Campbell (W. B.) Papers, 1861-1863, 4 Items

Administrative Information

Access: Unrestricted

Copyright: The copyright of these letters is held by Navarro College Archives, Navarro College, 3200 W. 7th Ave., Corsicana, Texas. Internet:

Cite As:W. B. Campbell Papers, 1861-1863, Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas

Forms Part of: Pearce Civil War Collection

Location: 1-E24-d

Transcription(s): Yes

Scanned Copies on File: No

Accession Number: 2004.474

Processed by: Rosalie Meier, November 2005

Reproductions of original materials and transcriptions may be available. Please contact the archivist for further information.

Abstract: In three letters written to his Aunt Wood in Montgomery County, Texas, W. B. Campbell tells of life in the army including a description of his experience at the battle of Antietam. Included in the collection is one postal cover addressed to Mrs. E. A Wood.

Biographical/Historical Sketch

Known as “Bose,” W. B. Campbell was born in Alabama ca. 1834, son of William Archibald Campbell and Elizabeth A. Barnes. He was orphaned as a young boy and was sent to live with his brother, Duncan G. Campbell in Huntsville, Walker County, Texas. Campbell served in Company D of the 5th Texas Infantry, known as Hoods Texas Brigade from 1861 until he was paroled in May 1865 at the end of the war. In December, 1863 he was captured at Knoxville, Tennessee and spent the remainder of the war at Rock Island Prison in Illinois. According to family information Campbell never married and died sometime during the 1880’s.

Scope and Content Note

In a letter written from Richmond dated September 20, 1861, Campbell expresses feelings of homesickness writing, "A trip of this sort is the best school to learn one to appreciate the love of friends and comforts of home." He also indicates he is tired of marching when he says "I was never made for walking. I have become so perfectly disgusted with it that if I ever get home horse flesh will be bound to suffer." Campbell has visited the city and found the women to be "the ugliest set of ladies I ever saw."

From near Winchester, Virginia, on September 30, 1862, Campbell writes to let his aunt know his whereabouts and writes of a "short and unfortunate trip through Maryland..." He tells about the second battle of Bull Run and Antietam, and the part played by his brigade. Telling of being fired upon and clashing with the Zouaves, Campbell writes "Their dress made them a good mark and long will they remember the fifth Texas." At the end of the letter Campbell writes "We found very few secessionists in Maryland and our whole forces are opposed to going into it again."

The last letter was written near Richmond on February 26, 1863. Apparently Campbell had been on furlough for he writes that "I was neither wanted or looked for and could have staid at home until spring without any trouble." He discusses his views on the prospects for an early peace, but is not very optimistic. He writes "The only chance that now exists is that the north western states may be able to create a difficulty among themselves." The letter also contains news of relatives that are in the war with him and men from the same area who would be known to Aunt Wood.

The copyright of these materials is managed by the Navarro College Archives on behalf of the Navarro College Foundation, 3100 W. Collin St., Corsicana, Texas 75110. Phone: 903-875-7438. Internet: