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Whitaker-Fenley Letters

Identifier: A-0115

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of photocopies and typed transcripts of Civil War letters written from John P. Whitaker to his wife Mary S. ("Dollie") Fenley Whitaker. His letters were written from Louisiana and Arkansas and contain descriptions of camp conditions, war news and rumors, and reports on friends and family, including Mary's brothers John and William, Lawrence and Charles S. Taylor, Henderson Muckleroy, John Baugh, and Capt. Joseph H. Bruton. Whitaker assisted with nursing the sick and wounded during the war and relates his experiences.

The collection also contains three letters from Mary's brother William Henry Fenley and one from her brother John Broughton Fenley.


  • Creation: 1862-1864

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

John P. Whitaker was born on August 20, 1834 in Tennessee, the son of Benjamin J. and Sallie Sebastian Whitaker. He is listed on the 1860 and 1870 censuses as a landowner and merchant in the Douglass area of Nacogdoches County. He served in Co. A and Co. H of the 17th Regiment Texas Cavalry. Whitaker was married to Mary S. ("Dollie") Fenley.

Mary S. Fenley and her two brothers, William Henry Fenley (1843-1879) and John Broughton Fenley (1838-1916), were born in Georgia. Both brothers were farmers. Although they did not serve in the same company as John P. Whitaker, they were close enough to obtain news from one another while in Louisiana and Arkansas.

("Whitaker-Fenley Letters." East Texas Research Center. Ralph W. Steen Library. Stephen F. Austin State University).


0.25 Cubic Feet


This collection is described in six folders and is housed with another collection in a clamshell box. It is organized at the folder level.

Guide to the Whitaker-Fenley Letters
Pam Palmer
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository