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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Behrnes, J. P. (J. Polite), b. 1829. Journal, 1853-1893 (bulk 1853-1880). 1 v. Location: Misc. This journal of J.P. Behrnes of Irene Plantation in East Baton Rouge Parish, La., records rains; temperatures; and the planting, cultivation, harvesting, and yields of cotton and other crops. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4335.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Belcher, F. A. Letter, 1863 April 18. 1 item (10 pages). Location: Misc:B. Union soldier. Letter to Belcher's mother and brother written from Brashear City (now Morgan City), St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. It remarks on fighting in the area, the death of 'Matthew,' and General N. P. Bank's practice of remaining with his troops during battle. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3196.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Belcher, Francis A. Letters,[1863 Apr. 1]. 2 items. Location: MISC:B. Soldier in the 4th Massachusetts Infantry, Company D. Letters to his family describe marching and camp life and mentions Port Hudson and the explosion of the "Mississippi." For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3966.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Bell, Helena Jones, Letter, 1938 Jan. 28. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Southern civilian during the Civil War. Letter describes Union occupation, the loyalty of a former slave, Union soldiers killing a child, and harsh living conditions during and after the war. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4545.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, African Americans

Bell, James T. Letter: Johnson Island Prison, Ohio, to Mary Whitaker, Alabama, 1864 February 28. 1 item (2 leaves). Location: Misc:B. Confederate officer in the Civil War. Bell assumed charge of the 21st Alabama Infantry after Captain John B. (Boyington) Hazard died at Johnson Island Prison, February 1864. Letter written to Hazard's sister, Mrs. Mary Whitaker and her husband, Benjamin Andrews Whitaker, describing Hazard's illness, last wishes, death, those present at his death, and general conditions of the medical facilities and the prison itself. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3453.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Medicine