In May 1861, Virginian Thomas Henry Carter 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 brings to light 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.