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William J. Lacey Diary

Identifier: Ms-2011-115

Scope and Content

The collection consists of the diary of William J. Lacey, private with Co. C, 11th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry. Although the diary is for 1860, Lacey appears not to have acquired the volume until 1861. As a result, he has hand corrected the date and year throughout the volume. The front of the diary includes scattered notes, while the majority of the entries were written between July 1861 and February 1862, at which point Lacey appears to have gone on furlough.

The diary recounts Lacey's on-going struggles with illness. His first significant entry begins at Winchester, Virginia, July 17, 1861. He remarks that the "south will owe a debt of deep gratitude to her sons who are perilling health + life for her. A battle is nothing. It is the suffering otherwise that we have to undergo. may god smile upon our effort." Lacey's ill health continues to plague him. Lacey's early entries detail his experiences at First Manassas/Battle of Bull Run and at other sites near Charlottesville and Gordonsville, Virginia. In addition, like many soldiers, Lacey frequent records the weather, letters written and received, and the latest movements of his regiment. Aside from cash accounts at the end of the diary, Lacey's final note, written into the memoranda pages and providing contact information should anything happen to him, was dated February 1863 at Richmond.


  • 1861 - 1863


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from William J. Lacey Diary must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Biographical Note

William J. Lacey was born about 1833 in Pennsylvania. According to 1860 census records, he was living with his family in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. Lacey served with Company C of the 11th Mississippi Infantry during the Civil War. He enlisted as a private in March 1861 and served with the CSA until April 1865.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of the diary of William J. Lacey, a private with Company C, 11th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry. Entries in the diary are scattered and range from simple notes about the weather and letter writing to Lacey's experiences at First Manassas/Battle of Bull Run, and most date from 1861.

Acquisition Information

Special Collections purchased the William J. Lacey Diary in November 2011.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the William J. Lacey Diary was completed in December 2011.

A Guide to the William J. Lacey Diary, 1861-1863
Andrea Ledesma, Student Assistant, and Kira Dietz, Archivist
© 2012 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.
Language of description
Script of description

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