JOHNSON (CHARLES JAMES) PAPERS

(Mss. 1152)

Inventory

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2003

Revised 2011

CONTENTS OF INVENTORY

SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE ...................................................................................... 4
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE ................................................................................................... 4
COLLECTION DESCRIPTION .................................................................................................... 5
INDEX TERMS .............................................................................................................................. 7
CONTAINER LIST ........................................................................................................................ 8

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SUMMARY

Size.

162 items, 1 manuscript volume

Geographic locations.

St. Francisville, Louisiana; New Orleans, La.; Nashville, Tennessee; Western Kentucky

Inclusive dates.

1827-1866, undated

Bulk dates.

1836-1862

Language.

English

Summary.

Papers from Charles James Johnson of St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish, to his wife, Louisa Butler McCrindell and correspondence of the related Edington, Bowman, Bell, Stirling, Hereford, Courtney and McCrindell families.

Restrictions on access.

If microfilm is available, photocopies must be made from microfilm.

Related collections.

Turnbull-Bowman Family Papers, Mss. 4452

Copyright.

Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Citation.

Charles James Johnson Papers, Mss. 1152. Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).

C:31

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE

Charles James Johnson (ca.1840-1867) was a physician of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. During the Civil War he served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Rosale Guards, Company I, of the 11th Louisiana Infantry Regiment commanded by Colonel S. F. Marks under the command of Major General Leonidas Polk. His mother, Eliza Edington, was the second wife of Charles Grandpre Johnson, son of Louisiana Governor Isaac Johnson.

Charles James Johnson married Louisa Butler McCrindell in 1861, who was the daughter of Harriet Stirling and Thomas McCrindell, dealer in rugs and carpets of New York City and later general merchant of Bayou Sara, West Feliciana Parish. Harriet Stirling McCrindell was the daughter of Mary Bowman and Henry Stirling.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Papers contain the letters of Charles James Johnson while he attended University of Nashville, letters to his wife, Louisa Butler McCrindell, during his enlistment in the Confederate Army, and correspondence of the related Edington, Bowman, Bell, Stirling, Hereford, Courtney and McCrindell families. Other items include a deed for a land sale (1827), a broadside (1833), and a petition for opening the succession of Mrs. Harriet McCrindell (1863).

Letters during Johnson's service in the Rosale Guards reflect the defeat and retreat of the Confederate forces under General Albert Sidney Johnston in Western Kentucky and Tennessee. They give detailed descriptions of military units and operations, geographical areas, selection and duties of officers, and behavior of enlisted men and officers. His letters record philosophical protest to the war, war propaganda, and civilian reaction to the troops and the "Cause". Civil War letters also tell of preparations made for the Battle of Shiloh and Battle of Belmont, and describe the care of the sick and wounded.

Other correspondence reflects social and economic conditions, particularly during the Panic of 1837, and local gossip and news. Included are two letters (ca. 1838, 1839) from Amelia Jane Havell, wife of Robert Havell, Jr., the engraver of John James Audubon's Birds of America, giving news of the Audubon family.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Letters from Charles James Johnson of St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish, to his wife, Louisa Butler McCrindell, and correspondence of the related Edington, Bowman, Bell, Stirling, Hereford, Courtney, and McCrindell families. Other items in the collection include a deed for a sale of land in West Feliciana Parish by Adam Palmer to Sally Haile (1827), a broadside of a circular letter of the New Orleans City Bank (1833), a petition for the opening of the succession of Mrs. Harriet M. McCrindell (1863), reminiscences of C.J. Johnson's early school days and of hunting in the neighborhood (undated), and a memorandum book of Eliza Edington, containing poetry, notes in French and English, and her telling of the launch of the Royal George.

