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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Violette, Eugene M. Collection, 1785-1945. 4.3 linear feet. Z:3-4; OS:V; 99:V. Correspondence, printed material, writings, and LSU memorabilia comprise the Eugene M. Violette papers. Correspondence is of a professional nature reflecting Violette's association with the University, professional organizations, publishers, and colleagues. Printed items include newspapers and clippings related to Louisiana, football, World Wars I and II, and Huey Long's assassination. Imprints and publications pertain to a variety of topics including, early LSU history. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 615, 893.

W. P. and Joseph Renwick Letters, 1863-1884. 27 items. Location: A:14. W. P. ('Joe') Renwick was a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. His son, Joseph Renwick, was a cadet at LSU. Letters (1863-1865) from W. P. Renwick to his family from camps near Syndus Hill, Mississippi, and Alexandria and Shreveport, Louisiana, describe aspects of camp life. Other letters (1871-1881) from Bastrop and Monroe, Louisiana, discuss local and family news. Letters (1883-1884) from Cadet Joseph Renwick describe his life at Louisiana State University. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 20. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 626.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, LSU

W. P. Rochelle collection, 1897-1916. 7 items, 1 printed vol. Location: T:66. Confederate veteran of Hohen Solms, Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Collection includes notices of United Confederate Veterans meetings and reunions and photographs of these events. A pamphlet printed by the Grant Cabin Association entitled Endowment Fund Souvenir describes the cabin on Ulysses S. Grant's family farm. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2165.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Waddill Family Papers, 1835-1994 (bulk 1861-1866). 0.5 linear ft. Location: E:18. George Daniel Waddill, a Baton Rouge druggist, was the son of Abel Waddill, Baton Rouge magistrate. George served as a hospital steward in the Civil War. Joanna Fox, later his wife, served as a nurse. Papers contain correspondence, including Civil War correspondence of George Waddill; genealogical information on the Waddill and Bessonett families; and an autograph book of Elizabeth McMichael. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4578.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Baton Rouge, Medicine

Waddill, George D. (George Daniel). Papers, 1841-1892 (bulk 1861-1865). 21 items. Location: Misc:W. Confederate soldier in the Civil War and Baton Rouge druggist. Waddill served in the 3rd Louisiana Infantry Regiment. In 1863 he was appointed as a hospital steward. Civil War papers include military furlough and travel passes; Confederate bonds; military orders assigning Waddill to hospitals in Mississippi; an 1865 document granting parole to G. D. Waddill; and Waddill's 1865 Oath of Allegiance to the United States. Collection includes a letter from L. B. LeCand written from Corinth, Mississippi, to Joanna Fox of Natchez giving an account of the Battle of Shiloh. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 3. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 891, 893.

Waite, George R., Port Hudson Letter, 1863 June 10-11.1 item. Location: Misc:W. Mechanic and farmer from New London, Conn., private in the 26th Connecticut Infantry Regiment. Letter details troop movements from May 10 to May 27, including federal attacks on Port Hudson. Waite outlines how much money hehas sent home, and mentions serving as a sharpshooter and constructing pontoon bridges. For more information see online catalog. Mss. 4904.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Wall Family. Papers, 1829-1921. 0.2 linear ft. Location: V:47. Collection is primarily correspondence between members of the Wall family of Clinton, Louisiana, particularly Mary Winans Wall and her son, Wesley Wall. Much of the correspondence relates to the family's experiences during the Civil War, including the deaths of three family members and the long imprisonment of Wesley at Camp Douglas in Chicago. Letters discuss personal news, mutual friends, daily life in Clinton, and Mary's efforts to have Wesley released during the Civil War. In addition to the correspondence, there is a school merit certificate, an essay written by Wesley, and a legal document from probate court in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, certifying that Isaac Wall is licensed to officiate marriages. Mss. 5243. 

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

Wall, John Q. Letter, 1862. 1 item. Location: Misc:W. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 21. Confederate soldier in the Civil War. Wall enlisted as a private in the Pointe Coupee Artillery Battalion (September 1861) in Columbus, Kentucky. He was exchanged as a prisoner of war in November 1862. Wall's letter to his sister, Mrs. Pauline R. Setton of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, describes his capture on Island 10 and his imprisonment at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Wallis, George B. Letter, 1862 April 28.1 item. Location: Misc.:W. Reporter for the NEW YORK HERALD. Letter from George B. Wallis to his editor, James Gordon Bennett, commenting at length on interviews with President Lincoln and Secretary of War Stanton. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1770.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War

Walworth, Douglas. Family Papers, 1806-1881 (bulk 1850- 1881). 189 items; 10 ms. vols. Location: U:234. 99:W, Misc.: W, O:21. Planter, attorney and Confederate Army captain from Natchez, Mississippi. Alexander Gordon was a Scottish immigrant to New Orleans, Louisiana. Correspondence includes letters from Walworth's parents while he was at Harvard University. His diaries describe his childhood, study and student life, and Confederate military experiences. Civil War papers concern Confederate military administration. Gordon family papers include documents on the estates of James Gordon and his wife, family correspondence, the American naturalization certificate of Alexander Gordon, and Alexander's diary. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reels 20-21. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2471, 2499.