Furguson Papers At UNC Contain
Chatham Greys Roll Book

By Henry H. Mitchell

Joel Shelton of Gretna brought to my attention “Damage Control,” an article by Pat Furgurson in the March 1993 issue of Mid-Atlantic Country, in which Furgurson mentions the papers of his great-grandfather Robert Ferguson (yes, we already have three spellings of the Furguson name in just a few lines of writing!). Author Furgurson reported that his ancestor was a sergeant in Company I, 53rd Virginia Infantry (the Chatham Greys), and that his papers at UNC contain the company roll book.

Such a reference was enough to make mandatory a stop at the Wilson Library on my family's next trip to Chapel Hill.

In the meantime, the Packet provided a list of 205 Chatham Grey enlistees in the Winter 1994 edition. It should be noted that the Furguson roll book contains some names and incidents not in the Packet roll; on the other hand, some of Furguson's entries have variant spellings which seem to differ, but can be reconciled with the Packet list. This article is intended to be only a brief report of the Furguson papers, and not a thorough analysis of its contents in the context of previously published documentation of the Chatham Greys.

The papers were a gift to the Southern Historical Collection at the UNC Wilson Library by Dr. William M. Coppridge, 1054 Forest Hill Boulevard West, Durham, NC, in January 1954. Dr. Coppridge's gift is now item #2988Z in the collection, and provides “an unbound manuscript booklet containg a ledger, 1851, for general merchandise and day labor accounts, and records relating to ‘Co.I’ 53rd Virginia Infantry, in which R.D. Ferguson was 2nd sgt.,” as follows:

“List of wounded; of ordnance stores; of men paid in hospitals; of men dropped from roll; of men that leves camp

“1864, June 28, a company roll (copy to be carried by each non-commissioned officer at all times).

“1864, Oct. 10, General Order concerning the issue and accounting for clothing and blankets.

“1864, Nov. 24, Certificate concerning discharge in 1862 of Jessie T. Abbott.

“Two undated company rolls, for ‘Nov. & Dec.’ and ‘Jan & Feb.’”

Along with the Furguson originals are a set of Virginia State Library 1946 photostat copies, and an issue of The Visitor, Nashville, Tenn., Jan 2, 1910, a Methodist newspaper for young people.

Following are excerpts from the roll blook, as written by Ferguson:

List of Wounded in Co. I, 53 Va. Regt.


This website is sponsored by Mitchells Publications and the Sims-Mitchell House, Chatham, Virginia.