The WHH Collection
This is the web site of the letters of William Harmon Harden, a Georgia Confederate soldier, later a minister, primarily his letters home during the Civil War, totaling over 50,000 words. This site also includes a complete index of individuals mentioned (over 250), locations (94), and diseases (49) as well as his personal history, a combat history of his regiment, the 63rd Georgia Volunteer Infantry, the roster of (his) Company G, photographs, sketches, maps, family genealogy, and other supporting information.
These letters show those who read them the several dimensions of a young, rural, Georgian loyal to family, farm, friends, God, and country. Harmon Harden writes poetry, shows humor, plays games, talks politics, considers desertion, fights diseases, shares dreams, witnesses an execution, reveals religious beliefs, and speaks of love. Possibly he is an authentic representative of his time. Because of his relative literacy, the letters paint a broader picture of his farming community of Milner, Georgia (2000 population 522). After the war, he became a Primitive Baptist minister, founding churches in Pike County and Ben Hill County, Georgia that still exist today.
What follows is the Second Edition (2008), the web equivalent of the First Edition (1998, published in hard copy with limited distribution), updated, with added improvements in the Appendices. The letters are largely self-explanatory. Where warranted, this author's commentary, in brackets and red type, provide further explanation and raise research questions for readers.
Key Words: U.S. Civil War; war letters; correspondence; Harden; 63rd Georgia; 63d Georgia; 53rd Massachusetts; 53rd Ohio; Savannah; Hanleiter Battery; Thunderbolt Battery; Fort (Ft.) Thunderbolt; Fort (Ft.) McAllister; Fort (Ft.) Wagner; Atlanta Campaign; Sherman's March; Battle of Kennesaw Mountain; Pike County, Georgia; Irwin County, Georgia; townball; Primitive Baptist.