Manuscript Resources on The Civil War

This guide describes collections documenting the Civil War in the Lower Mississippi Valley, including the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas, in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU. The guide includes not only materials from the war years (1861-1865) themselves, but also materials from later periods containing manuscript sources for Civil War history. Thus such sources as post-war reminiscences and records of veterans' groups--materials dealing with the war as memory and experience--will be found alongside soldiers' and civilians' letters, diaries, and daybooks from the war itself. In addition, the guide includes collections of papers of Louisiana and other area soldiers who fought outside of the Lower Mississippi Valley.

LSU's holdings of Civil War manuscripts make LLMVC a rich treasure-trove for researchers. Many researchers are studying these documents from new perspectives, to see what they have to tell us about women's experiences on the home front and about Louisiana's African Americans, a significant number of whom fought for the Union. Louisiana played a central role in the war, with the fall of Port Hudson in July 1863 a critical event. Much of the state was long occupied by Union forces, and LLMVC contains the papers of numerous Union as well as Confederate soldiers. Other areas of strength include materials documenting the siege of Vicksburg, the Battle of Shiloh, and the Red River campaign.

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"We are for the union" Civil War song, circa 1861-1865. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Printed lyrics of "We Are for the Union," a boisterous anthem of eight four-line stanzas, each with four-line chorus. The song celebrates the loyalty of Union troops, reserving especial priase for those from Pennsylvania, and castigates Confederate rebels for their treason and attempt to exempt themselves from federal taxation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3108.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

30th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment Clothing Book, 1861-1863. 1 volume. Location: O:61. Account ledger of clothing issued to soldiers in Company A of the 30th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Includes names of soldiers being issued clothing, date of issue, and cost. Soldier discharges and deaths are also recorded. Mss. 5309.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Paxson, Charles, died 1880. A slave girl from New Orleans carte-de-visite, circa 1864. 1 photograph. Location: MISC:S. Charles Paxson was a photographer in New York during the 1860s. He created carte-de-visite photographs and was one of a few photographers who took photographs of emancipated slaves for Major General Nathaniel P. Banks' campaign to raise funds for emancipated slaves in Louisiana. The carte-de-visite, titled "A Slave Girl from New Orleans" (1864), features the image of a very Caucasian looking African American, Rebecca, from New Orleans. Rebecca was a recently emancipated slave of her white father from New Orleans. New Orleans was under the command of the Union Army's Major General Nathaniel P. Banks. Rebecca was one of eight slaves from New Orleans to tour the North and raise funds for Banks' work in Louisiana. Carte-de-visites, like this one, were sold to raise that money and the back of the carte-de-visite states the sales money was "devoted to the education of colored people in the department of the Gulf." Mss. 5102.

A Song for the Ladies broadside, [ca. 1863]. 1 item. Location: Misc.:S. The author of the broadside, "Bones," was a drummer in Company G of the 77th Illinois Infantry Regiment, formerly of the 130th Illinois. Lyrics compare virtues of soldiers to flaws of men who stayed at home. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 4290

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Civil War

A. F. Whelan Diary, 1865-1866 One vol. Location: G:20. A.F. Whelan served in the U.S. Army, 3rd Michigan Cavalry, Co. Diary concerns the final days of the war, with entries on Lincoln's assassination, capture of Jefferson Davis, and the steamship, SULTANA. Entries refer to insubordination, desertion and prisoners, and General Sheridan's march to Texas. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4747

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Civil War

Abstract of wages paid to teachers employed in city colored schools, Memphis, Tennessee, 1864 December. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Abstract signed by T. A. Walker, captain, 63rd United States Colored Infantry, listing wages to teachers in African American schools in Memphis, Tennessee, administered by the Freedman's Department during the Union occupation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3092.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Education, African Americans

Account of the Red River Expedition, ca. 1890. 1 item (28 pages). Location: Misc:A. Union soldier in the Civil War, a Vermont native in Nim's 2nd Massachusetts Battery. Anonymously written account of the Red River Expedition in Louisiana. The writer speculates about the reasons for and possible outcomes of the expedition and comments on generals Butler and Banks. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3422.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Achord, M. H. Map, 1931. 1 item. Location: OS:A. Map drawn from memory by M. H. Achord depicting an area on the boundary of East Baton Rouge Parish and Livingston Parish, Louisiana. The map indicates that a Civil War skirmish or other war-related incident took place in this area. Available on University Publications of America microfilm 5735: Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Adams, George D. Letter, 1864. 1 item (4 pages). Location: Misc:A. Federal soldier encamped at Morganza, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Adams' letter to his brother describes the confiscation of United States mail by the Confederate navy and equipment left at Morganza by the Union army upon its departure for Little Rock, Arkansas. The letter also describes preparations made by the Union army at Morganza in anticipation of a Confederate attack. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1220.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Adams, Israel L., 1801-1860. Family Papers, 1813-1890 (bulk 1852-1866). 0.5 linear ft. (505 items, 1 ms. Vol.). Location: Y:83, Mss. Mf.:A, E:Imprints. Merchant and farmer of Natchez, Mississippi. Collection consists of correspondence, bills, receipts, and printed items. Letters of the Adams children and others describe the Civil War in Arkansas and Mississippi. Some letters describe experiences of an immigrant cotton farmer in Sao Paulo, Brazil; other papers relate to German immigrants. Some letters in German. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3637.

