A printer by trade, James Harvey Campbell joined the Crenshaw Light Artillery on March 14, 1862 to avoid conscription. His letters written over the course of the war reveal much concern over the safety and well-being of his wife and family, vain attempts to find a home for a slave woman and her family, the daily struggles of James throughout the war, and end with his capture at the Battle of Five Forks, when Union forces broke through the Confederate lines at Dinwiddie County, Virginia.

These letters immediately captured my attention not only because they were written throughout the Civil War, but because they contained very descriptive accounts of one mans daily emotional and physical sufferings to survive the war, and return home to his family. The letters also give us insight into the daily life of the Crenshaw Battery, a locally raised artillery unit from Richmond, Virginia.

The Civil War Letters of James Harvey Campbell   |   Researched and presented by Mark Lamb