James Miles Diary
Scope and Content
The collection consists of the American Civil War diary of James Miles. The diary's entries date from January through March 1865 and include descriptions of battles and the deaths of soldiers by snipers. Miles' short entries relate the physical and emotional difficulties of being a soldier as evidenced by an entry about a fellow soldier who had deserted, "supposed to shoot him but didn't have it in me". The last entry is on the day before Miles was killed in action which was ten days before the end of the war.
- Miles, James, d.1865 (Person)
Language of Materials
The material in the collection is in English.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use
The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.
Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
James R. Miles was born to Henry R. and Sophia E. Miles in about 1846. During the American Civil War, he enlisted as a Union soldier with Company K of the 185th Regiment, New York Infantry at Syracuse, New York on September 3, 1864. The 185th regiment was organized at Syracuse, New York and Company K was mustered in September 21, 1864. The regiment left for Petersburg, Virginia on September 27, 1864 and was attached to the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 5th Army corps of the Army of the Potomac until May of 1865. During the term of service, the regiment lost 59 soldiers by death from wounds and 39 enlisted men by death from diseases. Miles was killed in action on March 29, 1865, at the age of 19, and he is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York.
"Miles, James", National Park Service's Civil War Soldier Database, https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-soldiers-detail.htm?soldierId=7209D0BA-DC7A-DF11-BF36-B8AC6F5D926A, accessed April 21, 2023.
"Union New York Volunteers: 185th Regiment, New York Infantry", National Park Service's Civil War Soldier Database, https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=UNY0185RI, accessed April 21, 2023.
"185th Infantry Regiment", New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, https://museum.dmna.ny.gov/unit-history/infantry-2/185th-infantry-regiment, accessed April 21, 2023.
"James R. Miles", Findagrave.com, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/76038786/james-r-miles, accessed April 21, 2023.
0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)
The collection consists of the American Civil War diary of James Miles, an enlisted Union soldier in the 185th Regiment of the New York Infantry. The diary describes soldier life and spans from January to March 1865 until the author was killed in action.
Source of Acquisition
The James Miles Diary was purchased by Special Collections in 2009.
Existence and Location of Copies
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the James Miles Diary by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
The processing, arrangement, and description of the James Miles Diary commenced and was completed in February 2010.
- James Miles Diary, 1865
- Carmen Boggs-Parker, Graduate Assistant
- 2010 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
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