Perkins family papers  1784-1891 (bulk 1784-1861)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of approximately 85 pages of typescripts related to the Boullemet family of Mobile, Alabama, particularly concerning the Civil War service of Milton H. Boullemet. Early items include a letter by bookseller Joe Morris of "Coventry," who noted the popularity of Uncle Tom's Cabin (September 24, 1853); a letter from Nash Buckley to his brother Harry about life in Sydney, Australia (November 26, 1853); and a letter Milton H. Boullemet wrote to his parents from the "S. M. Academy" (February 10, 1856). Other items include invitations, a receipt for a casket and embalming services (June 12, 1884), and a patriotic song, "The Southern Girl with Home Spun Dress" (set to "Bonnie Blue Flag").

The bulk of the materials relate to the Boullemet family's experiences during the Civil War. Milton H. Boullemet wrote letters to his parents and siblings while serving with the 3rd Alabama Infantry Regiment, Company E, in Virginia and North Carolina between April 1861 and June 1862. He reported his entry into Confederate service in a letter dated April 29, 1861, and discussed his decision to reenlist in the spring of 1862. Boullemet often described the conditions in Confederate camps and commented on the support the soldiers received from residents of Atlanta, Georgia, and Norfolk, Virginia. Though he seldom saw actions against Union forces, he mentioned a few skirmishes, expressed his confidence after early Confederate victories, reaffirmed his commitment to the cause after the fall of New Orleans, and shared a detailed description of the Battle of Hampton Roads (March 10, 1862).

Boullemet received a few letters from acquaintances and from family members in Mobile; those at home discussed economic difficulties, their commitment to the Confederate cause, and the city's preparations for an expected Union attack. Sallie Nimms, a Georgia resident whom Boullemet met while returning from a furlough, wrote about her support for the Confederacy and her admiration of Boullemet and other soldiers. Later items include condolence letters to the Boullemet family following Milton's death after the Battle of Malvern Hill and a pass for a 15-year-old slave named David to travel through Union-occupied New Orleans (March 24, 1863).

The materials were transcribed by Aubrey Bartlett of San Francisco, California, a descendant of the Boullemet family.

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