Date Original



This collection contains personal correspondence written to Sallie Phillips Keller, including a letter written by her niece, Helen Keller. The collection also includes other correspondence, speeches, applications by Confederate veterans for the Cross of Honor, and other miscellaneous materials related to the Hot Springs Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Biographical/Historical Note

Sallie Phillips Keller, daughter of David B. and Ann Phillips of Jefferson County, Kentucky, was born in August 1831. In 1852, she married Dr. James M. Keller (1832-1914), a native of Tuscumbia, Alabama, and a recent graduate of the University of Kentucky at Louisville. They had two children: Murray P. and James Irvin. They moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1857, where they resided until after the Civil War. While Dr. Keller was away during the war, serving first as a surgeon in the Confederate Army and then as the Medical Director of the Trans-Mississippi Department, Sallie stayed behind and established a hospital for the Confederate soldiers wounded during the war. When Memphis fell to the Federal troops, she was quite vocal of her dislike for them. They eventually exiled her and her two sons by transporting them outside the city and dumping them in a swamp along the Mississippi River. One of her slaves stayed with her and managed to take her and the two boys to her parent's home in Louisville, Kentucky, where she stayed for the remainder of the war. After the Civil War ended, they returned to Memphis, where their home had been destroyed during Federal occupation. Dr. Keller served as Director of City Hospitals from 1865 to 1868. In 1868, they moved to Louisville, where Dr. Keller served as Professor of Surgery at the Kentucky School of Medicine and Louisville Medical College. In 1877, they moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where Keller began a private practice. Sallie became involved in the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) and helped to establish a chapter in Hot Springs. She served as Vice President of the Arkansas Division of the UDC and was honorary president of the national organization when she died April 8, 1906. A J.M. Keller chapter was established in Hot Springs as a memorial to both her and her husband's dedication to the Confederate cause.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area






Resource Type



Sallie Phillips Keller papers, MS.000680


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Sallie Phillips Keller papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History