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W. E. Mathews Civil War Memoirs (SMC 112) - Columbus State University

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W. E. Mathews Civil War Memoirs (SMC 112)

Biographical Note

W. E. (William Eldridge) Mathews was born Nov. 9, 1844 to Jas. M. Mathews and Mary Jane Preston. He later had his name changed to W.E. Preston by the Superior Court of Columbus, Georgia in 1892. Mathews was a member of the 33rd Alabama Regiment, Dale County Grays or Company B. He wrote two copies of his memoirs in 1882 addressed to his children, Robert Preston and E. B. (Ernest Brady) Preston. He was mustered into service March 11, 1862 at Clopton, Dale County, Alabama and surrendered April 26, 1865 near Charlotte, North Carolina. Mathews married Nancy Ann Miller in May 1870 and moved to Columbus, Georgia in 1880. They had 8 children. W. E. Mathews Preston died in Columbus on Dec. 30, 1933 and is buried in Linwood Cemetery.

Scope and Content

This collection consists of copies of 2 of the 6 tablet Civil War memoirs written by W.E. Mathews. His "Memories of the War 1862-1865" provides a detailed account of the organization of the 33rd Alabama and unit activities in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia and includes engagements at Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga and the defense of Atlanta. The heading of each manuscript is entitled "Partial Roster of the Dale County Grays or Company B 33rd Ala Regiment, Lowreys Brigade, Clebourns Division, Hardee's afterwards, Cheatham's Corps, Army of the Tennessee, C.S.A.

It appears that Mathews wrote a manuscript for each of his children. The manuscript dated August 8, 1882 was addressed to Robert Preston while the one dated August 9, 1882 was to E.B. Preston and is referred to by the title "The Yellow Ribbon". The memoirs are not identical with slight variations in content existing between the two manuscripts. The Yellow Ribbon contains genealogical information on the Mathews and Preston families.

August, 1882 2 folder (.2 l.f.)

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the W.E. Mathews Civil War Memoirs must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University . Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

W.E. Mathews Civil War Memoirs (SMC 112) Columbus State University Archives Columbus, Georgia


This collection came to the CSU Archives in the fall of 2013 when the Columbus Public Library closed its archival collection and donated the contents to the Columbus State University Archives. It was numbered MC 77 at the public library.

Folder List

Folder 1 - "The Yellow Ribbon" dated Aug 9, 1882 for E. B. Preston - Roster and diary of the Dale County, AL Grays (Co. B 33rd Al Reg.) from March 11, 1862.

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