mich., was mustered into Company F, 8th Michigan Infantry Regiment in September 1861. In October 1861, his unit sailed for the Carolinas, eventually encamping on Hilton Head Island, S.C. He participated in several campaigns and was wounded and apparently captured. He appears to have died of his wounds in Charleston, S.C., around the end of June 1862. The collection consists of 19 letters that Emmett Cole wrote to his sister Celestia, his brother Edgar, and various friends during the course of his military service. The letters contain descriptions of the engagements in which he participated, including the 1861 Port Royal, S.C., expedition; the 1862 siege of Fort Pulaski, Ga.; and the attack on Secessionville, S.C., in 1862. The letters also include description of military life, stories about interactions between Union and Confederate soldiers on picket duty, speculation on the conduct and potential duration of the War, and discussion of financial matters. Also included is a letter from James I. McCarter of Charleston, S.C., who visited Cole in a hospital for wounded prisoners and wrote to Cole's father relating his son's dire condition.
Creator Cole, Emmett, d. 1862.
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 Emmett Cole Letters #5002-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed 2005-2006) available.
  • Reel 1: Entire collection
Alternate Form of Material
Typed transcriptions of letters are available.
Acquisitions Information
Received from McGowan Book Company of Chapel Hill, N.C., in November 1999 (Acc. 98503).
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

Emmett Cole of Barry County, Mich., was mustered into Company F, 8th Michigan Infantry Regiment in September 1861. In October of that year, his unit sailed for the Carolinas, eventually encamping on Hilton Head Island, S.C. He participated in the capture of Port Royal, S.C., and remained stationed at Beaufort, S.C., on Port Royal Island, through May 1862. During that time, he participated in the capture of Fort Walker and Fort Beauregard, and in the siege and capture of Fort Pulaski. After a period of inactivity, Cole and his unit participated in the ill-fated Union assault on Secessionville, S.C. Cole was wounded and also seems to have been captured. He appears to have died of his wounds in Charleston, S.C., around the end of June 1862.

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The papers of Emmett Cole consist of 19 letters (typed transcriptions available) that Cole wrote to his sister Celestia, his brother Edgar, and various friends during the course of his Civil War military service with the 8th Michigan Infantry Regiment. The letters contain descriptions of the engagements in which he participated, including the 1861 Port Royal, S.C., expedition; the 1862 siege of Fort Pulaski, Ga.; and the attack on Secessionville, S.C., in 1862. The letters also include description of military life, stories about interactions between Union and Confederate soldiers on picket duty, speculation on the conduct and potential duration of the War, and discussion of financial matters. Also included is a letter from James I. McCarter of Charleston, S.C., who visited Cole in a hospital for wounded prisoners and wrote to Cole's father relating his son's dire condition.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Letters, 1861-1862.

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Processing Information

Processed by: John Foster, November 2000

Encoded by: John Foster, November 2000

Revisions: Finding aid updated in May 2005 by Nancy Kaiser.

Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the microfilming of this collection.

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