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Jesse Talbot Bernard was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1829. He taught school and practiced law in various locales in Florida. While teaching in the Tallahassee area he married Mary Elizabeth Bradford, daughter of Thomas Bradford, owner of the Pine Hill Plantation in Leon County. In 1861 Bernard entered the Provisional Army of the Confederacy. He was appointed a Captain and Assistant Quartermaster for the Eighth Florida Infantry Regiment. He served in that capacity for the majority of the war until being assigned to General Robert E. Lee's staff where he remained until the end of the war.
After the war, Bernard returned to Tallahassee and resumed a career in law, real estate, and cotton merchandizing. He served as Leon County Judge (1869-1873) and was mayor of Tallahassee (1876). He died in 1909 and is buried in the Tallahassee city cemetery.
This collection contains journals, letters, photographs, and reminiscences of J.T. Bernard and his family from 1842 to 1949. The majority of the letters are from Bernard to his family and wife, Mary, in Florida and give some account of the nature of Bernard's service during the Civil War and the conditions in the theater of operations in Virginia and Maryland. The records include a transcription of a portion of Bernard's journal from September, 1842; an original journal dated 1843 to 1846; an original school/law record book, 1850-1855; original civil war letters and photographs, with transcripts; and an original 1881 autobiography of J.T. Bernard, with transcript. There is also a transcription of "Journal Six" of J.T. Bernard, which covers 1856-1861, 1883-1884, and 1891. In addition, there are related materials on the Bernard family and the history of Tallahassee.
Additional Physical Form:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Jesse Talbot Bernard, Journal Six, 1856-1891; located at Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Bradford family. Bernard family.
Confederate States of America. Army. --Florida Infantry Regiment, 8th.
Diaries. aat Reminiscences. aat
Tallahassee (Fla.) United States History Civil War, 1861-1865 Leon County (Fla.)