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James A. Davis Collection

Stewart Bell Jr. Archives
Handley Regional Library
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society

P.O. Box 58, Winchester, VA 22604
(540) 662-9041 ext. 17

1730 WFCHS

SCOPE AND CONTENT: The information and research within this collection regards the 51st Virginia Infantry, 1861-1865. The collection also includes a large amount of Civil War publications and notes on the topic. All information was either utilized or produced by Davis for a thesis completed in 1967. Also included within the collection is the finished thesis produced by James A. Davis while attending Virginia Tech.
(2 boxes and last updated 11/15)

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL: James A. Davis donated the primary and secondary research of this collection as it was his own research for a thesis, “The 51st Regiment, Virginia Volunteers, 1861 – 1865” completed at Virginia Tech in 1967.

In 1984, his book, 51st Virginia Infantry was published H. E. Howard. (973.7445 D29)

 In 1982, Dr. Davis accepted the position of president of Shenandoah College. The most prominent change to Shenandoah that Davis is responsible for is the development of the college into a university, offering sixty different areas of study to a much larger student body. Prior to accepting the position at Shenandoah, Davis was dean of Ferrum College.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Taken from the collection.

CITE AS: James A. Davis Collection, 1730 WFCHS, Stewart Bell Jr., Archives, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA, USA.



Angle, Billy—(Letters to), photocopies of letters to a soldier, Billy Angle, written by wife, parents and sister, time covered (4/12/1863-12/5/1864, 10 items, manuscript

Civil War Letters from Collection of James A. Davis—Letter of thanks from James Robertson Jr. to Davis from loan of civil war letters (1969), 20 leaves, manuscript

Correspondence to Davis RE: 51st VA, 22 leaves, typescript/manuscript 

Colonel Ludwig August Forsberg—

“My Soldier Father” Col. Forsberg by his daughter, 4 pages, typescript

Resolutions of Forsberg Brigade, 3 index cards, typescript

Reminiscences of Ludwig August Forsberg by William A. Walker III, typescript 

Gilly, James Madison of 51st VA—(Biography of), record of service, includes photo and civil war letter, 5 pages, typescript

Gilly, John Buford “John Winker” of 51st VA—(Biography of), Correspondence to Professor Davis RE: War Record of John Buford Gilly, 1970, includes family history, civil war entries and letters as well as two photos, 15 pages, typescript 

Letters and rolls of 51st and 1st Virginia Infantry:

            Letters of Thomas Winton Fisher, Civil War soldier, 36 pages, typescript

            Roll of Co. “H” 51st VA Inf., 2 pages, typescript

            Roll of Co. “C”-Captain Lee Ross 51st VA Inf., 7 pages, typescript

            Samuel H. Sloane and the 1st VA Inf.-Composed by Kermit Slone, 25 pages, typescript


Local history, information from that area (51st Infantry, 2nd Calvary):

Letter to Civil War soldier and teacher’s contract for Buford Wills, 1872, 3 pages, manuscript

Address given by Major W.F. Graves, 4 pages, typescript

Letter written by W.F. Graves, 2 pages, typescript

An appreciation of Graves’s life, address given upon his death, 3 pages, typescript

Twelve letters, Civil War events covered 5/1861-9/1864, 22 pages, manuscript

Misc. information-42nd VA infantry, 23 pages, typescript

Muster Roll “Franklin Sharpshooters” Captain Waddy James, 2 pages, manuscript

Misc. Civil War letters, 12 pages, typescript

Misc. notes on various Civil War topics and two maps, typescript 

Ross Family Civil War Letters:

            Civil War letters of Ross family members (10/1860-2/1887)

            Postcard, 6/18/1912 

Snead, Capt. Robert W., 50th VA—Civil War Letters:

Civil War letters of Snead-notes from unpublished article by George M. Snead, index cards, 24 cards, manuscript

“Shelling of Lexington in 1864” copied from Rockbridge county news 11-1923, 3 pages, typescript 


