Manuscripts Division William L. Clements Library University of Michigan
Finding aid for Ira Roe Foster Papers, 1862-1865
James S. Schoff Civil War Collection
Finding aid created by Rob S. Cox, May 1996, and Philip Heslip, October 2009
Title: Ira Roe Foster papers Creator: Foster, Ira Roe, 1813-1885 Inclusive dates: 1862-1865 Extent: 105 items Abstract:
The Ira Foster papers contain a sampling of items relating to the official business of quartermaster general of Georgia during the Civil War, including incoming and outgoing correspond between Foster and various Confederate agents concerning the purchasing, storage, and delivery of clothes, and wholesale foodstuffs.
Language: The material is in English Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave. The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190 Phone: 734-764-2347 Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.
Ira Roe Foster Papers, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The Correspondence is organized chronologically with the Report of Property Received and Receipts at the end.
Foster, Ira Roe
Rank : Colonel
Regiment : Georgia. Quartermaster General
Ira Roe Foster was born on January 13, 1813, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to Ransom and Nancy Foster. He first studied medicine and then practiced in South Carolina, and in 1841, became a licensed lawyer in Cherokee County, Georgia, where he also served as state legislator. Foster had extensive business interests in land, and in flour and saw mills, in north-central Georgia and Alabama. He remained active in state politics into the Reconstruction period.
During the Seminole Indian War in 1836, Foster served with distinction as a colonel of a mounted infantry, but was seriously wounded. He recovered and joined the Georgia militia in 1842, and became aide-de-camp for the Commander-in-Chief. George W. Crawford, governor of Georgia, made him a brigadier general in 1844. During the Civil War, Georgia Governor Joseph Brown appointed Foster quartermaster general for the state of Georgia, an office which he continued to fill after the collapse of the Confederacy. He worked tirelessly to maintain supplies and clothes for Georgia soldiers throughout the war. In 1865, Foster traveled to Virginia where he was first imprisoned by the Union Army as a member of the Confederate army, and then commissioned by the army to distribute livestock and supplies throughout Georgia.
Foster married Mildred Arthur Creighton Crooks in 1842. They had four children: Amalthea C.; Eryclina P.; Nannie C.; and Marcus L. In 1874, Foster moved to Gadsden, Alabama, where he owned farming land and a saw mill. He also became a state legislator for Alabama, a position he held until his death in 1885.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Ira Foster papers contain a sampling of items relating to the official business of quartermaster general of Georgia during the Civil War, including 102 letters, 2 receipts, and 1 official report. The collection consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence between Foster and various confederate agents, concerning the purchasing, storage, and delivery of clothes, wholesale foodstuffs (rice, flour, coffee, sugar, syrup, etc.), and liquors. Several letters include other supply items, such as candles, wire, salt, and iron. A few items relate aspects of slavery, sawmill production, small farming in Georgia, and the exemption bill. The collection provides insights into the Georgia government’s decisions on provisioning troops and on the state of the southern trade economy during the Civil War.
Brown, Joseph E. (Joseph Emerson), 1821-1894.
Confederate States of America. Army--Recruiting, enlistment, etc.--Law and legislation.
Confederate States of America. Army--Supplies and stores.
Food industry and trade--Georgia.
Georgia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Georgia--Politics and government--1861-1865.
Georgia. Quartermaster's Dept.
Railroads--Confederate States of America.
United States. Army--Quartermaster's Dept.
Receipts (financial records)
Container / Location
May 3-August 3, 1862
August 5-30, 1862
September 8-22, 1862
October 3-16, 1862
October 18-November 10, 1862
November 24-December 22, 1862
December 27, 1862-January 24, 1863
February 14-March 3, 1863
March 12-May 20, 1863
May 29-June 10, 1863
June 23-October 5, 1863
October 8-19, 1863
October 20-27, 1863
October 31, 1863-January 12, 1864
January 20-February 2, 1864
February 5-March 1, 1864
March 2-August 6, 1864
Report of Property Received [series]
May 5, 1865
May 15-August 6, 1864
Additional Descriptive Data
A substantial collection of Ira Foster's personal and professional correspondence is located at the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History (NUCMC 84-449) and in the Alabama University Libraries in the Joseph Emerson Brown letters.
In this volume, Avery included a lengthy letter from Foster describing the "Herculean effort" in removing perishable supplies, books, furniture, and official records from Atlanta as Sherman drew near in 1864; see pp. 310-11.