This compilation of the letters of Cordelia Lewis Scales originally was transcribed and annotated in the 1950’s by Dr. Benjamin Gray Lumpkin and Martha Neville Lumpkin. The genealogical interest the pair took in their ancestors centered on family research into the life of Dabney Minor Scales, who served as a second lieutenant on the Shenandoah, the most important and famous ship of the Confederate Navy.
Now available in an electronic edition for the first time, this collection of letters written by Cordelia Lewis Scales, who lived eight miles north of Holly Springs. Mississippi, depicts the life and general morale of the civilian population during the War between the States. Four of these letters were included in Percy L. Rainwater (ed.), "The Civil War Letters of Cordelia Scales," in Journal of Mississippi History, 1 (July, 1939), 169–181, which produced seven letters covering the period from May 19, 1861, to February 18, 1866. The collection includes a variety of letters also penned by Dabney Scales and other members of Cordelia's immediate family.
The research notes that annotate the letters from Cordelia are both anecdotal and academic. Many insights are provided by these notes and comments shed important light on life in Holly Springs before, during and after the War between the States. Mentions of famous politicians and military leaders add color to the emotions and experiences of Cordelia and other family members who penned letters in this collections. Photographs of Dabney Minor Scales and Cordelia Lewis Scales are included in the electronic version. Also included are photographs of original sketches drawn by Dabney Minor Scales, which he inserted into his letters regarding his naval service on the Shenandoah and the Arkansas. Material on the lives and treatment of slaves and former slaves during these periods is also provided.
With an ever growing interest in the War Between the States, online documents such as this lend support to the fact that this War of Northern Aggression left an ongoing imprint on Southern culture. Re-enactors, whether mildly interested or hardcore, whether from North or South, whether academics or rebel progeny, will all find excellent material in this collection of letters that was carefully annotated with historical background material so lovingly by Ben and Martha Lumpkin.