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Campbell, James M., (fl. 1861) [Diary of James M. Campbell, B company 5th regiment, Virginia, infantry]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03132 Author/Creator: Campbell, James M., (fl. 1861) Place Written: [various places] Type: Diary Date: 1861 Pagination: 1 diary Order a Copy

Diary in pencil except for 9-10 and 25-27 of August 1861. Campbell was in the "Rockbridge Rifles." He lived in Lexington, Virginia. Contains entries for most days from 1 January to 14 April 1861, and from 18 July to the end of the year. Many of the intervening pages, however, are not blank, for "the entries Made from 18th of April up to this 17th of August are Made from Memory I believe them to be Very Near true." Included among the entries drawn from memory are the accounts of his joining and first days in the Rockbridge Rifles (18-24 April), list of men in Rockbridge Rifles (27 May - 2 June), Stonewall Jackson's Farewell to his Brigade on 4 November 1861 (transcribes Jackson's speech on pages for 6-11 June 1861), and miscellaneous reflections and notes. Daily entries begin on 18 July, (a date at odds with Campbell's statement quoted above). It is likely that he meant July instead of August. Campbell mentions visiting "Miss [Norvell?] Caskie" in early 1861, before volunteering. (See the Caskie collection, GLC01433-1449). Collection also includes a book on the history of the 5th Virginia published in 1988.


18-20 April 1861
Joined the R. Rifles & received orders to march the same day we left about 3 P.M.

Arrive in Staunton about 4 AM took lodging at the Va Hotel left Staunton after dinner marched 10 mile halted at Mt Sidney and were kindly received & entertained by the citizens … landed in Harrisburg about 2 P.M. quartered temporarily in the court house we were soon taken care of by the citizens and we were present with a flag by the ladies of this place all hands were well pleased with their kind treatment

27 May 1861 - 2 June 1861
A List of the R. Rifles
Captain L. H. Letcher this company left Lexington Rockbridge county for Harpers fery where we arrived April 23 after a very pleasant trip down the valley, all the old Members will be marked +
Capt L. H. Letcher
E. F Paxton 1st Lieut
J. K. Edmonson 2nd …
[list continues]
… A. C. MClehure Killed at Mannassas

2 July 1861
We Met the Enemy 3 miles Below camp Stephens and tried our hands on them for the first time & many of us hoped it would be the last But alas for Human Expectation the order is rear to the hilt

21 July 1861
This day will be long remembered by all who participated in the struggle for liberty or death [Battle of Manassas]

9 August 1861
Troops all turned out to see the Prince Napoleon

30 September 1861
Saw Jeff Davis on his arrival at Fairfax Station

3 October 1861
Jeff Davis Johnson Beauregard and othe [sic] distinguished offices accompanied him to the Station on his return to Richmond there was quite a turnout of cavalry & Infantry and a Band discoursing fine Music amid the roar of artillery hearrid amid the ring of Musketry…

11 October 1861
General Review of Jackson's Brigade by Generals Johnson Smith and Beauregard and some other distinguished foreigners

4 November 1861
Genl Jackson assembled the Brigade for the purpose of delivering his farewell which was delivered about 12 A.M in the presence of the whole. All parted with him with feelings of deep regret

26 November 1861
Majority of the Regiment received permission to go to town to See a fellow Soldier shot the sentence was executed 12 AM and represented by those who witnessed it as Being very Solemn

19 December 1861
Our company was compelled to leave the [Honeywood] Mill in double quick time the Enemy Began to Shell the Mill the Bullets and Shell fell fast & thick around our Men we lost one of our worthiest men Joshua Parks he was killed dead his Body was not recovered until late at Night. I was present when the Dr extracted the Ball it entered Between his shoulder Blade & passed through the Base of his heart and through the breast bone protruding through the skin

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