Correspondence, 1863 May 18-29
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of 33 letters and five envelopes from Henry (Harry) Campbell Miller to various members of his family along with 11 additional letters, estate documents, receipts, and fragments.
Henry Campbell Miller was a student at the University of North Carolina from Pendleton, South Carolina who joined the 3rd Regiment of South Carolina to fight for the Confederacy in 1862. His letters detail troop movement, his opinions about the war, interactions with residents near his encampments, and give glimpses of his soldier activities to his family at home. While Miller recounts a great amount of detail of regimental life, he also often recounts his many courtships with young women in and around the areas of his camps. At one time he reports that a woman gave him a ring to remember her by but that alas, the courtship has ceased because he was no longer willing to walk the mile or so to continue to call on her.
Miller participated in many of major battles of the war with his regiment, including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Cold Harbor. He gives great detail regarding the poor quality of his shoes, especially with the long marches and he writes often about the rancid and scarce food supplies to the troops. Despite these complaints, Miller maintains a positive outlook and insists on his commitment to the Confederacy, seems content to remain fighting, and states his firm belief that he fights to protect the women of the South. In most of his letters, Miller closes with a wish for his family to give his best regards to the African Americans (presumed enslaved) who live with his family, especially the house attendants. An enslaved individual, James, accompanies Miller for a large portion of his time while serving in the 3rd Regiment. He returns home only for a short while to unburden Miller of unnecessary supplies while encamped.
One of Miller's letters laments the death of Stonewall Jackson and another comments on the easy time his troop will have once they learned that McClellan has again taken control of the Army of the Potomac. During his service with the Confederacy, Miller served with his good friend, Tally, who was killed in battle outside of Atlanta in late 1863- presumably the battle of Chickamauga. Miller, who was ill and diagnosed with dyspepsia was still recovering when news of his friend's death reached him. Miller's father joined him for a short while and endeavored to find a substitute for his son so he could further recover and also to recover the body of Tally. Miller Sr. was successful in recovering Tally for burial in Pendleton, but was unsuccessful in locating a substitute for his son. Henry "Harry" Campbell Miller was killed in battle on October 13 at the Battle of Cedar Creek in Virginia.
The accompanying receipts, estate document, and letters concern Miller's father, Dr. Henry Campbell Miller and other family. Of note is a letter written by Dr. Miller to General J. B. Kershaw thanking him for the photograph and note. In the letter, Miller took the time to write admiringly about his son and his service to the Confederate Army.
- Creation: 1863 May 18-29
- From the Collection: Miller, Henry Campbell (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
From the Collection: 0.25 Linear Feet