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Sutton I. Harris Civil War Letter

Identifier: MS-0394
One letter, dated September 12, 1861, from Confederate soldier Sutton I. Harris, of Shenandoah County, Virginia, to "my dearest Lizzie." The letter was written from camp at Duffield's Station, Jefferson County[West] Virginia and contains complaints about food and camp hardships; mentions being surrounded by federal troops; personal news; mentions Col. Turner Ashby. Harris was a Private serving with the 7th Virginia Cavalry Regiment.


  • September 12, 1861


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1 items

Biographical / Historical

Sutton I. Harris was born circa 1844 in Shenandoah County, Virginia. Prior to the Civil War, he was employed as a tinner. He was described as being of fair complexion, with blue eyes and fair hair, and was 5 feet 9 inches tall. Based upon the events described, it appears that this letter was written in September 1861 while Sutton was serving in one of the companies of the 7th Virginia Cavalry. Although his name does not appear in published rosters of the 7th Virginia, many companies in this unit later became part of the 12th Virginia Cavalry, and Harris's official military record indicates that he enlisted in the 12th Virginia at Mt. Jackson on February 26, 1862. Sutton was about 17 years old when he wrote this letter to his fiancée, Lizzie. We do not know if they married before Harris was killed in action at Ream's Station on August 25, 1864.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450