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Collection Number: 05027-z

Collection Title: Avington Wayne Simpson Papers, 1862-1865, 1880, and undated

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.


Funding from the Watson-Brown Foundation, Inc., supported the encoding of this finding aid and microfilming of this collection.

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Size 25 items
Abstract Avington Wayne Simpson (b. 1834) was a soldier from June 1861 until May 1865. He began with the Missouri State Guard and then served with the 5th Missouri Infantry Regiment of the Confederate Army. In 1863, Simpson was sent west of the Mississippi as a recruiting officer. Simpson was captured in April 1865 by the Union army, along with the entire garrison at Spanish Fort, Ala. He was paroled on 9 May 1865 in Meridian, Miss. The collection includes a manuscript diary, about 150 pages, half-filled with entries dated 12 February 1862-9 August 1865, documenting Avington Wayne Simpson's service during the Civil War with the Missouri State Guard and the 5th Missouri Infantry Regiment. The diary also includes two pages of genealogy, dated 17 January 1880, and an undated autograph from a friend. Also included are photocopies of a typed transcription of the diary; two certificates of war service; and 20 pages of Simpson's other service records, including muster roll reports, personal and company requisition and expense reports, and his signed parole at the end of the war. Entries in the diary are short and vivid, describing the campaigns in Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama in detail, particularly the hardships of forced marches, retreats, frequent skirmishing and constant picket duty, punctuated by death in battle or, quite often, death from sickness. Descriptions of military life mention soldiers' concerns for proper food, better camp conditions, and the cutting of communication and supply lines. Occasional amusements, including socializing with local ladies, are also described.
Creator Simpson, Avington Wayne, b. 1834.
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 Avington Wayne Simpson Papers #5027-z, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed 2007) available.
  • Reel 1: Entire collection
Alternate Form of Material
Transcript of diary is available.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Charles Apfelbaum of Watchung, N.J., in June 2000 (Acc. 98674).
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

According to his diary, Avington Wayne Simpson was born on 28 November 1834 in Wayne County, Ky., and, in 1841, moved to Polk County, Mo., where he lived until enlisting in the Missouri State Guard in June 1861.

Simpson served six months in the Missouri State Guard and was elected as a third and later second lieutenant in Bradford's Company under the command of General Sterling Price. With the Missouri State Guard, he fought in battles at Oak Hills, Dry Wood, and Lexington, Mo. After the Missouri State Guard was merged into the Army of the West in March 1862, Simpson participated with the 5th Missouri Infantry Regiment in the battles of Farmington, Miss., in May 1862, and Iuka, Miss., in September 1862. At Iuka, he was slightly wounded in the arm.

On 8 March 1863, Simpson was detailed and sent west of the Mississippi as a recruiting officer. He returned to command duty in July 1863, having been promoted to first lieutenant on 15 May 1863, and served as such during the campaign in Georgia. He saw action in the battles at Allatoona, Ga., and Franklin, Tenn., in 1864. In April 1865, Simpson was captured by the Union army, along with the entire garrison at Spanish Fort, Ala. He was paroled on 9 May 1865 in Meridian, Miss.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Manuscript diary, about 150 pages, half-filled with entries dated 12 February 1862-9 August 1865, documenting Avington Wayne Simpson's service during the Civil War with the Missouri State Guard and the 5th Missouri Infantry Regiment of the Confederate Army. The diary also includes two pages of genealogy, dated 17 January 1880, and an undated autograph from a friend. Also included are photocopies of a typed transcription of the diary; two certificates of war service; and 20 pages of Simpson's other service records, including muster roll reports, personal and company requisition and expense reports, and his signed parole at the end of the war.

Entries in the diary are short and vivid, describing the campaigns in Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama in detail, particularly the hardships of forced marches, retreats, frequent skirmishing and constant picket duty, punctuated by death in battle or, quite often, death from sickness. Descriptions of military life mention soldiers' concerns for proper food, better camp conditions, and the cutting of communication and supply lines. Occasional amusements, including socializing with local ladies, are also described.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Papers, 1862-1865, 1880, and undated.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Aletha Andrew, August 2000

Encoded by: Aletha Andrew, August 2000

Revisions: Finding aid updated in February 2005 by Nancy Kaiser

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

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