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Harrell Family Papers

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Harrell Family Papers

Harrell family papers

Summary Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Harrell family
Harrell family papers
Date [inclusive]
0.5 Linear feet
Manuscript autobiographies of William Bernard Harrell (1823-1906), songwriter, physician, and Baptist minister, and of his son, William Peyton Harrell (b. 1868), a conductor on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and a bank clerk in Norfolk, Va. Among other topics, the elder Harrell describes the Nat Turner-led slave insurrection, his tour of duty at a Confederate hospital in Virginia, and the composition of his most famous song, "Ho! For Carolina."

Preferred Citation note

Harrell Family Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

William Bernard Harrell was born on December 17, 1823, in Suffolk, Va. He was graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1844 and earned his M.D. degree from the University of Maryland in 1849. On March 13, 1851, he married Ann Judson Battle (1834-1906), daughter of Amos Johnston Battle (1805-70), a founder of Wake Forest College. They had eleven children. Harrell died in Dunn, N.C. on November 22, 1906. William Peyton Harrell, the eighth child, was born at Snow Hill, N.C. on June 27, 1868. He was a mercantile clerk in Raleigh (1883-89), a freight conductor on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad for 14 years, and a clerk in the National Bank of Commerce and Trusts in Norfolk. On November 22, 1894, he married Mabel Sherwood (b. 1872). In 1930, he was living in Portsmouth, Va. [For further information on the family of Ann Battle Harrell and her children, see Herbert B. Battle et al., The Battle Book (1930).]

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Scope and Contents note

Harrell family manuscript autobiographies, and music.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte 1986

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of David Harrell Cameron in memory of A. Harrell Woolfolk, 1986.

Processing Information note

Processed by Johanna Mims, 1986.

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Controlled Access Headings

Family Name(s)

  • Harrell family

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States--Civil War, 1861-1865--Confederate States of America--Personal narratives


  • Baptists--Southern States--19th century

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Harrell, William Bernard : Notes, p. 69-132 


Harrell, William Bernard : Part 1, 1823-44 : pp. 1-128. 1823-1844 

Scope and Contents note

Includes his recount of the Nat Turner insurrection in Virginia in 1831 (pp. 28-37).

1 2

Harrell, William Bernard : Part 2, 1844-51: pp. 129-253. 1844-1851 

1 3

Harrell, William Bernard : Part 3, 1851-1903: pp. 254-379, 261-86. 1851-1903 

Scope and Contents note

Includes his account of his tour of duty (1863-65) at a hospital in Virginia (pp. 273-318) and the writing of the song, "Ho! For Carolina" (p. 276).

1 4

Harrell, William Bernard : Volume I 1868-1898 

Scope and Contents note

[NOTE: His autobiography seems to have been written with the goal of being published. Harrell tells the story of his youth, social life, musical career, travels, and jobs. The autobiography is a detailed account of the life of a young man in comfortable circumstances in the latter 19th century.] (1924, n.d.): pp. 1-162 and postscript (1924).

1 5

Harrell, William Bernard : Volume II 1868-1898 

Scope and Contents note

[pp. 163-359, 1-22]

1 6

William Peyton Harrell : Autobiography, vols. 1 & 2 

2 1-2