The Henry B. Whittington Diary Finding Aid MS011

The Henry B. Whittington Diary Finding Aid MS011


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Local History and Special Collections Branch, Alexandria Library

717 Queen Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
pwalker@alexlibraryva.org
URL: http://alexlibraryva.org/lhsc

Special Collections Staff

Repository
Local History and Special Collections Branch, Alexandria Library
Identification
MS011
Title
Henry B. Whittington Diary (MS011)1861-05-24-1865-03-01
Quantity
.81 Cubic Feet, 2 boxes, The diary is a collection of sheets of lined pages, folded crosswise in pairs with the entries written across the lines. There is no cover. Loose threads along the folded edge of some sections suggest that some or all of the diary may have been bound at one time.
Creator
Whittington, Henry B. (Henry Bassford), 1812-1884
Language
English .

Administrative Information

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm copy, Reel #00056 Civil War Vertical File: transcript, May 24 - August 12, 1861. Full transcript on Library server

Preferred Citation

[Item identification], Henry B. Whittington Diary, MS011, Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections, Alexandria, Va.


Biographical / Historical

Henry Bassford Whittington, 1812? - 1884, was a clerk for an Alexandria mercantile business during the Civil War. Previously he lived in Dinwiddie County for some period of time. He also enjoyed a local reputation as a poet and his work was occasionally published in the Alexandria Gazette during the latter half of the nineteenth century. During the Federal occupation of Alexandria, he kept a diary of nearly daily entries for the period of May 24, 1861 to March 1, 1865. At the time of the 1870 Federal Census, he was living in the Mansion House Hotel. Whittington died in Alexandria on September 25, 1884.

Content Description

The diary begins on the date of Federal occupation of Alexandria by Union troops, May 24, 1861. Entries describe events related to the Civil War, the occupying troops, and attitudes of the local populace. There is rich detail regarding personnel of the ever-changing occupying force, its disruption of local affairs, and response of the citizens. Local and national events such as major battles, skirmishes, and political occurrences are vividly described. References to persons important to the history of Alexandria and the country for that period are frequent. Sectional opinion of the period toward issues such as slavery, contrabands, and emancipation are also present. The diary ends on March 1, 1865.

Arrangement

Chronological. The entire original diary is in Box 1 with no separation. Box 2 contains a copy of the diary, separated into folders by year.

Subjects and Indexing Terms


Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

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Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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Container List

Books box: 1 object: 1
Henry B. Whittington Diary
24 May 1861 - 1 March 1865
Text box: 2 folder: 1
Partial copy of Henry B. Whittington diary
1861
General

October 4 - October 17, 1861 (pp. 80-93) are missing.

Text box: 2 folder: 2
Partial copy of Henry B. Whittington diary
1862
General

Page numbering is inconsistent from September 7, 1862 forward, and ends completely after November 25, 1862.

Text box: 2 folder: 3
Partial copy of Henry B. Whittington diary
1863
General

Also included is a "Weekly Concert for Prayer" announcement.

Text box: 2 folder: 4
Partial copy of Henry B. Whittington diary
1864
Text box: 2 folder: 5
Partial copy of Henry B. Whittington diary
1865