Guide to the Leonard Family Papers

MSN/CW 1000


Collection Summary

Title: Leonard family papers
Dates: 1862-[after 1865] (bulk 1862-1865)
Collection No.: MSN/CW 1000
Extent: 16 items; 1 container, plus 1 oversize container and 1 photographic container; .1 linear feet
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: Manuscripts and other materials relating to the Confederate army service of the brothers Henry, Martin, Robert, and Joseph Leonard, of Iredell County, North Carolina, including records of Co. C, 48th North Carolina Infantry.

Selected Search Terms

Leonard, Joseph S. (Joseph Sylvester), 1843-1920
Leonard, Robert R. (Robert Rudolph), 1840-1922
Leonard, Martin A., 1839-1865
Leonard, Henry G., b. 1836
Confederate States of America -- Army -- North Carolina Infantry Regiment, 48th

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection

Preferred Citation: Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Collection and item numbers (i.e., MSN/CW 1000-1), Leonard Family Papers, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Leonard Family Papers were purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame in 2002, from Teri Franks of Phoenix, Arizona. The collection was initially arranged in 2002; this finding aid was created in 2008.

Biographical Note

The Leonard Family Papers pertain to the Civil War service of four brothers: Henry Garrett Leonard (b. 1836); Martin A. Leonard (1839-1865); Robert Rudolph Leonard (1840-1922); and Joseph Sylvester Leonard (1843-1920). All were born in Iredell County in the North Carolina Piedmont, sons of the farmer Martin S. Leonard (1806-1884) and Margaret Plott (1804-1897). Martin and Robert were the first of the brothers to enter Confederate service, mustering in to Co. C, 48th North Carolina Infantry in the early spring of 1862, as the regiment was being organized. Martin Leonard served as a private in Co. C until his death, from unknown causes, on 28 January 1865. Robert Leonard surrendered with the regiment at Appomattox; from 1 September 1864 he was Co. C's 1st sergeant. Military records identify both Martin and Robert as farmers. Joseph Leonard mustered in to Co. C on 1 August 1862, as a private. Records show that he deserted to the enemy on 31 March 1865, just before the fall of Petersburg. Unlike his three younger brothers, Henry Leonard was married when war came; he was the last to enter service, mustering in to Co. G, 47th North Carolina Infantry, on 8 October 1862. The regiment to which Martin, Robert, and Joseph Leonard belonged, the 48th North Carolina, saw service in the Department of North Carolina (June to August 1862; April to June 1863); the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida (February to April 1863); the Department of Richmond (June to September 1863); and the Army of Northern Virginia (September 1862 to January 1863; September 1863 to April 1865). For the better part of the war the regiment was attached to the brigade of Brig. Gen. John Rogers Cooke (which, from October 1863, served in Heth's Division, 3rd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia). Both Robert and Joseph Leonard spent their post-war lives in Iredell County; Henry Leonard moved west to Arkansas in the 1860s.

Scope and Content Note

The Leonard papers include fourteen manuscripts, one newspaper clipping, and one photograph; all but two of these items are of war date. There is one item specifically relating to Henry Leonard, one to Joseph Leonard, three to Martin Leonard, and two to Robert Leonard. Several of these are brief self-written chronicles of a given brother's movements over a particular span of time during the war: these survive for Joseph, Martin, and Robert. There is also a letter written by Martin to Joseph, and a tintype portrait of Martin in uniform—he being the one brother who did not survive the war. The papers also include manuscripts pertaining not to a particular brother but to the company in which Joseph, Martin, and Robert Leonard served: namely, Co. C of the 48th North Carolina Infantry. Certainly the most significant of these records are five company morning reports, each with daily entries for around a month and covering, in aggregate, the period from 8 October 1864 to 30 March 1865, when the 48th North Carolina was serving in the lines at Petersburg. These provide an accurate record of the company's fluctuations in strength during this period. The reports were presumably brought back to Iredell County from Appomattox by Robert Leonard, who, as 1st sergeant, was responsible for the daily entries (and who also signed the reports as commanding officer from 26 March).

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged topically, and thereunder by date.

Container List