Letters (3 items) written by Cadet John H. Shields to his parents while he was a cadet at VMI. Items are dated March 24 and April 7, 1864, and undated letter fragment. In addition to routine matters, letter of March 24 mentions faculty member Thomas H. Williamson going to Panther's Gap to "survey the land, and make arrangements for throwing up fortifications and breastworks"; and discusses how cadets coped with the rationing of food.
Miscellaneous unrelated document: field dispatch, July 31, 1862, from A.P. Mason to Brig. Gen. Charles S. Winder mentioning Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Addition 2009 April: Photocopy of letter dated February 14, 1863. Largely family news; visit from father; "my 'rat hood' is now, nearly out. I shall [have] all the privileges of an old cadet very soon."