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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Bradly, James Thomas. Reminiscences, 1907. 3 items. Location: Misc.:B. Confederate soldier. Typescript of James Thomas Brady's article "Naval Reminiscences: An Ex-Confederate's Account of the Monitor and Merrimac Battle." Brady gives an account of his service in the Confederate navy aboard the gunboat Lady Davis, the Merrimac and its battle with the Monitor, and his subsequent service along the Atlantic coast. Brady's obituary and family photograph accompany the article. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3176.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876. Letter, 1856 February 12. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Confederate general in command of the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War. In reply to a request for biographical information from J. Furlong of Brooklyn, N.Y., Bragg discusses the circumstances of his situation as a sugar planter in Louisiana at the beginning of the Civil War, laments the misfortunes of his 125 former slaves, and briefly describes his military career for the Confederate States of America. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2537.

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

Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876, Letter, 1860 December 7. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Confederate general in command of the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War. Letter written from Thibodaux, Louisiana, while Bragg was a major general in the Louisiana militia. It presents his opinions on the role of the militia system and the need for the governor of Louisiana to seek advice of military men. The letter also comments on the attitudes of the local residents towards military service and states that they are poorly equipped. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3072.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War

Breda, Jean Philippe, 1808-1882. Family Papers, 1776-1921. 1,070 items and 31 vols., 3 mf reel. Location: B:64-65, J:13, 98:, OS:B, Mss.Mf:B, Vault:3. Physician and druggist of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Letters, personal papers, and business records of Dr. Breda concerning his medical practice, Louisiana politics, and family matters; together with correspondence and papers of his son, J. Ernest Breda, relating to the Civil War and politics. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 953, 966, 1021.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War, French, Medicine

Brent, Joseph Lancaster. Papers, 1862-1940 (bulk 1862-1904, 1926-1940). 1.3 linear ft., 12 volumes. Location: U:243-245. Maryland native, lawyer, and Confederate general. Joseph Lancaster Brent practiced law in Louisiana, Baltimore, and Los Angeles. Married to Rosella Kenner, he assisted in the management of his father-in-law, Duncan Farrar Kenner's, plantations. Brent served as a Brigadier General in the Louisiana Cavalry Brigade during the Civil War. Collection consists primarily of correspondence between Brent and his wife, Rosella, and published and unpublished writings, including manuscript and printed copies of "Memoirs of the War Between the States" (1940), "The Lugo Case" and "Capture of the Ironclad Indianola" (1926). There is also a diary written by Brent in 1862 during his service in the Civil War. Also part of the collection are the papers of Brent's daughter, Nanine M. Brent, including a personal diary, recipe book, and household hints. Parts available on microfilm: University Publications of America, Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reel 15. Mss. 1477, 1822.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War, Literature

Brent, Rosella Kenner. Papers, 1865, 1902-1916. 0.1 linear ft. Location: U:245. Daughter of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, planter and politician Duncan Farrar Kenner and wife of Confederate brigadier general Joseph F. Brent. Two narratives of Brent's recollections of Ashland Plantation, including a sketch of slave Henry Hammond. She also recounts an 1862 incident in which her father escaped to Bayou Lafourche upon learning that Union troops were coming to arrest him. Three letters pertain to Rosella Kenner Brent's husband, Brigadier General Joseph L. Brent, C.S.A. A 1910 letter describes General Brent's service in the Confederate army. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reel 14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1167, 1822.

Brigadier General Mason Brayman letter, 1864. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Letter to Brigadier General Brayman concerning the living conditions of freedmen in Natchez, Mississippi. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3666.

Bringier, Louis Amadee and family. Papers, 1786-1901. 2 linear ft. and 13 volumes. Location: T:96-97, F:9, OS:B. Planter of Ascension Parish, Louisiana; Confederate officer and commander of the 4th Louisiana Cavalry and the 7th Louisiana Regiment. Papers include military records, correspondence and business papers relating to the administration of Hermitage Plantation in Ascension Parish and Houmas, Burnside, and Bagatelle plantations. One letter report that a woman killed a federal soldier in New Orleans (1862); another describes Grand Ilse as a resort frequented by Jews. Some items in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reels 1-2, and microfilm 5322: Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 1, Reel 13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 43, 139, 544.

Brown, Charles L. Letters, 1862-1863. 5 items. Location: Misc.:B. Civil War letters by a Union soldier stationed in Virginia to his family in Waltham, Massachusetts. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2423.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Brown, E. Y. Letter, 1863 April 21. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Letter written while aboard the steamboat, Natanzas, describing the scenery along the Mississippi river, war torn New Orleans, and a visit to a military hospital. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3802.