In May 1861, Virginian Thomas Henry Carter raised an
artillery battery and joined the Confederate Army. Over the next four years, he
rose steadily in rank from captain to colonel, placing him among the senior
artillerists in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. During the war,
Carter wrote more than one hundred revealing letters to his wife, Susan, about
his service. His interactions with prominent officers—including Lee, Jubal A.
Early, John B. Gordon, Robert E. Rodes, and others—come to life in Carter’s
astute comments about their conduct and personalities. Combining insightful
observations on military operations, particularly of the Battles of Antietam
and Spotsylvania Court House and the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, with
revealing notes on the home front and the debate over the impressment and
arming of slaves, Carter’s letters are particularly interesting because his
writing is not overly burdened by the rhetoric of the southern ruling class.
Here, Graham Dozier offers the definitive edition of Carter’s
letters, meticulously transcribed and carefully annotated. This impressive collection
brings to light Carter’s unvarnished opinions of the people and events that
shaped his wartime experience, shedding new light on Lee’s army and Confederate
life in Virginia. Download and start listening now!