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President Landon C. Garland Records

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-027

Scope and Contents

This record group contains the correspondence of University of Alabama president Landon C. Garland, who served from 1855-1865. The bulk of the material is outgoing correspondence from Garland during the Civil War years, 1861-1865. Many of the letters from Garland were sent to Alabama Governors Andrew B. Moore, John Gill Shorter, and Thomas H. Watts. Garland writes about the operations of the university, the constant need of equipment and supplies for the cadets, and the difficulty of keeping the cadets from leaving the university to join the Confederate Army.

There is one folder of incoming correspondence to Garland, some of it in French (with attached English translation), and one folder of third party correspondence. The third party correspondence contains letters from other University of Alabama officials, as well as three letters from 1863, from a man named S. M. Whetstone, of Autaugaville, Alabama, to Governor Shorter, requesting that his son be admitted to the university.


  • 1852 - 1865
  • Majority of material found within 1861 - 1865


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. 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. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which The University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

Landon Cabell Garland was born in Nelson County, Virginia, on March 21, 1810. He graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1829. Garland taught chemistry at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia from 1829-1830. From 1833-1834 he taught Chemistry at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, and served as its president from 1836-1846. Garland then moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to teach English literature, rhetoric, and history at the University of Alabama. Garland was elected president of the University of Alabama in 1855.

Because of discipline and student behavior issues, Garland lobbied and received permission from the state legislature to transform the University of Alabama into a military academy. During the Civil War, it served as a munitions depot, and many of the cadets who graduated from the university went on to serve as officers in the Confederate Army. On April 3, 1865, Union troops reached Tuscaloosa. In the early morning hours of April 4, Garland led the University of Alabama Cadets into town to face the Union Army, but seeing that his cadets were badly outnumbered by veteran troops, he retreated back to campus, and from there, across Hurricane Creek east of town. On the morning of April 4, Union troops burned the campus, destroying all but four university buildings.

After struggling to rebuild the campus, Garland accepted the chair of philosophy and astronomy at the University of Mississippi in 1867. Later, he was tapped to help establish a Methodist university in Nashville, Tennessee -- Vanderbilt University. Garland died on February 13, 1895 in Nashville and was buried on the Vanderbilt campus in a fenced grave near the Divinity Quadrangle.

Garland was married to Louisa Frances, with whom he had four daughters.


6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials




This record group contains the correspondence of Landon C. Garland, University of Alabama president from 1855-1865.

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Processed by

Deborah Nygren; Tom Land; Katherine Lammers, 2013; Kevin Ray, April 2019; Kate Matheny, May 2021
Guide to the President Landon C. Garland Records
March 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266