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James W. McKee Collection: Two Confederate Army Soldier Diaries

Identifier: AppMs-0148

Scope and Contents

The James W. McKee Collection consists of photocopies of typescripts of the diaries of two Confederate soldiers, Finley Patterson Curtis and Rufus A. Spainhour.

Both men served in the Confederate Army with the First and Second North Carolina Regiments in the Virginia theater. Curtis' commanders were General Stephen Dodson Ramseur and Brigadier General (?) Warren. Spainhour's commanders included Generals Jubal A. Early, James B. Gordon, Robert E. Lee, G.H. Stewart and (?) Thurston and Brigadier Generals Theophilus Hunter Holmes and Stephen Dodson Ramseur. Spainhour's diary is the more colorful; he covers several notable events (e.g.. Gettysburg, the siege of Washington, and Appomattox and includes sober reflections on the realities of war.

Curtis' diary is a detailed account of his service from 1861-1864 and is divided into four books. His diary ends with an account of a furlough at home. Spainhour's diary is a condensed version of the original by Curtis' son, F.P. Curtis, Jr.

A question mark (?) used in the typescript indicates doubt concerning whether the word was copied correctly from the handwritten diary.


  • Creation: 1861-1865


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


0.25 linear feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Finley P. Curtis Jr made a typescript of the Spainhour diary from the originals in the spring of 1919. He had copied his father's diaries from the originals at some point prior to 1919. Dr. McKee was allowed to borrow the typescripts for his research and in turn loaned them to the Archives of Appalachia for copying before returning them to the owner.

Method of Acquisition

The James W. McKee Collection was photocopied from typed transcripts loaned by James W. McKee on January 17, 1982.

Existence and Location of Originals

The originals are in private hands.

Processing Information

The Archives of Appalachia staff completed processing the collection.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of Appalachia Repository

PO Box 70295
344 J.L. Seehorn Jr. Rd.
Johnson City TN 37614 USA