Pirtle, Alfred (1837-) Papers, 1847-1924

Held by The Filson Historical Society 

Creator:  Pirtle. Alfred, 1837- 

Title:  Papers, 1847-1924 

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Collections Department. 

Size of Collection:  2.5 cubic feet 

Location Number:  Mss. A P672 

Scope and Content Note 

Papers consist of correspondence, 1847-1923, including a volume of Civil War letters; a journal, 1859-1862; and Pirtle’s writings for magazines and newspapers on local and Ky. history. 

Correspondents include Simon Bolivar Buckner, Thomas J. Chenoweth, John M. Harlan, James E. Jouett, John Bassett Moore, Judge Henry Pirtle, and Major General C. P. Summerall. 

Pirtle’s Civil War letter book contains letters Pirtle wrote to his parents, Judge and Mrs. Henry Pirtle, sisters, brothers, covering his service in the 10th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment under Major General Ormsby Mitchell on the march from Bowling Green to Huntsville, Ala.; service under Major General Lovell H. Rousseau on the return march to Bowling Green in Sept. 1862 and as ordnance officer of the 3rd Division; Battle of Murfreesboro (Stones River); encampment near Murfreesboro 1863 Jan. 3-June 23; service as aide-de-camp to General William Lytle of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 20th Army Corps,, 1863 Apr. 20-Sept. 19; Battle of Chickamauga; return of the 10th Ohio; service in and near Chattanooga; and description of the storming of Missionary Ridge. Also included are letters of recommendation for Pirtle from Colonel Curran Pope, Phillip H. Sheridan, A. M. Cook, Lovell H. Rousseau, and George H. Thomas; a letter from Lieutenant Colonel Joseph M. Burke to Pirtle, 1862 Feb. 5; and letters to Mrs. Henry Pirtle from Colonel William H. Lytle, James Barnard, Dr. T. S. Bell, Captain James W. Abert, and others, 1861-1863. 

Pirtle’s journal, 1859 Jan. 1-Feb. 11, 1861 Apr. 20-1862 Sept., relates his residence at Gallatin, Tenn., in 1859 as an employee of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad; return to Louisville, where he records the impact of the Civil War on Ky. and Mo.; flag raisings; peace meetings; recruiting; drilling; blockades; his encampment with the Citizen Guards, 1861 May 21-27; routine of camp duties; sojourn at Ohio White Sulphur Springs with mother and sister, 1861 July-Aug.; volunteer service in the Crittenden Army Zouaves, 1861 Sept.-Nov.; loss by his brother, Dr. John Pirtle, of his command as major in the U.S. Army, Ky. Volunteers; Ohio River flood in 1862; defeat of General Felix Zollicoffer at Mill Springs, 1862 Jan. 19; commission, 1862 Feb., as lieutenant, Co. H, 10th Ohio; service in General Ormsby Mitchell’s division on the march from Fort Jefferson on Bacon Creek, Ky. to Bowling Green, Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Shelbyville, Tenn., and Huntsville, Ala., where he was encamped during the summer; aide-de-camp to General William H. Lytle; change in command of the 3rd Division, 1862 July 3, from General Mitchell to General W. S. Smith; and on 1862 July 13, from Smith to General Lovell H. Rousseau; evacuation of Huntsville, Ala., 1862 Aug. 31; the return march to Bowling Green, 1862 Sept. in pursuit of Braxton Bragg and his army; and the column being impeded by slaves seeking freedom. 

Biographical Note 

Alfred Pirtle, insurance man of Louisville, Ky. was born March 25, 1837. He began his career in the insurance business in 1864, finishing with the firm of Pirtle, Weaver, and Menefee. Pirtle married Fannie Alevia Nold, of Louisville, Ky. in 1869. Pirtle served in the Union Army as an aide-de-camp to General William H. Lytle, and fought in numerous battles. Pirtle served as director of the Louisville Free Public Library and as director of the American Printing House for the Blind. Pirtle also wrote several works of history including a history of Louisville. 

Folder List 

Box 1 

1 Portrait of Pirtle. Biographical sketch in newspaper clipping. Kodak picture of Mr. Pirtle. 

2 Correspondence, 1847.

3 Correspondence, 1861-1863.

4 Correspondence, 1892.

5 Correspondence, 1895-1897.

6 Correspondence, 1901-1913.

7 Correspondence, 1917-1923.


Box 2 

8 The Life of James Edward Jouett, Rear Admiral United States Navy, 1896.

8a The Life of James Edward Jouett, Rear Admiral United States Navy, 1896.

9 The Battle of Tippecanoe. Proof of the first page, 1900 Jan. 17. 

10 Log of a trip to Mackinac Island, 1901 Aug.

11 My first Journey, 1901 Dec. 26. Article describing the steamboat “Bob Letcher.” 

12 Memoranda on the sleet storm at Louisville, 1902 Feb. 7-26.

12a Colonel Cuthbert Bullitt’s personal recollections of General George Rogers Clark, 1902 Oct. 12. 

