Atkinson, Archibald, Jr., Memoir Archibald Atkinson, Jr., Memoir, c.1890s Ms.1994.022

Archibald Atkinson, Jr., Memoir, c.1890s Ms.1994.022


Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Business Number: 540-231-6308

Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Archibald Atkinson, Jr., Memoir,c.1890s
0.1 Cubic Feet, 1 folder
Atkinson, Archibald, Jr., b.1832
The materials in the collection are in English.
The collection consists of a partial memoir of Atkinson's Civil War experiences. Atkinson served as a surgeon for the 10th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry, followed by appointments with the 31st Regiment, Virginia Infantry, and the Second Army Corps, Army of Nothern Virginia.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: [identification of item], [box], [folder], Archibald Atkinson, Jr., Memoir, Ms1994-022, Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Source of Acquisition

The Archibald Atkinson, Jr., Memoir was purchased by Special Collections in 1993.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Archibald Atkinson, Jr. Memoir commenced and was completed in 1994.

Biographical Note

Atkinson, Archibald, Jr., M.D., Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore, was born February 23, 1832, near Smithfield, on the James River, Isle of Wight County, Virginia. His father was an eminent lawyer, and represented the Second Congressional District of Virginia in the United States Congress from 1844 to 1848. Dr. Atkinson received his education at the University of Virginia, and graduated in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the spring of 1854. After receiving his diploma he went abroad and enjoyed the advantages of the clinics of the most famous hospitals of Paris for eighteen months, and a six months' residence in the Rotunda Lying-in Hospital of Dublin, Ireland. Returning to America in 1856 he located in Baltimore, where he practiced his profession until the outbreak of the late civil war, when he returned to his native State and was appointed Assistant Surgeon in the Wise Legion in West Virginia, and assigned to the charge of the Lewisburg Hospital.

In 1862, Dr. Atkinson was selected as the Surgeon of the Tenth Regiment, Virginia Cavalry, belonging to General J.E.B. Stuart's command, and in autumn of 1863 was assigned to the Thirty-first Virginia Regiment of Infantry. Subsequently he was appointed Brigade-Surgeon in General John Pegram's Brigade, Early's Division, Second Army Corps, of the Army of Northern Virginia. At the termination of the war he established himself in the practice of his profession in his native town of Smithfield, Virginia, continuing there until the spring of 1873, when he removed to Baltimore and located on North Charles Street. In the fall of 1875 Dr. Atkinson was elected to the chair of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Baltimore, a position he has filled with rare ability and eminent success as an imparter of medical knowledge. His maternal ancestors were the Powells and Chiltons of Loudon County, Virginia, whose progenitors originally came from Scotland and Wales. His ancestors on the paternal side were English.

He has a brother, Dr. Robert Chilton Atkinson, who is practicing medicine at St. Louis, Missouri. On November 2, 1858, Dr. Atkinson married Mary Elizabeth Thomas, of Smithfield, Virginia, daughter of Samuel Thomas, whose wife was Frances Harrison Woodley, daughter of Major Woodley, of Smithfield. The issue of the marriage is two children, Mary Chilton and Louis Woodley Atkinson, both of whom are living.

Source: pgs. 603-604 in The Biographical Cyclopedia of Representative Men of Maryland and District of Columbia. Baltimore: National Biographical Publishing Co., 1879.

Additional biographical information is available on the Special Collections website.

Scope and Contents

Written sometime around 1900, the document recounts the military career of Archibald Atkinson, Jr. as a doctor in the Confederate Army. The memoir was writen in a commercially prepared notebook (printed, lined paper) on a total of 58 pages. The transcription preserves the page and line breaks as they appear in the original. Links throughout the transcript point to additional information on relevent people and places.

The memoir seems to begin in the middle of the text; there is no introductory material or conclusion. There may well have been another notebook with the first part of the narrative; if so, there is no indication anywhere on the notebook preserved at Virginia Tech of its existence.


The collection is arranged by material type.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Civil War
  • Folk, historical, and patent medicine
  • Medicine
  • Medicine, Military -- History
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Diaries

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Archibald Atkinson, Jr., Memoir by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Container List

folder 1