unc logo

Collection Number: 00167-z

Collection Title: Comer Family Papers, 1860-1864.

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 FAQ section for more information.


This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 19 items
Abstract Members of the Comer family, cotton planters and lumber yard owners of Barbour County, Ala., included Catherine Lucinda Comer (d. 1898), who, widowed in 1858, continued to farm cotton and to operate the family's corn mill and lumber yard, and her six sons: Hugh Moss Comer (1842-1900); John Wallace Comer (1845-1919); St. George Legare Comer (b. 1847); U.S. senator and Alabama governor Braxton Bragg Comer (1848-1927); John Fletcher Comer, Jr. (1854-1927); and Edward Trippe Comer (1856-1927). The collection includes letters, 1860-1864 and undated, to and from various members of the Comer family, chiefly about family and business matters. The earliest letters are from Catherine Lucinda Comer in Barbour County, Ala., to Hugh Moss Comer at school in Warrior Stand, Ala., describing family and neighborhood life and giving details of the family businesses and finances and news of the farm and slaves. During the Civil War, there are letters relating to the service of John Wallace Comer with the Army of Tennessee. Undated items include a poem about a faithless sweetheart and a letter from Hugh to Catherine about having shoes made for him. Also included is a photograph of John Wallace Comer in Civil War uniform with his slave, Burrell.
Creator Comer family.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

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 Comer Family Papers #167-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of Southern women and their families in the 19th century, Series A.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. Mills B. Lane of Savannah, Ga., before 1940.
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.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

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.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Related Collections

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

John Fletcher Comer (1811-1858) was a cotton planter and owner of a lumberyard and corn mill in Barbour County, Ala. He married Catharine Lucinda Drewry (d. 1898) in 1841, and they had six sons: Hugh Moss Comer (1842-1900); John Wallace Comer (1845-1919); St. George Legare Comer (1847-1870); U.S. senator and Alabama governor Braxton Bragg Comer (1848-1919); John Fletcher Comer, Jr. (1854-1927); and Edward Trippe Comer (1856-1927). There was also at least one daughter in the family. Following John Fletcher Comer's death in 1858, the family continued farming and operating the corn mill and lumberyard. During the Civil War, John Wallace Comer served in the reserves of the Army of Tennessee.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Nineteen letters dated between 1860 and 1864 and undated to and from various members of the Comer family. The earliest letters are from Catharine Lucinda Comer in Cowikee, Barbour County, Ala., to her son Hugh Moss Comer, who was attending school in Warrior Stand, Ala., describing family and neighborhood life, and giving details of the family businesses and finances and news of the farm and slaves. In 1861, Hugh Moss Comer received a letter from schoolmaster J. A. Arnold describing his new school's rates, living arrangements, and course of study. Hugh Moss Comer then enrolled in Arnold's school in Polk County, Ga., where he continued to received letters from his mother and his brothers, keeping him informed about the family and neighborhood, and mentioning the advent of the Civil War.

During the Civil War, Catharine Lucinda Comer received two undated letters from her brother P. A. Drewry, who listed the wounded soldiers in the regiment from their neighborhood and kept her informed about the condition of her son, John Wallace Comer, also a Confederate soldier. John Wallace Comer wrote several letters to his mother and his sister, describing the death of his corps commander, Leonidas Polk, at Pine Mountain, Ga.; his own wound and recovery; and the heavy fighting during the New Hope Church campaign in Georgia in 1864. A family friend also wrote to the Comer family in 1862, describing the plight of the Army of Tennessee and criticizing General Braxton Bragg's Kentucky campaign ("I don't think that ole Brag ever ought to have control of anything withought it was som ole woman chickens. This was mor mens lives lost by that retreat than if we had fought the yankes").

Undated items include a poem about a faithless sweetheart and a letter from Hugh Moss Comer to Catharine Lucinda Comer about having shoes made for him. There is also a photograph of John Wallace Comer in Civil War uniform with his slave, Burrell.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Comer Family Papers, 1860-1864.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Elizabeth Pauk, August 1991

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, December 2009

This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

Back to Top