A Guide to the James Henry Reid Papers, 1862-1867 Reid, James Henry, papers mss 00222

A Guide to the James Henry Reid Papers, 1862-1867

A Collection in
Virginia Military Institute Archives
Collection Number mss 00222


Virginia Military Institute Archives

Virginia Military Institute Archives
Preston Library
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, Virginia 24450-0304
Phone: (540) 464-7566
Fax: (540) 464-7279
Email: archives@vmi.edu
URL: http://www.vmi.edu/archives

© 2002 Virginia Military Institute

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Virginia Military Institute Archives Staff

Archives, Preston Library, Virginia Military Institute
Collection number
mss 00222
James Henry Reid Papers 1862-1867
Physical Characteristics
The collection consists of 18 items.

Administrative Information


There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

James Henry Reid Papers, mss 00222, Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, Virginia.

Alternative Form

The bulk of the James Henry Reid Papers are available in full-text format on the VMI Archives website at: http://www.vmi.edu/archives/manuscripts/ms0222.html

Biographical/Historical Information

James Henry Reid, Jr. was born at Brentsville, Prince William County, Virginia in 1845. His parents were James Henry Reid, Sr. and Amy Ann Tolson. Reid entered the Virginia Military Institute in 1862 and resigned in January 1864 to join the Confederate Army. He served in 1864-1865 as a private in Company A, 13th Battalion Virginia Light Artillery (Otey's Battery) and was paroled at Appomattox.

During the post-war years Reid engaged in many professions, including that of teacher, justice of the peace, notary public, bookkeeper, banker, and farmer. He married Beulah Reese on December 10, 1868, at Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia. They had several children; living in 1921 were J. Henry, Jr., William, David, Beulah, and Amy. Much of Reid's life was spent in Prince William County, Virginia, where he died in 1921. He is buried at Manassas, Virginia.

Scope and Content Information

The collection consists of the Civil War correspondence (18 items) of James Henry Reid. Included are 13 letters from Reid to his parents written while he was a fourth classman at the Virginia Military Institute, August - November 1862. This correspondence contains many references to wartime cadet life, including use of the term "rat" as a name for new cadets, hazing, uniforms, food, guard duty and other aspects of life at VMI during the Civil War. The papers also contain one letter (1864 March 7) written while Reid was serving with the 13th Virginia Light Artillery Regiment, Confederate Army; and 4 miscellaneous letters, 1865 and 1867.


The collection is arranged in chronological order.

Contents List

  • Letters written from the Virginia Military Institute,

    Written to his parents, regarding his experiences as a new cadet, or "rat." Many references to Civil War cadet life.

    • 1862 August 10
    • 1862 August 14
    • 1862 August 18
    • 1862 August 26
    • 1862 August 28
    • 1862 September 14
    • 1862 September 27
    • 1862 September 30
    • 1862 October 5
    • 1862 October 12
    • 1862 October 18
    • 1862 October 26
    • 1862 November 1

      "We get up every morning at 5 o'clock to Rev (before day), go on Squad drill at 51/2 & drill til 61/2 (You may imagine how cold is is especially our hands which rests against the butt of the stock which is covered with Iron), after we come off to find no fire in our room which is considered the coldest in Barracks"

  • 13th Virginia Light Artillery
    • 1864 March 7

      Written from Camp at Carter's Station.

  • Correspondence, Miscellaneous
    1864; 1867