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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Anonymous Civil War order, circa 1864. 1 item. Location: Misc:A Union order from headquarters, Department of the Gulf, requesting the 9th Connecticut and the 14th Maine regiments together with a section of Thompson's Battery be sent to St. Charles [Arkansas] in order to rid the area of Confederate soldiers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1424.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Anonymous Civil War poem, 1864 June 3. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Confederate love poem signed 'Mystic,' Petersburg, Virginia. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2121.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Literature

Anonymous Civil War scrapbook, 1856-1863. 1 volume. Location: UU:110. Clippings, mostly from Mobile, Alabama, Advertiser and Register, of poems and Civil War news. Scrapbook also includes fashion designs from magazines. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Literature

Anonymous Confederate civilian letters, 1863 August 27-29. 2 items. Location: Misc:A Pages from a letter-diary of a plantation owner, possibly the wife of a Confederate soldier, recording daily activities, local news, plantation work, and slave health. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2997.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War, African Americans

Anonymous Confederate letter, 1861 July 3. 1 item. Location: Misc:A Letter written from New Orleans, Louisiana describing a method of blocking the Mississippi River to federal military boats. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2899.

Anonymous Confederate poems, circa 1864. 2 leaves. Location: Misc:A. Anonymous poems titled 'Somebody's Darling,' 'Waiting,' and 'The Picket Guard' deal with war themes, death, and the Southern struggle. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2918.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Literature

Anonymous Confederate scrapbook, circa 1865-1889. 1 volume. Location: M:18. Scrapbook of prints from engravings of Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president, his cabinet, and his generals; and five newspaper clippings referring to incidents concerning Davis during Reconstruction. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1846.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Anonymous household notebook, 1897-1927. 1 volume. Location: F:2. Notebook contains handwritten entries and newspaper clippings related to Camp Beauregard, recipes, medical remedies, stain removal, and other items of household interest. Short biographical sketches of James John Audubon and Dr. Francois Autommarchi are also included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 572.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Medicine

Anonymous letter from New Orleans, 1864 November 15. 1 item. Location: Misc.A. Letter from Sarah, apparently a young girl and resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, written upon her return from a trip to New York City, commenting on a minstrel show in New Orleans, Louisiana, and expressing interest in the New York presidential election returns. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1418.

Anonymous letters, 1864-1865. 2 items. Location: Misc:A. Letters from a Louisiana Confederate soldier in the Civil War wintering at New Dalton, Georgia, to his sister, relating personal news and from Natchez describing his reception upon returning from the service and his adjustment to civilian life. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1032.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Natchez, Mississippi

Anonymous New Orleans scrapbook, 1861-1936. 2 volumes on 1 microfilm reel. Location: Mss.Mf:A. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings collected mainly from newspapers in New Orleans and Natchez include materials relative to Reconstruction, the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, the Chicago fire of 1871, and steamboats. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2554.

Anonymous record book, circa 1912-1926. 1 volume. Location: M:19. Vital statistics and military records together with comments on the condition, location, and extent of such records in several parishes in Louisiana. Included are lists of Louisiana African American soldiers in units of the United States Army during the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1018.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, African Americans

Anonymous soldier letter, 1863 September 24. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. A letter written by a Union soldier in Louisiana during the Civil War describes his unit's march from New Orleans, La., to the Bayou Teche country. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2588.

Anonymous Union soldier letter, 1863 February 19.1 item. Location: Misc:A. Letter from camp near Belle Plain, Army of the Potomac, under General Joseph Hooker, pertaining to camp life, discouragement among the troops, opposition to the Emancipation Proclamation, and rumors of a conscription law. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2897.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Arceneaux, William. Papers, 1964-2007 (bulk 1972-2007). 15 linear feet and 20 volumes. Locations: 4:36, 4:43, 110:4-11, OS:A, Vault:2. Louisiana higher education official. Papers consist of correspondence, business papers, photographs, printed items, and scrapbooks related to the professional, civic, and personal activities of William Arceneaux. A small amount of correspondence is in French and Spanish. For further information, see online catalog Mss. 4107.

Armstrong, Ezekiel. Diary, 1862 May 28-December 10. 1 vol. on microfilm. Location: Mss. Mf.:A Confederate sergeant in the 17th Mississippi Regiment during the Civil War. Diary comments on Seven Days Battle at Richmond, Virginia; sermons preached by chaplains; army marches; a visit to the scene of the Second Battle of Bull Run; the Maryland Campaign; and the attitude of civilians toward the Confederate army. He also mentions participation in the battles of Maryland Heights and Sharpsburg; and the evacuation of women and children from Fredericksburg. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 943.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Civil War

