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A Georgia Soldier in the Civil War, 1861-1865

Identifier: W-0083

Scope and Contents

This unbound, sixty-eight page manuscript of Robert Duncan Chapman's Civil War memoir, A Georgia Soldier in the Civil War, 1861-1865, describes his war experiences from his enlistment in August 1861 until 1865 as a member of the Fifty-fifth Georgia Infantry.

Chapman describes his capture at the Battle of Cumberland Gap and his subsequent imprisonment at Johnson's Island, Ohio. Chapman was a prisoner at Johnson's Island for five months when he staged an escape and impersonated a book salesman to avoid recapture.

Chapman's memoir was first published in 1922. The memoir was published again in 1929 and included an updated postscript written by the then ninety-year-old Chapman. The manuscript contains the postscript written in 1929 and some minor handwritten edits.


  • 1929


Conditions Governing Access


Biographical / Historical

Robert Duncan Chapman was born on December 8, 1839, in Houston County, Georgia.

During the Civil War, Chapman enlisted in Company E of the Fifty-fifth Georgia Regiment. Chapman was captured by Union troops at the Battle of Cumberland Gap. After escaping and being recaptured by Union forces, he was imprisoned at Johnson's Island between September 1863 and February 1864, when he staged a second successful escape. Reunited with the remnants of his regiment, Chapman served as the adjutant at post at Andersonville Prison, Georgia, from June 15, 1864, to October 15, 1864.

Shortly after the end of the war, Chapman moved to Cuthbert, Georgia, where he worked at Baldwin, Redding and Co., a general merchandise firm. In 1867, Chapman married Eugenia Alice McNeil. The couple had one son, William McNeil, and two daughters, Martha Carrie and Lollie Dee. In 1871, Chapman moved to Texas with his wife and son. They lived in Nacogdoches and Houston, where he served as an officer in the local and state United Confederate Veterans camps. He died on August 7, 1934, in Dallas, Texas.


0.1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Contains an unbound manuscript of Robert Duncan Chapman's published Civil War memoir.

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

The A. S. Williams III Americana Collection also holds a published copy of Chapman's Civil War memoir.


Title on Spine: A Georgia Soldier in the Civil War, R. P. Chapman.

Processed by

Haley Aaron, 2013



Guide to A Georgia Soldier in the Civil War, 1861-1865
November 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script 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