Benjamin M. Harman, a resident of Porter, Van Buren County, Michigan enlisted at the age of 23 in Company D of the 6th Michigan Infantry on August 20, 1861. During the Civil War he was stationed at Camp Baltimore, Maryland and Camp Parapet, Louisiana. He was killed in battle at Port Hudson, Louisiana on May 27, 1863.
Harman records in the two diaries the day-to-day activities of a soldier, including meals, marches, a trip on a schooner, illnesses, skirmishes, and his income and expenses. The diaries span the dates December 21, 1861 to May 27, 1863, the day that he was killed in battle at Port Hudson, Louisiana.
The other papers are photocopies of muster rolls for Harman (1861-1863) and correspondence (1881-1888) by his mother and relatives trying to secure his pension for his mother.