While a member of Co. H of the nine-months' 26th Connecticut Infantry Regiment, James A. Lord carefully recorded his experiences in two small pocket diaries, which together cover the entire period from the date of volunteering to the date he was reunited with his family. Lord was involved in only a single campaign, but a grueling and costly one, Port Hudson.
Having apparently received a strong education, Lord's writing displays a clarity lacking in many Civil War diaries, and is straightforward and engaging, if not quite eloquent. While the entries are usually brief, when the siege heats up, Lord lavishes greater attention and does not stint on the details. His accounts of each of the three major assaults at Port Hudson (May 27, June 13-14) are excellent, the last, when he was wounded, being truly outstanding. Equally worthwhile are his account of sharpshooting amid crawling rebels and heavy fire, afraid to shoot lest he reveal his position (May 31), and his version of defying his colonel's orders and the consequences that resulted is humorous and highly unusual.
Lord's original diaries were transcribed, probably in the 1960s of 1970s, and a penciled notation on the typescript indicates that the location of the originals has since been lost.