Charles Hart Olmstead papers
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Charles Hart Olmstead papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Olmstead, Charles Hart, 1837-1926.
Title: Charles Hart Olmstead papers
Dates: 1861-1921
Extent: 0.45 cubic feet (5 folders, 1 volume)
Identification: MS 0599

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Hart Olmstead (1837-1926) was born in Savannah, the son of Jonathan Olmstead (1798-1854) and Eliza (Hart) Olmstead (1802-1881). He was educated in private schools in Savannah and at the Georgia Military Institute, Marietta, Ga., where he graduated in 1856. At the outbreak of the Civil War he, as Adjutant of the 1st Ga. Vol. Regt., was ordered to seize Fort Pulaski in January, 1861. He was Colonel in command of the Fort on its surrender to Federal forces in April 1862. He was taken prisoner, sent first to Governors Island, N.Y. then to Johnsons Island, Ohio. He was exchanged in Vicksburg, Miss., and again served with Confederate forces in and around Charleston, S.C. and Savannah. He assumed command of the 3rd Military District of S.C., but was soon ordered to take command of the 1st Ga. vol. Regt, which joined the Army of Tennessee for the remainder of the War. In addition to his "Memoirs" and articles on the Civil War, Olmstead wrote a book and articles on Savannah history.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains Charles Olmstead's memoirs, which detail his military career, five articles, and correspondence. Most of the collection pertains to his Civil War experiences, including the surrender of Fort Pulaski, being a prisoner of war, and raising the U.S. flag on Tybee Lighthouse in November, 1861. The collection also includes an article written by Olmstead about life in Savannah in the 1840s.

Index Terms

Fort Pulaski (Ga.)
Fort Wagner (S.C.)
Guardian and ward.
Letters (correspondence)
Manuscripts (document genre)
Military promotions.
Olmstead, Charles Hart, 1837-1926.
Savannah (Ga.)--History.
Tybee Island Lighthouse (Ga.)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Prisoners and prisons.

Location of Originals

Original of Olmstead's commission as Major, May 27, 1861, in Charles H. Olmstead papers, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Charles Hart Olmstead papers, MS 599, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Susan Olmstead, 1955 (Item 1); Florence Olmstead, 1953, 1954, 1960 (Items 3-5); Alexander A. Lawrence, 1962 (Item 8). Deposit by Lindsey P. Henderon, Jr., 1962 (Item 6). Exchange, Stuart Miller, 1959 (Item 9).


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.

Publication Note

Olmstead's "Memoirs" published as Collections of the Georgia Historical Society: Memoirs of Charles H. Olmstead, v.14 (1964)."Savannah in the 40s" published in The Georgia Historical Quarterly, v.1, no.3 (September, 1917) 243-252."Fort Pulaski" published in The Georgia Historical Quarterly, v.1, no.2 (June 1917) 98-105.


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

Container List



1Memoirs ( 401.0 p. )



12"Savannah in the '40s" ( 17.0 p. )



23"Fort Pulaski" ( 15.0 p. )



34"Defense of Battery Wagner" ( 32.0 p. )
Typed copy of pages 18-32 filed with it.



45"Return from a Federal Prison" ( 11.0 p. )



56"Rear Guard Service in Tennessee" ( 12.0 p. )
Typed copy filed with it.


6Letters, etc., 1861-1921

Olmstead's commission as Major, 1st Regt, Ga. Vols., Milledgeville, Georgia, 1861 May 27, Typed copy.

C.H. Olmstead to his wife. Hilton Head, South Carolina, 1862 April 17, 2.0 p.
Surrender of Fort Pulaski.

C.H. Olmstead to Joseph D. Weed, Savannah, Georgia, 1881 May 8, 1.0 p.
Regarding property of Brigham Minors of whom Olmstead was guardian.

Exchange of letters between Francis McCarten of San Diego, California, and C.H. Olmstead, 1921 August 25-1921 August 31, 1.0 p.
Regarding raising of the U.S. flag on Tybee Lighthouse in November 1861.