John Brown Gordon letter
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John Brown Gordon letter

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Gordon, John Brown, 1832-1904.
Title: John Brown Gordon letter
Dates: 1898
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 0317

Biographical/Historical Note

John Brown Gordon (1832-1904) was a soldier and statesman. Gordon was born in Upson County, Georgia to Rev. Zacharian Herndon Gordon and Melinda Cox. His great great-grandfather, Adam Gordon, emigrated from Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1760, settling near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Gordon studied at the University of Georgia in 1853. However, he did not graduate. He studied law privately, and was admitted to the Georgia bar, practicing law in Atlanta, Georgia. Gordon was involved in the development of coal mines in northwest Georgia. In 1854, he married Fanny Haralson of Lagrange, Georgia. Gordon was elected captain of the "Racoon Roughs," a company of mountaineers, who went to the front in Virginia during the Civil War. Fanny accompanied Gordon throughout the war. In 1862, Gordon was promoted to Brigadier General and Major General in 1864. Near the end of the war, Gordon was promoted to Lieutenant General, one of only three Georgians to reach that rank at the time. During the war, he commanded the Second Army Corps which formed one wing of Lee's army at Appomattox. Gordon was involved in the Battles of Seven Pines, Malvern Hill, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Spotsylvania. Following the war, Gordon resumed his law practice in Atlanta. In 1868, he accepted the democratic nomination for Governor, but lost to R. B. Bullock. Gordon served in the U. S. Senate in 1873-1880 and 1891-1897. He was Governor of the State of Georgia from 1886-1890.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains a letter written by John Brown Gordon on July 4, 1898 in Atlanta, Georgia to James Callaway in Macon, Georgia. The letter, written on U. S. Senate letterhead, discusses Gordon's poor health, a business matter with Mr. Hoke Smith, and the slow progress of his book.

Index Terms

Callaway, James.
Gordon, John Brown, 1832-1904.
Letters (correspondence)
Smith, Hoke, 1855-1931.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from collector.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], John Brown Gordon letter, MS 317, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. B. Palmer Axson, 1949.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Separated Material

Artifacts were separated and cataloged with the Georgia Historical Society Artifacts Collection. View digital images of artifacts at the end of this collection inventory or search the Digital Image Catalog for further information.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Item 1: Letter, John Brown Gordon to James Callaway, Atlanta, Georgia, 1898 ( 1.0 p. ) View online.
Online Inventory Contains Digitized Items
A-0317-001 John B. Gordon’s leather satchel, 1873 View online.