Valley of the Shadow
The War Years
Spring 1861–Spring 1865

Letters & Diaries


Cochran Family (1861)

John H. Cochran, a native of Augusta County, Virginia, watched the secession crisis from Richmond. When Virginia seceded from the Union, John, at the age of twenty-two, enlisted as a private in Company A of the 46th Virginia Infantry. He died of wounds received in battle in Petersburg in July 1864. His brother, Benjamin F. Cochran, enlisted in Waynesboro as a private in Company E of the 1st Virginia Cavalry. After the war, Benjamin farmed near Fishersville in Augusta County.

The following links provide access to the most likely matches in the Valley of the Shadow databases:

John H. Cochran

Benjamin F. Cochran

This collection consists of six letters written by John H. Cochran and Benjamin F. Cochran to their mother in the first months of the war. The letters from the Cochran brothers reveal details about their life in camp and experiences in battle.