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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United States. War Dept. General orders, no. 113, 1864. 1 item. Location: E:74. From the Adjutant General's Office, containing the proceedings of the Military Commission, Goodrich Landing, East Carroll Parish, Louisiana, in the cases of two African Americans found guilty of armed robbery of a citizen of East Carroll Parish, William R. Hays. Part of the United States Army Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1493.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, African Americans

United States. War Dept. Special orders, 1866.1 item. Location: E:74. Order signed by Adjutant General E. D. Townsend. Printed and written document outlining measures by the federal government to compensate loyal slave-holders whose slaves enlisted or were drafted into the U.S. Army and thereby became free. Part of the United States Army Collection. For further information, see onliine catalog. Mss. 2361.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, African Americans

United States. War Dept. General order no. 89. 1863 Apr. 6. 1 item. Location: E:74 Printed order issued from Washington, D. C. concerns an intercepted letter written by Lieut. J. M. Garland to a clergyman in Shanghai, China, expressing his sympathies toward the Confederates, The order condemns Garland for his "treacherous concealment of his sentiments" and concludes with a statement of dishonorable dismissal. Part of the United States Army Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3365.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Vallas, Antal. Family papers, 1831-1995 (bulk:1841-1968). 2.25 linear feet. Location: 109:33-34; J:26-27; OS:V; Vault:1. A native Hungarian who served as a professor at the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy and an Episcopalian minister in New Orleans. Contains correspondence, printed items, personal papers and photographs related to the professional and family life of Vallas and his descendants. Consists of materials in English, Hungarian, German, French, Spanish and Latin. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4439.

Vallas, Anthony. History, 1864, 1935. 2 items. Location: MISC:V. Bound handwritten manuscript of Anthony Vallas's History of the Louisiana State Seminary, 1864, and a printed copy of the work published in 1935 on the occasion of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of Louisiana State University. Covering the period beginning from the establishment of the institution by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1855 through the Civil War, the brief history describes the tenure of William Tecumseh as college president, the seizure of the school by Federal troops, and the use of the school as a field hospital during the war. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 965.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Education, Medicine, LSU, Literature

Van Hest, J. P. Letter, 1864 April 22. 1 item. Location: Misc.:V. Union soldier in the Civil War. Letter to his wife, written from Memphis, Tennessee, describes the Memphis city park and mentions reports of a battle with Confederates in Louisiana, probably part of the Red River Campaign. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2918.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Vautrot, Francois Louis, Letter, 1867 October 20. 2 items. Location: Misc.:V, OS:V. Confederate refugee, apparently from Opelousas, Louisiana. Letter written from Pernambuco Province, Brazil, describes conditions, attitudes, and difficulties in adjustment. Vautrot refers to the introduction of African American voting in Louisiana. Included is an issue of LE COURIER DES OPELOUSAS. For more information, see online catalog. Mss. 3153.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, African Americans

Vermont politician's letters, 1861. 3 items. Location: Misc:V. Letters from a Vermont politician (signed Wm. W. B.) attending a session of the state legislature, relating accounts of personal and official activities to his wife. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2112.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War

Vicksburg depot quartermaster's office letter, 1863 Aug. 26. 1 letter. Location: Misc. A captain at the depot quartermaster's office in Vicksburg, Miss., writes Major General James B. McPherson regarding captured mules, horses, wagons, and carriages. Mss. 4080.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Vincent, Thomas M. and family. Papers, 1824-1932. 1.25 linear ft. Location: W:38-39, OS:V, VAULT MRDF 6, VAULT:1. U.S. Army officer in the Seminole Wars and Civil War. Letters of Thomas M. Vincent and Laura Lancaster (1857) pertain to his military career, family matters, and the education of his son, Thomas Norris Vincent. Also includes letters of recommendation for admission to West Point, including two from William T. Sherman. Other correspondents include Julia Dent Grant and Ida Tarbell. Early papers (1824-1856) relate to Joseph B. Lancaster and the Lancaster family and reflect social events, education, and family matters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3116.