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Campbell and Varner family papers

Identifier: MS-0282

A collection (1845-1928; bulk dated 1860-1865) of correspondence, photographs, and miscellaneous documents of R. Henry Campbell and members of the Varner family of Lexington, Rockbridge County, Virginia. Includes Civil War letters of soldiers R. Henry Campbell (1861 April-July) and Charles V. Varner (1864, 1865). The letters were written while they were serving with the Rockbridge Rifles (part of the 4th, 5th, and 27th Virginia Infantry regiments at various dates during the war). Significant topics in the Campbell letters include the unit's stay at Harper's Ferry and Martinsburg, and the 1st Battle of Manassas (1st Bull Run).

Additional correspondence of R. Henry Campbell (1864-1865), written after he accepted a position in the Treasurer's-Quartermaster's office at VMI, include a note written on May 13 before the Battle of New Market; letter written on June 14 after Hunter's Raid from the cadet camp at Rope Ferry; and letters describing life at VMI's temporary headquarters at the Alms House in Richmond and life in wartime Richmond, including mention of the use of black troops.

Other items in the collection are two notebooks (ca. 1861-62 and 1864), containing an early roster of Rockbridge rifles and list of killed and wounded; family photographs; broadside (July 1865) concerning occupation of Lexington by Union troops; miscellaneous family documents, including "Rules for the Lexington Classical School", 1845. The families were related through the marriage of R. Henry's sister, Augusta, to Charles V. Varner.


  • 1845-1928


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections in the VMI Archives are made available for educational and research use. The VMI Archives should be cited as the source. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright holders. Materials from our collections may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission from the VMI Archives. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.


0.5 Linear Feet (Approximately 40 items in one box and oversized case)

Biographical / Historical

Robert Henry Campbell of Lexington, VA; shoemaker; served with Rockbridge Rifles during Civil War (1861 only); discharged due to illness (tuberculosis); Clerk, Quartermaster and Treasurer at the Virginia Military Institute, 1864-1870; d. 1870, age 28, Lexington, VA.

Charles Van Buren Varner, b. Lexington, VA. 1838; served with Rockbridge Rifles during Civil War; cabinetmaker; carpenter at VMI; d. 1907, Lexington.

The families were related through the marriage of R. Henry's sister, Augusta, to Charles V. Varner.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks; and Oversized case 2

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450