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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Ward, John Langdon. Lantern Slides Collection, ca. 1800. 107 glass lantern slides. Location: 65:09. John Langdon Ward served with the 19th Corps through the siege of Port Hudson and was commissioned Major of the 3rd Infantry Corps d'Afrique (the third regiment of African-American troops in the United States, changed to 75th United States Colored Infantry July 24, 1863). Collection consists of 107 glass lantern slides (3.25" x 4.00") documenting the aftermath of the Siege of Port Hudson, La., May 23-July 9, 1863. John Langdon Ward may have created these slides around 1880. For further information, see online catalog or LOUISiana Digital Library. Mss. 4875.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge, African Americans

Warner, George E. Letter, 1864. 1 item. Location: MISC:W. Warner served with the 10th U.S. Colored Artillery as first lieutenant. Letter describes service at Fort St. John near New Orleans, La., while Warner was waiting for the company to fill with enlistees. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4009.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, African Americans

Warner, Thomas E. and family. Papers, 1891-1962. 0.2 linear ft.; 2 volumes; 1 microfilm reel. Location: UU:149; O:22; MSS.MF:W; 98:W; MAP CASE 2, DRAWER 14. Thomas E. Warner, Mary Henkel Warner, and family lived in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Manuscript materials include a Women's Christian Temperance Union minute book, a gas station ledger, and photographs (one of Ku Klux Klan members). Poetry, stories, and other writings about Mary Henkel Warner are available only on microfilm. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3283.

Wartelle, Pierre Gabriel,1787-1869. Family Papers, 1811-1976. 2 linear ft., 10 v. Location: UU:322-323, OS:W, O:62-63. French ex-patriate, New Orleans businessman, and sugar and cotton planter of St. Landry Parish, La. Collection consists of legal documents, account books, correspondence, printed material and personal papers that pertain to the business interests, plantation operations, and history of the Wartelle Family and Moundville Plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 5025.

Washburn, W. W. Washburn & Hesler ledger, 1861-1862. 1 vol. Location: M:19.W. W. Washburn and J. J. Hesler were Confederate sutlers for the 7th Louisiana Regiment at Manassas, Virginia, during the Civil War. Indexed ledger containing accounts of merchandise purchased by officers and soldiers. Entries list the price and type of merchandise purchased, Washburn and Hesler's expenses, profits and losses, and freight accounts. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 21. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2289.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Business

Weeks, David. Family Papers, 1782-1957 (bulk 1830-1870). 10,106 items, 15 vols. Location: 70, J:6, X:76, Mss. Mf.:W . The Weeks and related Conrad, Moore, and Gibson families were planters of New Iberia, Louisiana, and other areas in south Louisiana. Papers document the sugar plantation economy; cotton planting; slaves and free African American laborers; railroad building; state and national politics; education; and the Civil War and Reconstruction. Includes early papers of Charles N. Conrad, U.S. senator; political correspondence of John Moore, U.S. congressman; and a microfilmed inventory of The Shadows in New Iberia. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution to the Civil War, Series I, Part 6, Reels 1-20. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 528, 605.

Weitzel, Godfrey. Order, 1862. 1 item. Location: Misc.:W. Union general in the Civil War. Order from Headquarters Reserve Brigade in the Field by T. K. Fuller, Provost Marshal, prohibiting any enlisted man from entering the premises of O. Guillard, possibly in Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1244.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Welles, Gideon, 1802-1878. Letters, 1861-1862. 3 items. Location: Misc.:W. U.S. Secretary of the Navy during the Civil War. Papers include an 1861 letter from officers aboard the U.S.S. Colorado at the mouth of the Mississippi River, requesting news about Confederate preparations in New Orleans. Collection also includes two letters (1862) from Welles to Rear Admiral David Farragut congratulating him on his success in capturing New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1701.

Welles, Gideon, 1802-1878. Manuscript, circa 1878. 1 v. Location: Misc.:W. U.S. Secretary of the Navy during the Civil War. Manuscript of an article by Gideon Welles, apparently intended for publication. In the article Welles strenuously disagrees with Wickham Hoffman, who had argued that General Benjamin Butler had a prominent role in the planning and execution of the capture of New Orleans by federal troops in 1862. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3001.

Wells, James Madison, 1808-1899. Papers, circa 1864-1869, 1886-1900. 1 v. [on microfilm]. Location: Lieutenant governor and governor of Louisiana (1864-1867). Records of the Court of Claims of the United States pertain to suits filed by James Madison Wells concerning Wells' charges that U.S. forces under the command of General Nathaniel P. Banks illegally confiscated his property and livestock in Rapides Parish during the Red River Expedition of 1864. Records consist of court memos, rulings, dockets, judicial motions, testimonies, and letters associated with congressional cases no. 435, no. 2524, and 10,271, which. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 806, 1219.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War