Family correspondence (1834-1859) reflects social and economic conditions, particularly during the Panic of 1837, and relates local gossip and news. Letters to Eliza Edington Johnson (1835-1839), prior to and during her marriage to Charles Grandpre Johnson, come from friends in St. Francisville, La., and Woodville, Miss., and from her brothers, John, in New Orleans, and Charles, in London. The letters discuss politics, local news, a boat trip from New Orleans to Shreveport, and a description of the city of Shreveport. A number of letters are written to Harriet Stirling McCrindell (1836-1838) and mention many prominent people in the parish, discuss business conditions, special events, news, and include letters from her mother, Mary Stirling, her sister, Louisa, her cousins, Catherine May Hereford and Ann Mathilda Lobdell, and from the Bell and Bowman families of Reading and Brownsville, Pennsylvania. Included are two letters (ca. 1838, 1839) from Amelia Jane Havell, wife of Robert Havell, Jr., the engraver of John James Audubon's Birds of America, giving news of the Audubon family. Letters to both Harriet Stirling and Thomas McCrindell (1851-1855) consist of a letter from Mary Bowman Stirling visiting Washington, D.C., and sending family news, letters of the Bowman family of Brownsville, Penn., relative to the estate of Mary Bowman, and a letter from George McCrindell living in New York City and providing news of himself and his family. Letters to Louisa Butler McCrindell from her mother, Harriet Stirling McCrindell, discuss local news and people in St. Francisville as well as mention the purchase of Carmena Place and the insurance collected after the fire (1856).

Letters (1859-1861) from Charles James Johnson attending the Medical Department of the University of Nashville, Tennessee, give information concerning the school curriculum and student activities, describe changes and other activities in the city of Nashville, and comment on the political situation in Tennessee prior to the presidential election of 1860 and on Union sentiment in Nashville. He mentions an old “lunatic asylum” being converted into a governor's mansion, an African American boy being shipped to a free state, the advancement of graduation because of the existing condition of the country, and the use of a cannon to announce the secessions from the Union.

Correspondence (1861-1862) written during Johnson's service with the Confederate States Army, reflect the defeat and retreat of the Confederate troops under General Albert Sidney Johnson in Western Kentucky and Tennessee. The letters give detailed descriptions of military units and operations, geographical areas, selection and duties of officers, behavior of enlisted

men and officers, discipline of men for intemperance, and civilian reaction to the troops and the “Cause.” They also mention philosophical protests on the war, war propaganda, and military leaders. Some letters are written from Camp Moore, Tangipahoa Parish, induction center for Louisiana units (July 30-August 29, 1861); from Columbus, Kentucky, describing the Battle of Belmont (September 8-December 30, 1861); from Madrid Bend, Island No. 10, Tennessee (February 5-March 14, 1862); from Fort Pillow telling of the bombardment of Island No. 10 by Federal gunboats (March 18, 1862); and from Corinth, Mississippi, telling of preparations for battle and work in caring for the sick and wounded after the Battle of Shiloh (March 21-April 27, 1862). Other topics include quarters in the Orleans Cotton Press No.3, a description of the town of Tangipahoa, La., a measles epidemic, his dislike for Major Edwards G.W. Butler, Jr., various troop movements, the lack of preparation by the regiment's surgeon, assignment to the duty of protecting General Polk from Abolitionists, and his burning of Louisa's letters for fear they would fall into Union hands. He also writes to his wife to advise her to remain at home although the Yankees will be moving through Bayou Sara (April 12, 1862) and he discusses the effect of defeat on large plantations in the South (April 15, 1862).

INDEX TERMS

Audubon family.

Bell family.

Bowman family.

Broadsides.

Confederate States of America. Army. Louisiana Infantry Regiment, 11th.

Confederate States of America. Army--Military life.

Confederate States of America. Army--Surgeons.

Correspondence.

Courtney family.

Deeds.

Edington family.

Havell, Amelia Jane.

Hereford family.

Johnston, Albert Sidney, 1803-1862.

Louisiana--Economic conditions--19th century.

McCrindell family.

Physicians--Louisiana.

Shiloh, Battle of, Tenn., 1862.

Soldiers--Louisiana.

Sterling family.

Tennessee--Politics and government.

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Medical care.

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate.

West Feliciana (La.)--History.

CONTAINER LIST

Stack

Location

Box

Folders

Contents (with dates)

C:31

1

1-9

1827, 1833-1866, undated

10

Eliza Edington Notebook (1827, undated)