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Speer Family papers

Identifier: AC-953

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of letters, poetry, deeds, diaries, journals, news clippings, and genealogical research of the Speer family from the Civil War era through the 1900s. Authors and recipients of the letters, poetry, and diaries included are Annis M. Speer, James M. Speer, Nancy Jane Speer, and Lt. Col. William Henry Ashbury Speer (W. H. A.).

William Henry Ashbury Speer’s papers include correspondence to family members, poetry, a photocopy of his journal, and other ephemera. The letters are categorized by year and arranged in chronological order spanning 1862-1864. W. H. A. Speer’s correspondence was written while he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the 28th Regiment of the Confederate Army, which hailed out of Yadkinville, North Carolina. Speer surrendered to Union soldiers on May 26, 1862. W. H. A. was a prisoner of war on Governor’s Island, New York, at Fort Columbus and Castle William. He also wrote of being imprisoned at Johnson Island Sanctuary, Sandusky, Ohio. In 1863 he was reunited with the 28th Regiment. Subsequent correspondence referenced his experience at the Battle of Chancellorsville, April 30-May 6, 1863, where friendly fire wounded Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson; he died eight days later. W. H. A. also referenced other pivotal Civil War battles occurring at Fredericksburg, December 11-15; Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1862; and Williamsport, July 6-16, 1863. The Battle of Williamsport is also known and referred to as Hagerstown and Falling Waters. W. H. A. received a head wound from shrapnel at Reams Station on August 25, 1864; he died on August 31, 1864.

A letter to Ever Dear Father, from W.H.A. Speer, 1864 February 18, contains racist language. A letter to Dr. N.B. Dozier from C.B. Hobson, 1863 December 12, contains racist language.


  • 1799-1980, undated


Conditions Governing Access

The materials from Appalachian State University Libraries' Special Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The nature of these collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. As a result, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Appalachian State University assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

The Speer family settled in Yadkin Valley, North Carolina, from Somerset County, Maryland, in 1770.


0.42 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Allen Paul Speer, III on 2012 October 22. It was accessioned as AC.2012.066.

Processing Information

Angela Ocuto Howell, 2022

Speer Family papers
Angela Ocuto Howell
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository