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Copies of 11 letters from Confederate soldier William Brasier Gilliland (1825-1863) to his wife Martha “Marthy” Jane Webb Gilliland (1827-1913) between April and September 1863, a letter from William’s brother, H. Franklin Gilliland (b. 1838), in 1865, and a record of weather from 1863. The letters mention briefly William and Franklin’s service but are mostly concerned with how Martha’s family was coping and expressing a strong desire to return home. It appears that William, and possibly Franklin too, could not write and thus dictated their letters home. See Appendix 6 of the finding aid for transcriptions.

William Gilliland, the son of John and Sara Brasier Gilliland, was a farmer from Bennettsville, St. Clair County, Alabama, who with his wife Martha had five children: Sarah Jane (1845-1942), Nancy E. (1847-1933), John M. (1850-1939), James M. (1859-1934) and Lewis Franklin. William served in Company E of the 22nd Alabama Infantry, which was organized in Montgomery, Alabama, in November 1861. The regiment was sent to Mobile and then fought in the Battle of Shiloh. It later fought at Perryville and Murfreesboro. On September 20, 1863, the regiment was part of an assault on General Rosecrans’ army at Chickamauga and lost almost two-thirds of its men. William Gilliland was one of those who died that day.

William’s brother, H. Franklin Gilliland (born 1838), enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1861 and later was in the 58th Alabama Infantry, serving in Companies A and H. After serving in Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, he was discharged from the army in April 1865.




1863, 1865


Gilliland, William Brazier, 1825-1863.; Gilliland, Martha Jane, 1827-1913.; Gilliland, H. Franklin.

Gilliland letters, 1863, 1865