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Featured Collection

The Cherry-Goldsby Family Papers

Record Group No. 1262, Accession 18-027

Letter from George Washington Cherry to Folks at home, Feb. 9, 1863, camp 5 miles from Shelbyville, page 1 of 4 Portraits of George Washington Cherry and Francis Eugenia Cherry, mid-nineteenth century, tintype photographs with hand-painted details

This collection consists of historic documents and artifacts passed down through the families and meticulously preserved and organized. Perhaps the highlight of the collection is the 47 letters written home by Captain George Washington Cherry during the Civil War, complete with transcriptions by the donors. Explore the digital collection at

What follows is an excerpt from a letter dated May 30, 1863, near Wartrace, Tennessee:

"News is scarce here now. Some excitement was produced a few days ago by the discovery and arrest of a woman soldier. She has been in service two years and in two battles. She says her husband was shot down by her side in the battle of fishing creek over a year ago. It is astonishing that she avoided discovery so long. She was a private in an Arkansas regiment. I went to the guard house and saw her. She was playing cards and could curse with as much ease and “grace” as any soldier. She escaped night before last from the guard house. I wonder when she will turn up next."

The Cherry-Goldsby Family Papers also include medals and memorabilia from family members who served in both World Wars as well as the Spanish American War, confederate bonds, certificates of title dating back to 1837, a mid-nineteenth century Masonic Apron, correspondence with Georgia politician and Vice President of the Confederacy Alexander Hamilton Stephens, and bills of sale for the purchase of slaves.

Photograph of selected items from the collection, including medals and a letter

Questions? Contact us at or 334-844-1732.

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