A Guide to the James J. Kirkpatrick Diary, 1861-1864
Born in Pennsylvania, James J. Kirkpatrick (1839-1924) graduated from Washington and Lee College in 1859 before moving to Missouri to study law. The next year he moved to Mississippi, where he taught school until joining the 16th Mississippi Infantry Regiment at the outbreak of the Civil War. He fought in numerous important battles, such as the Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness. During the Siege of Petersburg, Kirkpatrick was in the vicinity of the mine blown by Union forces and was subsequently captured. After the war he returned to Mississippi and became a successful cotton planter until returning to Missouri to farm.
Consisting of an original diary and photocopies as well as correspondence, the James J. Kirkpatrick Diary, 1861-1864, chronicles the experiences of a soldier in the 16th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. Kirkpatrick documents daily military life as well as numerous engagements, notably the Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and the Siege of Petersburg, at which he was captured. Additionally, his diary describes life as a prisoner of war, while correspondence from Kirkpatrick’s son provides biographical information.
This collection is open for research use.
James J. Kirkpatrick Diary, 1861-1864, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers