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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Boothby, Charles W. Papers, 1861-1898 (bulk 1861-1874). 1 linear ft. Location: T:19, OS:B. U.S. Army captain, customs official, superintendent of education for New Orleans, and politician. Correspondence, printed military orders, and quartermaster's records reflect Civil War and postbellum New Orleans. Civil War papers document personal experiences, military engagements, African American soldiers, and political activity. Postbellum papers reflect the local and national political environment during Reconstruction. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4847.

Bosley, Hubbard S. Papers, 1825-1947 (1850-1880). 10 linear ft., 39 vols. Location: C:1-5, O:1, 98:B, OS:B, Planter of Red River Parish, Louisiana, son-in-law of William A. Powell of Caddo Parish, Plantation records, business papers, and personal correspondence of Hubbard S. Bosley, William A. Powell and families. Included are materials relating to the Civil War. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reel 19, and microfilm 6061: Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration. Series B, Part 2, reels 12-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 963.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Business

Boston Museum (1847-1903). Playbill, 1861. 1 broadside. Location: E:Imprints. Abolitionist playbill reading: First nights of Dion Bourcicault's greatest production! Illustrating American character! American scenes! and Southern homes! entitled the Octoroon or--life in Louisiana, ...this Saturday afternoon, Dec. 14, 1861. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1558.

Bower, Garner and Harrison. Papers, 1863-1888 (bulk 1863-1868). 0.25 linear ft. Location: E:51. New Orleans commission merchants. Letters of New Orleans, Louisiana commission merchants to a member of the firm at Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1863) and Natchez, Mississippi (1864-1868). Additionally, there is a receipt book (1866-1867). At the end of the volume are loose financial items (1869-1888). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1388.

Bowers, J. A., letter, 1863 Feb. 24. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Confederate soldier. J. A. Bowers writes from Port Hudson, La., about camp life, quality food and water, and he tells of Union troops foraging across the river. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3770.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Bowers, J.A. Letter, 1863. 2 items. Location: Misc.:B. Confederate soldier. Letter written from Port Hudson, Louisiana, describes camp life, quality of food and water, and Union troops. A certificate, signed by Captain C. Kavanaugh, states James Bowers furnished an able-bodied substitute and is released from military service, For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3770.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Boyd, David French. Papers, 1833-1934 (bulk 1860-1899). 9 linear ft., 10 microfilm reels. Location: D:12-19, MF.MSS:B, OS:B, MAP CAGE: DRAWER 34 (BACK WALL). Confederate officer, president of the Seminary of Learning at Alexandria, Louisiana, and president and professor at Louisiana State University (1884-1886). Papers contain correspondence, including correspondence with William T. Sherman; writings about Civil War figures; academic papers; photographs; financial papers; and printed items. Manuscript volumes consist of school notebooks; memorandum books; diaries, including a Civil War diary; morning reports from Kentucky Military Institute and Locust Dale Academy; and a minute book of the Demosthenian Society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 40, 99, 794, 890, 893, 1400, 1612, 4234.

Boyd, David French. William T. Sherman letters (part of the David French Boyd papers), 1859-1891. 0.3 linear ft., 1 microfilm reel. Location: U:179, MSS.MF:B, Vault:26. Civil War officers, educators. Letters refer to higher education, political issues, rights of freedmen, Ku Klux Klan activities, and the jetty system in New Orleans. Civil War letters concern Boyd's imprisonment. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 890, 893, 3362.

Boylston, William A. Diary, 1864-1865. 1 item. Location:Misc.:B. South Carolina native, Confederate soldier. Boylston provides brief daily accounts of his unit's activities and movements, including his 1864 capture by Union forces, and his eventual release. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4733.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Bradford, James L. Papers, 1856-1865. 19 items. Location: E:4. Confederate Army captain. Personal letters and bills including a letter from his brother, J. B. Bradford, discussing Louisiana politics. Civil War papers include a list of officers in Bradford's company, a record of an expense account for recruiting officers, record of stores and supplies, doctors' statements noting the health of enlisted men, and payroll account;. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 3. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 727.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War, Medicine