Cadet Henry Reid Civil Papers
Civil War letters & diaries top level
Read Full Text Transcriptions of Civil War Letters (listed below)
About this Collection:
Civil War correspondence of James Henry Reid ("Henry"), VMI Class of 1866. The bulk of the collection consists of 13 letters from Reid to his parents, written while he was a fourth classman (1st year student, or Rat) at the Virginia Military Institute, Aug-Nov 1862. The letters contain extensive references to various aspects of cadet life, including hazing, academics, uniforms, food, guard duty, receiving goods through the blockade, and other topics of concern to a Civil War era cadet. The letters also document an early use of the term "Rat" as a name for new cadets. One subsequent letter (1864 March 7) was written while Reid was serving with the 13th Virginia Light Artillery Regiment; the collection also includes 4 miscellaneous letters, 1865 and 1867. James Henry Reid was born in 1845 in Prince William County, Virginia. Reid was a non-graduating member of the VMI Class of 1866 and served as a Private in Company A, Otey Battery, 13th Virginia Light Artillery. Following the war he was a farmer, bookkeeper and teacher in Prince William County; he died in 1921 and is buried in Manassas Cemetery.
- 1862, August-November, from VMI. Reid describes his experiences as a new cadet, or "Rat."
- 1864 March 7. Written while Read was serving in Co. A. (Otey Battery), 13th Virginia Artillery.