The Southern Museum’s Library and Archives contain extensive documentary records, manuscripts, and photographic materials related to railroad history in the South and the American Civil War. The Library houses a significant collection of materials from various railroad-related businesses, as well as a growing collection of Civil War letters, diaries, and official records.

  • Access by Museum Members (by appointment):  Free
  • Access by Non-Members (by appointment):  $10 per day or $20 per week.
  • Staff Conducted Research Fee:  $20 per hour after the first 30  minutes and $20 for each additional hour.
  • Additional fees may apply

Research Collections


The Great Locomotive Chase, also known as the Andrews Raid, occurred on April 12, 1862, when a group of Union spies stole the General locomotive. Their plan was to disrupt the vital Western and Atlantic Railroad. The raid failed, but due to their heroism, some of the Union soldiers were among the first to receive the Medal of Honor. One of the most daring episodes of the Civil War, the story has captured the American imagination for over 150 years.

Below is a sample of our research materials on the topic of the Great Locomotive Chase. Please contact our Archivist at or 770-427-2117 ext. 3060 to learn more about individual collections.



Bogle Collection

Colonel James Bogle spent a lifetime researching the Great Locomotive Chase. The collection includes newspaper clippings, first-hand accounts from Chase participants, centennial celebration ephemera, and photography of subjects related to the Chase. (2011.020; 2013.007)

Peck Collection

Contains newspaper clippings concerning the locomotive General and various Fuller/Peck family materials. (2002.017)

Weakly Collection

Features materials about the dedication of the historical markers for two raid participants: Jacob Parrot and Marion Ross. (2011.011)

Wilbur Kurtz/Russell Clayton Collection

Consists of newspaper articles, magazines, books, and other items covering the life of noted artist and historian Wilbur Kurtz. (2011.005)

The Family of Wilson W. Brown Collection

Private Wilson W. Brown of the 21st Ohio was awarded one of the first Medals of Honor for his participation in the Great Locomotive Chase. The collection includes various items related to Brown, such as a certificate of U.S. Army Records issued by the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), newspaper articles regarding Mr. Brown’s participation in the Chase, photographs, Raiders’ reunion materials, and correspondence. Brown’s handwritten manuscript of his escape from imprisonment back to U.S. lines is also part of the collection. (2014.006)


The American Civil War, fought from 1861 to 1865, is well documented thanks to a wide range of official and personal accounts. The Southern Museum has collected records about the war, including family letters and military documents.

Below is a sample of our research materials on the Civil War. Please contact our Archivist at or 770-427-2117 ext. 3060 to learn more about individual collections.

Civil 1

John C. Thompson Collection

Military papers related to John C. Smith of the 25th Iowa. (2003.006)

Parks and Nancy Davis Civil War Collection

Letters to and from Captain George Bayliss Hudson of the 36th Georgia Regiment. Also includes post-Civil War legal documents. (2006.027)

John O’Neal Collection

Original copies of Confederate Veteran magazines dating from 1900 until 1906. (2008.009; 2008.037)

Bogle Collection

Various materials related to the Great Locomotive Chase. (2011.020; 2013.007)

Ann Turner Civil War Letter Collection

Correspondence to and from F. A. Cochran of Pike County, Georgia, who served with the 53rd regiment of the Army of Northern Virginia. (2016.5)

Morton Nineteenth Century Documents Collection

Military papers and documents regarding the sale and transfer of enslaved persons. (2017.021)


The Museum houses a significant collection of company records, engineering drawings, blueprints, glass plate negatives, photographs, and correspondence from various American railroads and related businesses, primarily in the Southeast.

Below is a sample of our research materials on railroads. Please contact our Archivist at or 770-427-2117 ext. 3060 to learn more about individual collections.

Railroad Extra

Glover Machine Works Collection

A wide array of business records from the Glover Machine Works, a locomotive manufacturer that operated in the early 1900s in Marietta, Georgia. Types of files include accounting records, catalogs, builder’s files for each of the locomotives they produced, and photographs of the locomotives. (2001.001)

Joe Bozeman Collections

Various items related to the Western & Atlantic Railroad and the Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis Railway. Items include timetables, rule books, pamphlets, and agreements. (2005.019; 2006.016; 2007.018)

Roy Harcourt Collection

Rule books, safety booklets, rail yard plans, railroad passes, and maps collected by Roy M. Harcourt during his time as Superintendent of Terminal Operations at Atlanta for the Southern Railway system. (2006.006)

Poor’s Manual of Railroads Collection

Copies of Poor’s Manual of Railroads, which provide descriptions of all railroads in the United States in a given year along with a brief history, miles operated, financial reports, and other relevant data. (2007.006)

Robert Whitaker Collection

Booklets, annual reports, brochures, dining car menus, and other items related to various railroads operating in the South. (2010.015)

Earl Bennett Collection

Correspondence and research from Earl Bennett regarding the Merci Boxcars given to the United States after World War II by the people of France. (2010.016)

Bogle Collection

A range of personal research files and various official railroad documentation collected by Colonel James Bogle. Also includes information on the General locomotive and the Great Locomotive Chase. (2011.020; 2013.007)

J. L. Fergus, Jr. Collection

Annual reports, drawings, correspondence, reports, and other materials collected by retired railroad engineer J. L. Fergus, Jr. (2013.009)

David W. Salter Collection

Consists of 47,021 items, including railroad-related photographs, negatives, slides, timetables/schedules, maps, posters, books, guides, correspondence, and model trains of various scales.

Hours of Operation

The Southern Museum Research Library and Archives is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm for in-person and remote research requests. Appointments are required for in-person research.

To make an in-person research request appointment, please contact our Archivist at 770-427-2117 ext. 3060 or Advanced notification is required. Remote research requests should also be directed to the Archivist.

Please understand that response and fulfillment times for in-person and remote research requests may be delayed. Thank you for your understanding.


Duplication & Usage


  • 8 ½ x 11: $0.10 per page
  • 11 x 17: $0.10 per page

$10 handling fee per 100 pages duplicated after first 100 pages, plus staff research fee if applicable. Duplication fees do not include cost of shipping.


  • $10 per image duplicated digitally, and $1 for each additional page.

If file is sent via physical media (CD, flash drive, etc.), the cost of media used and shipping fees apply as well as the staff research fee, if applicable.