Arnold, Thomas, Lieutenant. Papers, 1862 April 26. 2 items. Location: Misc:A. Confederate navy lieutenant serving on the Mississippi River during the Civil War. Letter from Arnold on the towboat Landis to Captain J. K. Mitchell of the Confederate navy describing an action in which he captured, then lost the Union steamer Resolute. His vessel was fired upon by the Union steamer Defiance. Included is a list of night signals for the fleet, probably Confederate. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3220.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Ashlock, Jules R. Papers. Ville Platte Gazette centennial edition, 1958 September 18. 1 ms. Vol. Location: J:24. Special edition commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of the city of Ville Platte, Louisiana, with histories; photographs of historic scenes and residents; and articles on recent progress. The volume also contains letters written by a Confederate soldier, Amos K. Anselm, to his mother in 1861 and 1862. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2480.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Atherton, R. Letter, circa 1863. 1 item. Location: MISC:A. Federal soldier stationed in Carrollton, Louisiana, waiting with his unit for military orders. The letter contains information concerning assignments of other divisions and about mutual friends. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1484.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Augur, Christopher Columbus, 1821-1898. Photograph, undated 1 item. Location:E:73. Union general and commander of the District of Baton Rouge (1862) and of troops attacking Port Hudson. Carte-de-visite photograph of Augur in uniform. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3538.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Babin, Felix E. Letter, 1862 September 20 and 1915. 2 items. Location: Misc.:B. Letter from Vicksburg, September 20, 1862; and Chamber of Commerce of Quimper and Brest, France, 50 centimes note, 1915. For further information online catalog. Mss. 1876.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, French

BADGER BULLETIN, 1862 June 14. 1 item [enlargement print, 4 pages]. Location: E:Imprints. Newspaper published by the 3rd Wisconsin Battery during a brief stay at Iuka, Mississippi, contains a history and roster of the battery and notes on Union and Confederate units in the area. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2022.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Bagby, Arthur P. Letter, 1905. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Alabama native, general in Confederate 4th Texas Cavalry, and participant in the Red River Campaign in Louisiana. Letter recounts his military experiences. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3032.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Baines, Henry. Papers, 1796-1905. 184 items. Location: C:55, 65:, MSS.MF:LESTER, GEORGE M. Planter of Bains, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, and a member of London's Royal College of Surgeons. Baines was related to the McDermott and Maynard families. Collection contains papers and letters of the Baines, McDermott, and Maynard families related to the cotton trade, medical education, the Civil War, and financial dealings. Includes a Spanish land grant of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. Part of the George M. Lester Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1209.

Baker, John Wesley. Diary. 1 item. Location:32:80. Mss. 3892.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Baker, Sarah. Oral history interview, 1974. 2 sound cassettes. Location: L:4700.2. Sarah Baker was born and raised on the Magee Plantation in Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi, and was 113 years old at the time of the interview, which discusses plantation life and the end of the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.2.

Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss, Orders of General Nathaniel Banks, 1864 July. Location: E:74. Orders of Major General Banks relayed by Colonel John P. Shertmore to Colonel Fearing, instructing him to inspect the mounted pickets on duty around the city of New Orleans and correct irregularities that currently exist. Part of the United States Army Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3115.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss, 1816-1894. Letterpress copybook, 1863-1864. 1 vol. Location: B:12. Congressman, governor of Massachusetts, and general in command of the Union Gulf Department in the Civil War. Letterpress copybook of official letters written by Banks from his headquarters, Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, during fall 1863 and early winter 1864. Letters comment on civilian life in New Orleans, freed slaves, and the cotton trade. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2326.

Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss, 1816-1894. General order no. 105, 1864 Aug. 1. 1 item. Location: E:74. orders stipulate that all Black troops mustered into the U.S. Army will receive the same uniform, clothing, arms, rations, and other provisions alloted to other soldiers, and that Black volunteers will be granted the same amount of bounty as white volunteers. The order further decrees that Black soldiers who were free in 1861 and mustered into military service are entitled to any pay, bounty, and clothing allowed by law to free persons at the time of their enlistment. Part of the United States Army Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3365.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, African Americans

Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss, 1816-1894. Letter, 1866. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Congressman, governor of Massachusetts, and general in command of the Union Gulf Department in the Civil War. The letter speculates on the outcome of a possible attack by Banks's forces on Port Hudson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2771.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss,1816-1894. General orders, 1864 September 7. 1 printed item. Location: E:74. General Orders No. 122, issued by George B. Drake, Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, outlining wage schedules for white and black laborers and mechanics in army employment. Part of the United States Army Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3032.

