Maxcy Gregg Papers, 1835–1888

South Caroliniana Library

This collection includes Maxcy Gregg’s Sporting Journal (1839–1860) as well as letters and reports from his service during the Civil War. Letters and newspaper clippings commemorating his death at the Battle of Fredericksburg are also included.

The son of James and Cornelia Maxcy Gregg, Maxcy Gregg (1814–1862) was a lawyer and soldier of Columbia, South Carolina. He attended South Carolina College (the present-day University of South Carolina) and was admitted to the bar in 1839. He served as an officer in the United States Army during the Mexican-American War, as a delegate from Richland District at the South Carolina Secession Convention in December 1860, and as a Brigadier General in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. Gregg died in December 1862 from wounds sustained during the Battle of Fredericksburg.

His Sporting Journal (1839–1860) describes hunting and fishing expeditions, a record of game animals taken, weather conditions, and Fisher’s Pond. Other entries discuss a trip to the mountains (17 July – 12 August 1843), attending “the Washingtonian lecture” in Winnsboro, South Carolina, a mention of David Johnson (1782–1855), who served as governor of South Carolina (1846–1848), and unsuccessful efforts to convince William Waters Boyce to assume editorial duties at the South Carolinian (a newspaper of Columbia, South Carolina). Entries from 27 October to 5 November 1843 describe a hunting and fishing trip by boat to Charleston and return by railroad, the funeral of Sally Preston (9 February 1845), the migration of vast flocks of pigeons seen flying over Columbia during February to March 1845, and the purchase of domestic birds in December 1846: “near Christmas I bought from a German Bird Dealer…a starling & 2 goldfinches.”

Later entries in the Sporting Journal describe Gregg’s securing of a commission in the Mexican War along with “Memoranda of Sporting Incidents & Observations in my Mexican Excursion” (16 October 1847 – 10 July 1848). Other topics include Gregg’s attendance at court in Winnsboro, Sumter and Lexington, South Carolina; his attending the Southern Convention at Nashville, Tennessee, during the secession crisis of 1850–1851 and a severe storm in August 1850 “which made great havock among the trees in Columbia especially the old India Trees.”

Besides the Sporting Journal, the Maxcy Gregg Papers include mostly administrative correspondence between Gregg and members of the Confederate Army during the Civil War, primarily from J. R. Waddy, Assistant Adjutant-General. Other correspondence includes Gregg’s letter to the President and Board of Trustees of South Carolina College protesting the withholding of his degree in 1835, a letter to Governor Pickens discouraging the establishment of a “Council of Safety” in 1862, and a copy of a possibly humorous letter sent to “the Confederate Forces” from the “United States Forces” on April 1, 1862.

The later materials in the collection comprise letters and mementos surrounding Gregg’s death at Fredericksburg. A letter signed “Personne” (the pseudonym of journalist Felix Gregory de Fontaine) includes a scrap of moss and a holly leaf “taken from the spot where Gen. Maxcy Gregg fell,” while an unsigned letter from Virginia and another from Chaplain J. Monroe Anderson afford the general posthumous praise. Newspaper clippings commemorating the Battle of Fredericksburg, and Gregg’s death in particular, complement the above letters.

Creating the Digital Collection
Brian Cuthrell of the South Caroliniana Library suggested this collection for digitization. Scanning and preliminary metadata for the Sporting Journal were performed by conservator Kristi Wright while the collection was under treatment at the University of South Carolina’s Conservation Lab. Materials were scanned on an Epson Expression 10000 XL scanner with SilverFast scan software as 24-bit color TIFFs at 300ppi. High-quality JPEGs were created from the TIFFs with preservation metadata added to the TIFF and JPEG images. The metadata records follow the Western States Best Practices Dublin Core format. The JPEGs were then uploaded to CONTENTdm. The TIFFs will be maintained as archival masters on a SAN server, backed up to DVD.

Rodney Linebarger (MLIS candidate, University of South Carolina) updated and reviewed metadata and created the original Web page for the Sporting Journal. The remainder of the Maxcy Gregg Papers were scanned and processed by Matthew W. Shepherd (MLIS candidate, University of South Carolina), who also revised the Web page to reflect the change in scope. Brian Cuthrell and Graham Duncan (both from the South Caroliniana Library) provided contextual information for this page.

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