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William J. Black Civil War diary and VMI account book

Identifier: MS-0015
This collection consists of the one volume diary of Confederate soldier William J. Black. The diary entries date from October 1864 to January 1865, written while Black was serving in Captain John J. Shoemaker's Company, Virginia Horse Artillery. Included are brief accounts of various skirmishes and the Battle of Cedar Creek, and campsites and positions that are recorded daily.

Following the diary entries are copies of two of Shoemaker's reports detailing Battery activities, dated September 1, 1864 (covering the period May to August) and December 25, 1864 (covering the period September to December 25). The volume also contains Black's VMI account book, listing expenses incurred while a cadet (1862-1864) prior to joining Confederate Army.


  • 1862-1865


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.


1 items

Biographical / Historical

William Johnson Black was born in Lynchburg, Virginia on August 2, 1845. He was the son of Allen J. Black and Mary Haythe, both of Campbell County, Virginia. Black entered VMI in 1862 and resigned in 1864 to join the Confederate Army. He served in Captain John J. Shoemaker's Battery (Breathed's Battalion, Stuart Horse Artillery).

Following the Civil War he was in the express company business in Lynchburg. He married Virginia Price on March 5, 1871 and the couple had two children (Charles and E. Stockton). Black died at the Confederate Soldiers' Home in Richmond, Virginia on January 24, 1935.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450