Barnard, Mills H., 1837-1914. Letters, 1862-1912 (bulk 1862-1863). 9 items. Location: Misc:B. Sergeant in the 25th Connecticut Infantry during the Civil War. Letters include a description of Baton Rouge and the Union occupation of the city, references to the Battle of Port Hudson, and comments on Barnard's duties in the commissary, supplying troops engaged in the siege of Port Hudson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3235.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Barrow, Cordelia Johnson, 1816-1845. Family papers, 1834-1894. 9 letters, 1 eulogy. Location: 19:10. Cordelia Johnson Barrow was the daughter of Philo S. Johnson and Anna Maria Johnson of Watertown, New York. She was educated at Mrs. Willard's Academy for Young Ladies in Troy, New York. Following her graduation, she took a teaching position in Camden, South Carolina. Later, she met her husband, Wylie Micajah Barrow, in St. Francisville, Louisiana, when she was hired as a tutor for the Barrow family. The Cordelia Johnson Barrow family papers contain correspondence from Cordelia Johnson Barrow and her descendants. The letters are generally written from either Louisiana or Watertown, New York. Included in the papers is a letter from Martha Johnson Robertson Barrow to her grandmother, Martha Johnson Pope, regarding the family's flight from Baton Rouge to Tickfaw, La., after their Baton Rouge home was taken by the Union Army. There is a eulogy for Cordelia Johnson Barrow written by an unknown author and two letters from Cordelia Johnson Barrow to her family regarding her experience traveling to South Carolina when she was a teacher. These letters describe her "dangerous" trip, including a description of New York City, the steamboat ride, yellow fever outbreaks, the railroad, and the swamp. There is also a letter from Martha Johnson Robertson Barrow to her daughter, Leila, that includes advice on home medical remedies, and a letter from an unknown brother to his sister telling of a bad storm in Baton Rouge. Mss. 5101.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Education, Medicine

Barrow, W. M. and family. Papers, 1847-1874, undated. 0.1 linear ft. Location: U:7. St. Francisville, Louisiana, merchant. Letters by Willie Macajah Barrow (1810-1853) and Civil War diary and letters of his son, Willie Macajah Barrow (1843-1863) reflecting economic and family life on a plantation in West Feliciana Parish. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 4, Reel 6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 574.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Plantations, Civil War, Business

Barstow, Henry. War record and letter, 1862-1880 (bulk 1862-1863). 2 items. Location: Misc:B. Henry Barstow served in I Company of the Massachusetts 4th Infantry during the Civil War. In 1863, he was a prisoner of war in Brashear City, La. He discusses his company's maneuvers from Lakeville, Mass. to Brashear City, La. and describes his experience in the prison camp and subsequent release. Topics include poor health and malnourishment among the soldiers; traveling on the Mississippi River; and general conditions in the camp. Also contains a resolution, April 1880, giving thanks and kind wishes to Rev. W. W. Lyle at the Pilgrim Church and Society meeting. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4866.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Civil War, Medicine

Bass, John H. Diary, 1864-1866. 1 item [on microfilm]. Location: Mss. Mf.:B. Physician. Bass was born in Adams County, Mississippi; was educated at medical school in Louisville, Kentucky; and practiced in Madison Parish, Louisiana. He served as an assistant surgeon in the Confederate Army, mainly in Georgia and Tennessee. Diary covers experiences in battles during the Civil War from April to December 1864. It also contains lists of casualties, medical memos, prescriptions, and miscellaneous accounts. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3363.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Medicine, Natchez, Mississippi

Bass-Farrar Family Papers, 1827-1918 (bulk: 1829-1843, 1858-1867) 0.5 linear ft. Location: OS:B, R:41, VAULT:4. Papers of the Bass, Farrar, and Richardson families from Tensas Parish, La. and vicinity. Includes material on family matters, personal and professional activities, maintenance and overseeing of cotton plantations before and after the Civil War, life along the Mississippi River, life in Civil War Louisiana, and slavery. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4907.

Batchelor, Albert A. (Albert Agrippa). Papers, 1852-1930 (bulk 1870-1900). 27 linear ft., 41 volumes. Location: S:143-170, J:13, 98:B, OS:B. Personal and business papers, correspondence, diaries, and account books pertain principally to local events, and the operation and management of several plantations in Pointe Coupee Parish, including Bella Vista Plantation, Lakeside Plantation, Phoenix Plantation, Highland Plantation, and Normandy Plantation. Early letters among Batchelor family members describe conditions at the Kentucky Military Institute and the Silliman Female Collegiate Institute, and mention events such as slave insurrections and military operations. Several letters describe Civil War battles, including the 1862 Battle of Kernstown and the 1863 battles of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville. Available on microfilm 5735 and 6061: Records of southern plantations from emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Selections from Louisiana State University, pt. 5, Louisiana sugar plantations, reels 1-15; Confederate Military Manuscripts, Series B, Holdings of Louisiana State University, reels 1-2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 919.

Baton Rouge arsenal ledger, 1837-1905 (bulk 1837-1851). 1 volume. Location: J:24. Military depot to supply troops in New Orleans and posts up the Mississippi and Red Rivers. Ledger of the Baton Rouge Arsenal Ordnance Department. The entries list accounts with named individuals, articles purchased from them, and the costs, including one account of materials to be supplied to friendly Indians. The last pages are entries of personal and household expenses of Frederick Bohm from 1865-1873. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4752.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Baton Rouge Civil War broadsides, 1860-1864 (bulk 1862-1864). 22 broadsides, 26 photocopies. Location: MISC:B, OS:B. Broadsides include a political poster of the Constitutional Union Party; a resolution of the Confederate city government of Baton Rouge; and broadsides posted by federal occupation authorities. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2779.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

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