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Collection Number: 05259-z

Collection Title: James Hilliard Polk Papers, 1859-1864

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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.


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Size 50 items
Abstract James Hilliard Polk of Tennessee served as captain of the First Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, Fort Worth, Tex., during the Civil War. He was captured 14 January 1864 and held at Camp Chase, Ohio. Polk was also one of the "Immortal 600," brought to Hilton Head, S.C., to be used as a human shield at the siege of Charleston, August-October 1864, and from which he survived. It is unclear if he was the nephew and or the second cousin, once removed of President James K. Polk. Polk attended the University of North Carolina, 1859-1860 and possibly longer. He was married to Mary Demoville Harding and died 27 November 1926. The collection includes a diary, 22 July 1859-8 January 1860, written while James Hilliard Polk was a student at the University of North Carolina; a journal, 1864, written while he was a prisoner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio; and an ambrotype of Polk as a student at UNC. In the student diary, Polk wrote of fraternity life, school, love, family, and politics. The prisoner of war journal has entries for several dates, including that of his capture; lists of accounts; and Confederate songs, poems, and political commentary. Also included is photocopied secondary material documenting Polk's military career.
Creator Polk, James Hilliard, 1842-1926.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
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 James Hilliard Polk Papers #5259-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum Rare Manuscripts & Archives of Watchung, N.J., in November 2005 (Acc. 100332).
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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James Hilliard Polk was born on 8 January 1842 in Tennessee served as captain of the First Tennessee Cavalry Regiment, Fort Worth, Tex., during the Civil War. He was captured 14 January 1864 and held at Camp Chase, Ohio. Polk was also one of the "Immortal 600," brought to Hilton Head, South Carolina to be used as a human shield at the siege of Charleston, which lasted from August to October of that year, and from which he survived. He is alternately documented as the nephew and second cousin, once removed of President James K. Polk.

Polk attended the University of North Carolina from 1859-1860 and possibly longer. He was married to Mary Demoville Harding and died 27 November 1926.

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The collection includes a diary, 22 July 1859-8 January 1860, written while James Hilliard Polk was a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C.; a journal, 1864, written while he was a prisoner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio during the Civil War; and an ambrotype of Polk as a student at UNC. In the student diary, Polk wrote of fraternity life, student life, love, family, and politics. The prisoner of war journal has entries for several dates, including that of his capture while serving with the First Tennessee Cavalry Regiment; lists of accounts; and Confederate songs, poems, and political commentary. Also included is photocopied secondary material documenting Polk's military career.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jodi Berkowitz, July 2006

Encoded by: Jodi Berkowitz, July 2006

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