Processed by: Alexandra Dowrey, Graduate Assistant and Kira A. Dietz, Archivist,
Special Collections, Virginia
Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Robert Selph Henry Papers, 1861-1971
4.3 cu. ft.
Henry, Robert Selph
Spanning 1861 to 1971, The Robert Selph Henry Papers consist of correspondence, subject files, photographs, and clippings
concerning Henry's research on the Civil War, focusing on the Confederacy and Nathan Bedford Forrest, and also railroad history.
This collection also contains Henry's Southern Historical Association (SHA) and Association of American Railroads papers.
Robert Selph Henry (1889-1970) was born in Clifton, Tennessee on October 20, 1889. He graduated from Vanderbilt University
with an L.L.B. in 1910 and a BA in 1911. He served as a Captain of Field Artillery in WWI, and remained in the Army Reserve,
rising to the rank of colonel, until his retirement in 1952. He worked for the newspaper in Nashville (1907-1913), served
as secretary to the Governor of Tennessee (1913-1915), practiced as a lawyer in Nashville (1915-1921), and worked for the
railroads, first as Director of Public Relations for the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway (1921-1928), then as
Assistant to the Vice President of the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railrway (1928-1934), and lastly as as the Vice
President of the Association of American Railroads (1934-1958).
Henry was also a historian of the Civil War and the railroads. He published several books including The Story of the Confederacy
(1931), The Story of Reconstruction (1938), First with the Most Forrest (1944), and This Fascinating Railroad Business (1942).
Henry also served as President of the Southern Historical Association (SHA; 1957).
The Robert Selph Henry Papers consist of correspondence, subject files, photographs, and clippings concerning Henry's research
on the Civil War, focusing on the Confederacy and Nathan Bedford Forrest, and also railroad history. Most subject files involve
research notes and photocopies or transcriptions of primary sources such as diaries, letters, and reminiscences. This collection
also contains Henry's Southern Historical Association (SHA) and Association of American Railroads papers.
The collection dates from 1861 to 1971; however, most of the Civil War letters and diaries contained in this collection appear
to be either later reprints, transcriptions, or copies of the original. The dates given in this finding aid correspond to
the year for the original document. Many of the photographs are reproductions as well.
The following book has been removed from the collection and has been catalogued for the rare book collection:
Diary of Capt. Heber S. Thompson, Seventh Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry, May to December, 1864