GOREE (THOMAS J.) PAPERS

(Mss. 886, 2034)

Inventory

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2004

Revised 2010

CONTENTS OF INVENTORY

SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE ...................................................................................... 4
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE ................................................................................................... 4
COLLECTION DESCRIPTION .................................................................................................... 5
INDEX TERMS .............................................................................................................................. 7
CONTAINER LIST ........................................................................................................................ 8

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SUMMARY

Size.

83 items and 1 volume

Geographic locations.

Virginia, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia

Inclusive dates.

1829-1896

Bulk dates.

1857-1896

Language.

English

Summary.

Bound typewritten volume consisting of Civil War letters and a diary of Thomas J. Goree, captain and aide-de-camp to Confederate General James Longstreet.

Organization.

Chronological.

Restrictions on access.

No restrictions. If microfilm is available, photocopies must be made from microfilm.

Related collections.

N/A

Copyright.

Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Citation.

Thomas J. Goree Papers, Mss. 886, 2034, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack location(s).

A:4, H:16

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE

Thomas J. Goree (1835-1905), son of Dr. Langston James and Sarah Williams (Kittrell) Goree, lived in Huntsville, Texas, where he practiced law. He joined the Confederate Army in 1861 and met General James Longstreet on his journey from Galveston to New Orleans. Goree became a captain in the Confederate army and was named aid-de-camp to General Longstreet in December 1861. After the Civil War, Goree returned home and took over operation of Raven Hill Plantation. He died in 1905 in Galveston.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

A bound typewritten volume consists of Civil War letters of Thomas J. Goree, captain and aide-de-camp to General James Longstreet, from Longstreet's headquarters in Virginia to members of his family in Texas. Post-Civil War papers include correspondence from General Longstreet and others concern military matters, persons, and events during various campaigns (1866-1894), and a diary (June-August 1865) kept by Goree describing his journey from Appomattox Court House, Virginia, to Alabama in the company of General James Longstreet, Longstreet's son, Garland, and an African American servant, on their homeward journey to Texas.

The collection also includes a typewritten copy of an agreement (1829) signed by Langston Goree, in the state of South Carolina, for the hire of a slave, and other typewritten and enlargement prints of letters not included in the bound volume.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The collection consists of a bound typewritten volume containing correspondence, a diary, and various military documents pertaining to Thomas Goree's service during the Civil War. Typewritten copies and enlargement prints of some letters which are not found within the volume are also found in the collection, including a typewritten copy of an agreement (1829) signed by Langston Goree, in the state of South Carolina, for the hire of a slave. See container list for details.

The volume is divided into the following:

Part I: Pre-war papers, 1854-1860 [4 items]

Pre-war papers consist of family letters (the majority from Thomas Goree to his mother Sarah W. Goree) inquiring after family news, politics in Texas, and the crops at home (1854-1860). Other correspondents include Mrs. Mary Frances Kittrell and Goree's uncle, Dr. P.W. Kittrell.

Part II: War papers, 1861-1865 [39 items]

Civil War papers consist of correspondence between Thomas Goree and his family (the majority to his mother) discussing his travel through the south and life in various camps, locals' sentiments of the war along his way, and numerous battles and skirmishes (1861-1865). Goree tells in detail of the First Battle of Bull Run (1861), expresses his distress at the Confederate defeat at Fort Donelson in Tennessee (February 1862), and discusses various other battles and army politics. Other papers included are the commission of Thomas J. Goree as 1st Lieutenant and Aid-de-Camp issued by the Confederate War Department (January 14, 1862), a general order congratulating troops for their bravery displayed at the Battle of Chickahominy (July 7, 1862), and a special order for Captain Thomas Goree to report to General Longstreet at Franklin, Virginia (April 11, 1863).

Part III: Post-war diary, June-August 1865 [1 volume]

The diary of Thomas J. Goree relates the experiences of a party, consisting of Goree, General James Longstreet, his son, Garland Longstreet, and an African American servant named Jim, traveling from Virginia to Texas at the close of the Civil War. An enlargement print of the diary is also located in Box 1, Folder 5.

After Lee's surrender, the party traveled from Appomattox Court House to Lynchburg, Virginia. After a series of delays at Lynchburg and Washington, the party set out for Texas on June 28, 1865. General Longstreet and the servant rode in an ambulance drawn by two mules while Goree and the general's son rode horseback and served as advance guard for the party. The party made the journey through Virginia and North Carolina, averaging between twenty-five and thirty miles traveled per day. They were entertained along the way by people who, for the most part, charged them nothing for their food and lodging.

Goree comments upon the poor and thinly populated regions in North Carolina, the difficulty of fording the Catawba River, and the fact that the party spent one week making the trip through the state of North Carolina.

While travelling through South Carolina, the party stopped for a night at Fort Hill, the residence of the late John C. Calhoun, where they were entertained by Mrs. A.P. Calhoun. Goree relates his thankfulness that the statesman had not lived to witness the disgrace and ruin of the South. Mrs. Calhoun provided the party with provisions on their departure from Fort Hill.

