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

Letters & Diaries


James Carman (1862)

Enlisting while in his mid-twenties, James Carman served as a lieutenant in 107th Pennsylvania Volunteers during the war. Two of Carman’s letters to his father describe camp conditions, troop movements, battles, and Carman’s own difficult decisions about staying in the army.

In one letter, July 18, 1862, James Carman wrote to his father, Martin W. Carman, regarding expectations of an upcoming approach to Richmond, the conduct of the war, his decision not to resign from the army, and differences in attitudes toward the war between urban and rural Virginians. In another letter, December 17, 1862, Carman wrote to his father about the Battle of Fredericksburg, the lateness of his pay, and his desire to resign from the army.