Wharton, Gen. Gabriel C.:

Autobiographical sketch of Gen. Wharton-life and family history to 2/1862, 1 page, typescript  

Biographical sketch of Gen. Wharton, 1 page, typescript

Article on Gen. Wharton in Confederate Veteran, 7/1906, 1 page, typescript

Newspaper article on Gen. Wharton, 1 page, typescript


Woolwin-Powell Correspondence 50th and 51st VA:

            Index card notes of 51st VA, southwest VA soldiers, 24 cards, manuscript

Correspondence to James A. Davis from Irene Woolwine Whitfield 5/3/1971, 1 page, printed

Typed copies of Civil War Letters of P.B. Reynolds-sent by R.E. Woolwine 1861-1864, 10 pages, printed

Copies of post war letters of P.B. Reynolds 1886-1927, 10 pages, manuscript

Memory of Dr. P.B. Reynolds obituary, 2 pages, printed

Recollections of Dr. Dennis V.A. including poem that mentions Capt. Woolwine 2/20/1914, 2 pages, printed

A song composed by Capt. Ross’ waiting boy-found in papers of R.J. Woolwine, 1 page, printed


BOX 2 (publications)

“The Foot soldier’s Story Virginia Volunteers in the Civil War from Franklin, Henry and Patrick Counties”-a monograph, 1976, 31 pages, typescript \

Civil War Publications:

“The Seventeenth Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment” by Delaney and Bowery, 1961, 1 item, printed

“Virginia, 1861-1865 Iron Gate to The Confederacy” by James I. Robertson, Jr., 1961, 64 pages, printed

“The Roanoke Island Expedition: Observations of a Massachusetts Soldier-edited by Robertson, 1966, 14 pages, printed

“English View of the Civil War: A Excursion to Virginia, April 2-8, 1865” by Robertson, 1969, 10 pages, printed

“Photography and the Civil War-Centennial Issue”, 16 pages, printed

Newspaper article, “Frontier Parson Answers Challenge” RE: Rev. Edward Morgan, pre-Civil War, 1 item, printed

Magazine article, “Another Look at the Assassination of Lincoln and the Flight of Booth” by G.W. Blankenship, 2 pages, printed

“Civil War Times Illustrated”, August 1967 issue, 50 pages, printed

Look Magazine article, “If the South Had Won the Civil War” by MacKinley Kantor, 11-22-1960, 17 pages, printed

Davis, James A.-Thesis of, “The 51st Regiment, Virginia Volunteers, 1861-1865”, 51 pages, typescript

Franklin County: (Franklin County Bicentennial Commission Published Monographs)

            “Railroad in Franklin County”, 15 pages, printed  

            “Old Court Day”, 8 pages, printed

            “Jubal A. Early”, 21 pages, printed 

            “Booker T. Washington”, 2 pages, printed

            “Folk Music of Franklin County and the Southern Blue Ridge”, 12 pages, printed

            “Benjamin Franklin”, 46 pages, printed


Nelson County/Wythe County:

            Nelson County War Soldiers-reprint of 1909 petition for Muster Rolls, 24 pages, printed

Wythe County Historical Review, 1975, “The Tate Family of Wythe County”, 12 pages, printed

Notes on address presented to Roanoke Historical Society 5/26/1971 and 4/12/1985, pages, typescript

Pulaski County in the Civil War:

            Pamphlet, “The Battle of Cloyd’s Farm”, 3 pages, printed

            Muster Rolls “Soldiers That Served…From Pulaski County”, 12 pages, printed


            Journal of the Roanoke Historical Society, 1970, Volume 7, 66 pages, printed

            Journal of the Roanoke Historical Society, 1972, Volume 8, 64 pages, printed

Wade, John W.—Letters of a Confederate Civil War Soldier, 72 pages, printed

Washington County News:

            1st Regular edition with some Civil War articles

            2nd Annual historical edition-all Civil War articles