The party detoured sixteen miles off their course in Georgia in order to visit William Longstreet, brother of the general, and to permit their horses to rest. They were entertained at the home of the general's brother where they remained for more than two weeks before resuming their journey. During their stay in Georgia, they enjoyed excursions to the top of Mt. Yonah and to Tellula [sic] Falls. While visiting his brother, General Longstreet received a message that General Toombs wished to see him. Goree relates that Toombs and his friends “became afraid to venture out, and we did not see them.”

The party resumed its journey on July 31, 1865. The party reached Oxford, Alabama, on Aug. 6th. The general's brother accompanied the travelers as far west as Tallulah, Mississippi. Goree describes the desolation of the region. On their way, a drunken man, supposedly an ex-federal soldier, made an attempt upon General Longstreet's life. The general reported to Yankee officers the man who had assaulted him the previous day and received the officers' promise to arrest the offender.

Part IV: Post-war letters, 1866-1896 [34 items]

The majority of post-war letters are written by General James Longstreet to Thomas J. Goree. Some pertain to Longstreet's commission firm in New Orleans and the cotton market in both New Orleans and Galveston (1866-1867). Longstreet also requests Goree's recollections about the Battle of Gettysburg in the hopes that Longstreet might vindicate himself from Parson Pendleton's accusation that the defeat there was due to Longstreet's treachery (May 12, 1875). Other letters discuss Lee's orders at Harper's Ferry (1883), an interview between Longstreet and Custer (1885-1887), and other information meant to be used by Longstreet in his account of his war record (1885-1892). Longstreet writes to Goree declining his invitation to attend the Confederate Reunion held in Houston because of his unpopularity among other Confederate officers (July 7, 1894). Other papers include newspaper clippings, one from an unidentified newspaper entitled “The Dead Chieftain” memorializing Jefferson Davis (December 10, 1889), an article from the Houston Daily Post discussing the friendship of Longstreet and Grant based on Grant's marriage to a relative of Longstreet (January 12, 1890), and an article from the Savannah Morning News signed by Longstreet and Goree discussing Longstreet's recommendation to Lee of G. M. Sorrel's promotion to the rank of Brigadier General as a reward for his bravery during the Battle of the Wilderness (undated).

Part V: Miscellaneous letters, 1861, undated [3 items]

A letter from George W. Nolley to his brother discusses the victory at the First Battle of Bull Run and other family news (October 23, 1861); another letter from J. A. Nolley to his brother discusses a battle in Richmond and the death of General Griffith (July 6 [1862]); and a receipt shows payment of board from Miss S. Goree to Miss L. G. Campbell (undated).

INDEX TERMS

Alexander, Edward Porter, 1835-1910.

Appomattox Campaign, 1865.

Bull Run, 1st Battle of, Va., 1861.

Custer, George A. (George Armstrong), 1839-1876.

Diaries.

Generals--United States.

Georgia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate.

Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863.

Goree, Thomas Jewett, 1835-1905.

Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885.

Hood, John Bell, 1831-1879.

Kittrell, Mary Frances.

Lee, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1807-1870.

Longstreet, James, 1821-1904.

Orders (military records)

Sorrel, G. Moxley (Gilbert Moxley), 1838-1901.

Tennessee--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate.

Texas--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate.

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Campaigns.

Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives, Confederate.

CONTAINER LIST

Stack

Location

Box

Folder(s)

Contents (with dates)

A:4

1

1

Typewritten copy of agreement signed by Langston Goree, South Carolina (1829) [Not included in bound volume]

Typewritten copy of letter from Thomas Goree to Mrs. Sarah W. Goree (1862) [Not included in bound volume]

2

Enlargement print and typewritten copy of letter from Sam Houston to Thomas Goree (1857) [Not included in bound volume]

3

Enlargement print of letter from Thomas J. Goree to Dr. P. W. Kitrell (1861) [Included in bound volume]

Enlargement print of letter from Thomas J. Goree to Mrs. Mary Frances Kittrell (1864) [Included in bound volume]

Enlargement print of letter from Thomas Goree to E. P. Alexander (1887) [Included in bound volume]

4

Typewritten copy of letter from Thomas J. Goree to James Longstreet (1875) [Included in bound volume]

5a-5b

Enlargement print of diary of Thomas Goree (June-August 1865) [Included in bound volume]

6

Typewritten letters (1854-1868, 1890, undated) [Not included in bound volume]

H:16

1

--

Bound typewritten volume (1854-1896)

Part I: Pre-war papers, 1854-1860 [4 items]

Part II: War Papers, 1861-1865 [39 items]

Part III: Post-war diary, June-Aug. 1865 [1 volume]

Part IV: Post-war letters, 1866-1896 [34 items]

Part V: Miscellaneous papers, 1861, undated [3 items]