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Garner family letters

Identifier: W-0030

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of typed transcripts of correspondence written by the extended Garner family between 1832 and 1886. Notable features include a sizable collection of letters written by W.W. Garner to his wife, Henrietta Humphry Garner and sister, Elvira Ellington. These letters, written between 1861 and 1864, document Garner's experiences serving in the Tenth Regiment, a home guard unit stationed in Arkansas. Garner’s letters also provide insight into the worsening economic conditions in the Confederacy during the war, addressing fluctuating currency rates and price changes. A smaller collection of letters documents the family’s life after the war. Most of the letters written after 1873 are written by Henrietta Garner and relay family news to her children. This collection also contains a small collection of poems written by Henrietta Garner between 1851 and 1859. An affidavit included with this collection states that this collection was compiled and typed by Dr. Alan G. Cazort and Ruth Huddleston, the daughter of W.W. Garner, in 1935.


  • 1832-1886


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

William Wakefield Garner, born in Boone, Missouri, on 17 April 1826, was an Arkansas businessmen and solider. He married Henrietta Humphry on 1 August 1853. The couple had ten children: Henrietta H.; Charles; Belle and May (twins); Willie Anne; Robert; John; William L.; Ruth; and Paul. In 1856 Garner founded the first mercantile store in Quitman. During the Civil War, he was a member of a home guard regiment stationed in Arkansas, eventually serving in Company E, Eighth Arkansas Cavalry. After the war, Garner returned to Quitman, where he was instrumental in planning the town and selling plots of land in 1868. His influence and contributions established Quitman College which later became Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. Garner died in Quitman on 7 December 1874.


0.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Typed transcripts of correspondence written by the extended Garner family between 1832 and 1886.

Physical Location

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library, The University of Alabama


Gift of A. S. Williams III, 2010

Related Materials

Additional copies of W. W. Garner's correspondence are available at several archives. A note in the Cozart-Garner Family Collection finding aid states that the original letters were lost in a house fire and that only the transcribed copies remain.

See Cozart-Garner Family Collection, Manuscripts Division, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Central Arkansas Library, Little Rock and May Hope Moose Papers, Special Collections, Mullins Library, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.


Excerpts from Garner's letters were published in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly in 1942. In addition, one of his letters was published in A Documentary History of Arkansas published in 1984.

Title on phase box spine: War Letters of W. W. Garner

Processed by

Haley Aaron and Martha Bace, 2013



Guide to the Garner family letters
October 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266