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Confederate Letters and Diaries
from the Shenandoah Valley

One of the best ways to get a feeling for the Confederates soldier's is to read their letters and diaries. This page is under construction but in the coming months I will post as many letters as I can find for your enjoyment and research.

Confederate Letters and Memoirs

5 Letters from Lorenzo D. Fletcher describing the war in 1864

Six Letters of Charles Kelly, 16th Va CAV, 1863

Memoirs of Capt Samuel Coyner

Isaac Norval Baker Memoirs, 18th Va Cav

Memoirs: Archibald Atkinston, Jr, Surgeon, CSA, 31st Virgina Infantry and 10th Virginia Cavalry, 1861-65

Letters: George Rust Bedinger, 33rd Virginia Vol. Inf., Capt., Co. E, January 10, 1861 to May 14, 1863

Letter: Col. Arthur Cummings, 33rd Virginia Volunteer Infantry

Letters: Sgt. Ferdinand Dunlap, 33rd Virginia Volunteer Infantry

Letter: Jacob Golladay, Jr., 33rd Virginia Volunteer Infantry, Capt., Co. H, May 8, 1863

Memoir: Phoebe Yates Pember, first 8 chapters of A Southern Woman's Story; Pember was a nurse at the Confederate Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond

William J. Black Dairy

Joseph Waddell Diary Excerpt

Llewellyn Humphris Letter

On September 4, 1862, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia crossed the Potomac River and moved northward into Maryland on the first of Robert E. Lee's two ill-fated invasions of the enemy homeland. As part of his plan, Lee sent Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson to defeat the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry, Va., and open a vital supply line back to the verdant Shenandoah Valley. Jackson moved immediately to invest the town, occupying the heights overlooking the former U.S. arsenal. One of the divisions reinforcing Jackson was commanded by Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws; included in McLaws' force was the 15th North Carolina Infantry.

McLaws, a Georgian, was ordered by Jackson to capture Maryland Heights, north of Harpers Ferry, and secure the road to Sharpsburg that passed between the heights and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. For some reason, McLaws neglected to place a strong guard on the road, and on the night of September 14, a Union cavalry column commanded by Colonel Benjamin "Grimes" Davis managed to sneak out of Harpers Ferry and blast its way through the Confederate picket lines before escaping toward Sharpsburg. The blue-clad horsemen wounded or captured a number of unwary Confederates.

One of those wounded was a young private in Company E, 15th North Carolina Infantry, named David Ruffin Chandler. Young Chandler had scarcely been in the army a month and had not even had a chance to fire his rifle before taking a Union bullet in the leg. What follows are the few letters Chandler sent that traced his brief service in the Confederate Army.
David Ruffin Chandler Letters

Early in the War, a Georiga soldier came to Virginia with his regiment to fight with the Army of Northern Virginia. he was mortally wounded at Sharpsburg and taken to the Academy hospital in Winchester before being moved to Richmond were he died. After the War, William Crumly, a hospital chaplian wrote a story about that soldier, which you must read.
A Soldier's bible

After the War, GEORGE CARY EGGLESTON wrote a personal narrative about the people and events in the War that he saw for himself, and yet this is in no sense the story of his personal adventures.
"A Rebels Recollections"

To find out more about the people and places associated with the War Between the States in the Shenandoah Valley try people and places

Shenandoah Valley Civil War Home page

Confederate Units in the Shenandoah Valley
Federal Units that fought in the Valley
Confederate Graves in Massanutten Cemetery

Civil War Books and Tours