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Charles L. C. Minor Cash Book and Edward P. Harmon Civil War Diary, 1860-1864 (Ms2008-081)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2008-081_MinorHarmon_Diary_1860-1864


  • 1860 - 1864


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Charles L. C. Minor Cash Book and Edward P. Harmon Civil War Diary Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Biographical Information

Charles Landon Carter Minor, son of Lucius Horatio and Cartherine Berkley Minor, was born on December 3, 1835 at Edgewood (Hanover County), Virginia. Minor received his master of arts from the University of Virginia in 1858 and taught school at the Virginia Female Institute (Staunton) and in Albemarle County. He married Fanny Annsley Cazenove in 1860. The couple settled in the small town of Negro Foot, just north of Richmond, Virginia, and had two daughters.

In 1861, Minor joined the Confederate Army, enlisting as a private in the 1st Rockbridge Artillery but soon transferred to Company K, 2nd Virginia Cavalry, with which he participated in the Battle of First Manassas and Jackson's Valley Campaign. By February 1863, Minor was an ordnance officer at Dublin Depot, Virginia, and he served at General Albert G. Jenkins' aide-de-camp at the nearby Battle of Cloyd's Mountain (May 9, 1864). Promoted to captain on August 1, 1864, Minor was appointed chief ordnance officer of the Confederate Army's Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, reporting to Major General Samuel Jones. At war's end, Minor was serving as executive officer at the Richmond Arsenal.

In 1867, Minor became president of the Maryland Agricultural College (now University of Maryland). He resigned the following year, however, and operated a private school in Lynchburg, Virginia, before becoming professor of Latin and director of the preparatory school at the University of the South (Sewanee, Tennessee). He served in that position until named the first president of the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) in 1872. In 1874, he received a law degree from William & Mary College.

Removed from office during an 1879 reorganization of the college, Minor served as principal of Shenandoah Valley Academy (Winchester, Virginia) and St. Paul's School (Baltimore, Maryland) before becoming vice principal of Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. When his health began to fail, Minor privately tutored students in his Baltimore home. A Confederate apologist, Minor during this time also contributed a number of articles to Baltimore and Richmond newspapers on historical and political subjects. In 1901, he published a 66-page booklet titled The Real Lincoln. During the last year of his life, he completed a second, expanded edition of the work, which was published posthumously. Charles L. C. Minor died in Albemarle County, Virginia on July 13, 1903.

Edward P. Harmon was born in Maine around 1844. A resident of New Gloucester, he joined the Union Army, enlisting as a private in Company E of the 5th Maine Infantry in 1861. He is listed as a musician within a roster of units serving at the Battle of Gettysburg. In 1865, Harmon married Emma Frances Tobey (1841-1929) in Gardiner, Maine, where the couple would continue to live, with Edward Harmon employed as a machinist. In 1883, Harmon filed for a veteran's invalid pension. He died in 1888. Census records indicate that the Harmons had no children who survived to adulthood.

The 5th Maine Infantry was organized in Portland, Maine and mustered into Federal service on June 24, 1861. Less than a month later, the regiment was participating in the First Battle of Bull Run. The 5th remained in the Washington D.C. area through March 1862, maintaining defenses. Ordered to the Virginia Peninsula on April 22, the regiment participated in the siege of Yorktown and the Seven Days Battles, then remained at Harrison's Landing before participating the retreat and returning to northern Virginia in August. Later that fall, it participated in the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg before settling into winter quarters. In 1863, the regiment participated in the Chancellorsville Campaign and the Battle of Gettysburg. 1864 found the 5th Maine again in eastern Virginia, as it participated in several battles, including the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna and Cold Harbor. The regiment was mustered out at the end of its three-year term of service on July 27, 1864.

Language of Materials



Civil War-era cash book of Captain Charles L. C. Minor, Confederate Army ordnance officer and first president of Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (1872-1879). Also contains diary entries of Union Army Private Edward P. Harmon, 5th Maine Infantry, for May-June 1864. Accompanied by research materials on the two soldiers (including maps, muster rolls, and pension notes) and a complete photocopy of the cash book/diary.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US