13 Stone River Sketches, 1904 Dec. 7.

14 A Trip to Salt Lake and Back, 1905 Aug. 

15 A Trip to Salt Lake and Back, 1905 Aug. 

16 Early Railroading in Kentucky, 1906.


Box 3 

17 Farragut’s Famous Fight: The Battle of Mobile Bay, 1908.

18 Farragut’s Famous Fight: The Battle of Mobile Bay, 1908.

19 Farragut’s Famous Fight: The Battle of Mobile Bay, 1908. 

19a Farragut’s Famous Fight: The Battle of Mobile Bay, 1908. 


Box 4 

20 The Chenoweth Family Massacre, 1909. 

2 1TheChenoweth Family Massacre. 

22 James Chenoweth the story of one of the Earliest Boys of Louisville, 1910.

23 James Chenoweth the story of one of the Earliest Boys of Louisville, 1910.

24 James Chenoweth the story of one of the Earliest Boys of Louisville, 1910.

25 James Chenoweth the story of one of the Earliest Boys of Louisville, 1910.

26 Where Louisville Started, 1910 Apr. 16.

27 Where Louisville Started, 1910.

28 Our Flag.

29 Remarks about John Todd, Jr., 1910.


Box 5 

30ASketch of Portland, Ky., 1913. 

30a Filson Club minutes, 1913 Mar. 3 and Apr. 7.

31Diary, 1914 Nov. 20-1915 Mar. 22.

32 A Sketch of the Unitarian Church, Louisville, Ky., 1830 to 1840, 1915.

33Howa Station was Built, 1915. 

34 Secretary of the Filson Club report, 1915 Oct. 4.

34a Sketch of a trip with Joseph M. Rogers from Frankfort, Ky. via Lexington to Bryant Station, 1916 Sept. 19.

35 Where Louisville Started, 1916.

36Analmost forgotten railroad, 1917. 

37AReminiscence of June, 1845. 1917. 

38 Reminiscences of 1863.1918.

39 Some Stations on Beargrass Creek, 1918 Sept. 3.

40 Some Stations on Beargrass Creek, 1918.

fl. 41 A trip to a few locations which were Indian stations, 1779-1790, 1918 May 4.

42 Folklore of the pioneers of America, 1919 May 9.

43Myearly soldiering days. 

44 Lytle’s last sacrifice, 1920.

45 Notes on society in Louisville in 1846. 1921.

fl. 46 A Sketchy Autobiography.1922 Sept. 15.

fl. 47 A visit to Winchester, Ky. 1922.

48Historyand Memory. (Recollections of the Ky. School for the Blind). 1923 Feb. 24. Recollections (of the Ky. Institute for the Blind). 

48a A Civil War Story.1923 Aug. 24.

49 How Great Britain Made War in Kentucky.1924.

49a Some Early Engineers and Architects in Kentucky.


Box 6 

50 Biographical notes on Daniel Boone.

51 Jack Brady.

52TheGalt Houses. 

53 Jared Brooks biographical notes. 

54TheJefferson County Court House. 

55 Louisville in very early Times.

56 Memories of Old Time Politics-1844.

57Noteon Farmington and Judge John Speed. 

58 Notes on the first settlers of Louisville.

59 Notes for events in or near Louisville in July 1863.

60 Notes on the construction of “Tennessee,” a Federal gun boat during the CivilWar.

61 Notes on Major Rogers and Captain RobertBenham.

fl. 62 A Pioneer Bridal Tour.

63 Recollections of General U. S. Grant.

64 Reminiscences of the Lexington and Big Sandy R. R.

65 River Reminiscences. Long ago on the River. 

66 Simon Kenton.

67 Writings, newspaper clippings, 1891-1914.

68 Writings, newspaper clippings, 1915-1923.

69 Excerpt from Travels in the interior of America, in the years 1809-10-11.

70 Statement of Major William Davis to Captain Pirtle, 1920 July, about his service at the time of General Morgan’s crossing of the Ohio River into Ind. 

71 William H. Harrison’s Ky. land papers, 1848.Extract from William Richardson’s diary, 1816 Jan. 29, about William H. Harrison. 

72 Henry Robb letter to Maria Louisa Ross, 1854 Feb. 5, copy. Biographical sketch of David Barr Robb.

fl. 73 A sketch of the life of Thomas P. Shanks.

74Miscellaneousnotes and excerpts. 

75Miscellaneousnewspaper clippings. 

75a Scraps.


Box 7 

76 Writings (newspaper clippings mounted on paste board but not bound). 

pkg. 77 Journal, 1859-1862. 2 v. 

pkg. 78 Civil War letterbook, 1862-1863.