Scope and Content
The Morgan letters are primarily from Alexander Morgan, a Confederate soldier, to his wife during the American Civil War. Additionally, one letter is written from Fanny in Mansfield, Louisiana to her cousin. The letters are written from a number of places, including Corinth, Mississippi; Greenville, Alabama; Mobile, Alabama; Tullahoma, Tennessee; Bridgeport, Alabama; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Marietta, Georgia; James Island, South Carolina; and Colleton, South Carolina. The bulk of the letters were written during Morgan’s time in Mobile and Bridgeport. The earliest letter is from April 9, 1862, and the latest is from January 29, 1865, with two undated portions of letters. The bulk of the letters are from 1863. All of the letters in this collection include a transcription.
Nathaniel Alexander “Alex” Morgan was born in Mecklenberg County, North Carolina, on August 24, 1823, to Reverend N. R. and Mary Alexander Morgan. When Alex was ten years old, the family moved to Eutaw, Alabama. At 24, Alex graduated from the Jefferson Medical Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1850, in Marshall, Texas, he married Eugenia Frances “Fanny” McCown, daughter of Colonel James McCown, a former member of Texas’ first legislature.
In the 1860 census, Alex and Fanny were living in Mansfield, Louisiana, and they had four children at the time of Alex’s enlistment: Jim, 11, Ross, 8, Mary Elizabeth “Pet”, 3, and baby “Fanny.” Alex is listed as a “physician/farmer.”
Alex enlisted in Company F, 19th Louisiana Infantry of the Confederate Army on November 17, 1861. He was involved in the Battle of Shiloh in 1862. In August of that year, he was sent to serve in an army hospital in Greenville, Alabama. During his stay, he received a letter from his wife relating to the death of their youngest child. In December, Alex was promoted to Assistant Surgeon in a Georgia unit and stationed at Camp Beulah in Mobile, Alabama. In December of 1863, Alex was provided medical service to soldiers from the Battle of Chickamauga.
After the war, Alex returned to his family. By the time of the 1870 census, Alex and Fanny had four more children and were living in McLennan County, Texas. Alex died on March 14, 1907, and his wife died on December 10, 1917. They are buried in Patrick Cemetery outside Waco.
(Source: Dr. Alex and Fanny Morgan papers finding aid, via the Baylor Archival Repositories Database. For more information, click here.)
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