Skip to main content

Harrell family papers

Identifier: MS0128

Scope and Contents

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 insurrection of enslaved people, his tour of duty at a Confederate hospital in Virginia, and the composition of his most famous song, "Ho! For Carolina."


  • 1823 - 1903


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Biographical / Historical

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).]


0.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains Harrell family manuscript autobiographies and the musical composition of Ho! For Carolina.


The collection contains one series entitled "William Bernard Harrell" and two volumes of an autobiography by William Peyton Harrell.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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

Processing Information

Processed by Johanna Mims, 1986.

Harrell family papers
Johanna Mims
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

Special Collections and University Archives
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
(704) 687-1170
Schedule an Appointment