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James A. Harden papers

Identifier: MS-0476
The bulk of the collection consists of letters written by James A. Harden to his sister, covering wartime events experienced by his unit as well as his time at Ft. Delaware, Delaware. Also included is one letter written from VMI in June 1861 and miscellaneous items.


  • 1860-1866


Conditions Governing 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.


27 items (Approximately 27 items)

Contents Note

James A. Harden came to VMI on June 4, 1861 to receive military training. After a few weeks he joined the Confederate Army, serving with the 36th Virginia Infantry Regiment and the 23rd Virginia Battalion before being captured at the third battle of Winchester. He was held at Ft. Delware until the end of the war.

Harden was born on December 8, 1841 in Greenville, Augusta County Virginia to Daniel Madison Harden (1813-1887) of Kentucky and Eliza Ann Gibbons (1815-1848) of Virginia.

Harden married Winnie Ella Berkey (1859-1921) of Buckingham County Virginia in 1880. Together they had eight children, Susan Mary Harden, Annie Tupper Harden, David Humphreys Harden, James Edwin Harden, Mildred Lee Harden, Robert Edward Harden, Benhamin Bee Harden, and Dixie Mae Harden.

Harden enlisted in the 36th Virginia Regiment and was appointed sergeant major on Aug 10, 1861. He is shown as Acting Assistant Adjutant General in the 2nd Brigade Army of the Kanawha in November 1861. He resigned and and was discharged on March 25, 1862 and became Acting Adjutant for the 23rd Virginia Battalion sometime in the summer of 1862. Harden was appointed 1st lieutenant and Adjutant of the 23rd Battalion on November 20, 1862. He was praised for "distinguished gallantry" at Droop Mountain in November, 1863. He was captured at the Third Battle of Winchester and held at Ft. Delaware, Delaware where he was released on oath June 12, 1865.

Harden died on September 7, 1942 in Dillwyn, Virginia.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450