Adams, John Q. Letter, 1864 June 30. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A. Captain of the 29th Maine Volunteers during the Civil War. Letter from Morganza, Louisiana, to Major General J. J. Reynolds, commanding U.S. forces in the field, requesting that a deserter be returned to his regiment with full pay. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2414.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Affleck, Thomas. Papers, 1807-1876 (bulk 1842-1868). 12 linear feet, 43 mss. volumes, 6 printed volumes, 26 microfilm reels. Location: W:110-121, J:25, OS:A, MSS.MF:A. Native of Scotland who established one of the first commercial nurseries in the South and published widely on scientific and agricultural subjects. He also published the Southern Rural Almanac and Plantation Garden Calendar from 1845 to the 1860s. Early papers concern Affleck's family in Scotland. Papers from 1842 to 1859 pertain to the management of Affleck's wife's plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, his commercial nursery, and his service as agricultural editor of several newspapers. Civil War letters by Affleck's sons describe battles, camp life, and troop movements. Post-Civil War papers describe Affleck's agricultural and speculative enterprises. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3, 4, 1110, 1263, 1264.

Alexander, Edward Porter, 1835-1910. Circular letter, 1866.1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Confederate Chief of Artillery, 1st Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. He was the author of several books on the Civil War and railroads, including THE WILDERNESS CAMPAIGN and MILITARY MEMOIRS OF A CONFEDERATE. Printed circular letter, written from Columbia, South Carolina, requesting official reports, accounts of events and skirmishes, and similar materials related to General James Longstreet's command during the Civil War. Alexander wished to collect these materials for use in writing a history of Longstreet's military career. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 917.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Allaire, Charles B. Letter, 1863 March 4. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Soldier in the Union army who served in Louisiana during the Civil War. Allaire's letter to a professor, sent from an army camp at Lake Providence, Louisiana, includes a description of waterways in the area. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3271.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Allen, Henry Watkins, 1820-1866, Broadside. 1 item. Location: OS:L. Lawyer of Mississippi who served in both the Mississippi and Louisiana legislatures. Allen served in the 4th Louisiana Regiment during the Civil War and was Confederate governor of Louisiana in 1864. Broadside announcing public speaking by Colonel Henry Watkins Allen and Thomas C. W. Ellis at the East Feliciana Parish Court House in Clinton, Louisiana, on October 4, by order of the American Party Central Committee. Part of the Louisiana Broadside Collection. For further information online catalog. Mss. 3705.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War

Allen, Henry Watkins, 1820-1866, Portrait. 1 item. Location: OS:A. Lawyer of Mississippi who served in both the Mississippi and Louisiana legislatures. Allen served in the 4th Louisiana Regiment during the Civil War and was Confederate governor of Louisiana in 1864. Etched portrait of Allen by Charles B. Hall, published in his MILITARY RECORDS OF GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA (1898). For further information online catalog. Mss. 3620.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War

Allen, Henry Watkins, 1820-1866. Letter, 1863 June 13. 1 item [photocopy]. Location: Misc.:A. Lawyer of Mississippi who served in both the Mississippi and Louisiana legislatures. Allen served in the 4th Louisiana Regiment during the Civil War and was Confederate governor of Louisiana in 1864. Letter announces his departure for Bladen Springs, Alabama, to recuperate from leg injuries suffered in the burning of the Bowman house in Jackson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3053.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War

Allen, Henry Watkins, 1820-1866. Letter and related photograph, 1864 July 6. 2 items. Location: Misc:A. Lawyer of Mississippi who served in both the Mississippi and Louisiana legislatures. Allen served in the 4th Louisiana Regiment during the Civil War and was Confederate governor of Louisiana in 1864. Letter from Allen to William F. Lockwood, keeper of machinery of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, authorizes Lockwood to loan penitentiary looms to cotton planters in eastern Louisiana and includes instructions for loaning the looms. Included is a photograph of Lockwood. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2867.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Civil War

Allen, William M. Correspondence, 1858-1863. 22 items. Location: E:3. Farmer of Holmesville, Pike County, Mississippi. His sister, Letty, and her husband, John Houston, owned a farm in Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana. William and his brother Felix were Confederate soldiers in the Mississippi Volunteers. Pre-Civil War letters from Houston discuss farming conditions, his advocacy of secession, and local social events. Civil War letters to Allen describe skirmishes in Kentucky and Louisiana, and war news such as the shelling of Port Hudson, Louisiana. Family affairs, illness and remedies, and attendance at the New Orleans School of Medicine are other topics in the letters. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 701, 2287.

Alley, Mary, Scrapbooks, 1843, 1862-1884, 1910.109 items, 3 vols. Location: Mss. Mf.:A. Baton Rouge native and wife of Charles Henry Jolly. Clippings from Baton Rouge papers on local and national issues at the end of the Civil War and early Reconstruction. Topics include politics, medicine, poetry, anecdotes, and deaths of Baton Rougeans. Other printed items include pamphlets on the dedication of St. Joseph's Cathedral and the history of the Catholic Church in Baton Rouge. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 3570.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Politics, Women, Civil War, Medicine, Literature

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