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A Gunner in Lee's Army: The Civil War Letters of Thomas Henry Carter

A Gunner in Lee's Army: The Civil War Letters of Thomas Henry Carter

by Graham T. Dozier, Peter S. Carmichael
A Gunner in Lee's Army: The Civil War Letters of Thomas Henry Carter

A Gunner in Lee's Army: The Civil War Letters of Thomas Henry Carter

by Graham T. Dozier, Peter S. Carmichael


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In May 1861, Virginian Thomas Henry Carter (1831–1908) raised an artillery battery and joined the Confederate army. Over the next four years, he rose steadily in rank from captain to colonel, placing him among the senior artillerists in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. During the war, Carter wrote more than 100 revealing letters to his wife, Susan, about his service. His interactions with prominent officers--including Lee, Jubal A. Early, John B. Gordon, Robert E. Rodes, and others--come to life in Carter's astute comments about their conduct and personalities. Combining insightful observations on military operations, particularly of the Battles of Antietam and Spotsylvania Court House and the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, with revealing notes on the home front and the debate over the impressment and arming of slaves, Carter's letters are particularly interesting because his writing is not overly burdened by the rhetoric of the southern ruling class.

Here, Graham Dozier offers the definitive edition of Carter's letters, meticulously transcribed and carefully annotated. This impressive collection provides a wealth of Carter's unvarnished opinions of the people and events that shaped his wartime experience, shedding new light on Lee's army and Confederate life in Virginia.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469618753
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 09/25/2014
Series: Civil War America
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 368
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Graham T. Dozier is managing editor of publications at the Virginia Historical Society.
Peter S. Carmichael is Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies at Gettysburg College and Director of the Civil War Institute. His books include Lee's Young Artillerist: William R. J. Pegram and Audacity Personified: The Generalship of Robert E. Lee.

Table of Contents

Foreword Peter S. Carmichael xi

Acknowledgments xv

Editorial Methods and Notes xix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Life before the War 7

Chapter 2 1861 15 September-29 December 1861 25

Chapter 3 From Northern Virginia to the Peninsula 8 January-1 May 1862 85

Chapter 4 To Maryland and Back 13 July-17 December 1862 27

Chapter 5 Winter Quarters 20 January-25 June 1863 163

Chapter 6 Guarding the Rapidan 18 September-27 December 1863 197

Chapter 7 From the Wilderness to the Valley 17 March-31 December 1864 233

Chapter 8 War's End 1 January-7 March 1865 281

Chapter 9 Life after the War 297

Appendix: Selected Genealogy of the Thomas Henry Carter Family 313

Bibliography 315

Index 329

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Col. Tom Carter belongs on any short list of the bright young artillerists who made Lee's 'Long Arm' famous, in company with Pelham, Pegram, Alexander, and Huger. His smart and perceptive letters, skillfully edited by Graham Dozier, make one of the best primary sources on the Army of Northern Virginia to reach print in recent memory.—Robert K. Krick, author of The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy and Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain.

A Gunner in Lee's Army comprises the best published recollections we have of a Virginia artillery commander. In over 100 letters to his wife, Carter was extremely observant as well as highly opinionated about military actions and individual officers. Superbly edited, this book is a necessary source for any study of the Army of Northern Virginia.—James I. Robertson Jr., author of Stonewall Jackson

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