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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West Feliciana Parish Military Board. Minute Book, 1862-1863, 1870. 1 vol. Location: M:19. Organization that provided welfare benefits to needy citizens of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, during the Civil War. Board members included Charles L. Mathews, John Hunter Collins, James Rudman, and J. N. Evans, Jr. Minute book recording welfare benefit payments made to citizens (1862-1863). Notes by members of the Collins family and a cash account for 1870 for Calvin Goodman are included on the last three pages of the volume.Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 21. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1353.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Weydemeyer, Luise, Family correspondence, 1849-1869. 100 items. Location: A:67. German immigrant living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Letters from relatives and friends concern personal and business matters and discuss Union army recruitment and training during the Civil War. Letters from Union general Franz Sigel's wife describe her husband's military activities and civilian career. Primarily in German. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1350.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, Civil War, German

Wharton, Edward Clifton. Family Papers, 1819-1947 (bulk 1819-1901). 1,130 items, 11 vols. Location: UU:120-125, OS:W, 99:W. Resident of New Orleans, journalist, newspaper editor, playwright, author, and drama critic. Wharton served as a colonel in the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate army. Papers of four generations of the Wharton family include correspondence, manuscript writings, manuscript volumes, photographs, printed items, and broadsides. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 22. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1553, 1575, 1594, 1610, 1613, 1663, 1714, 1736.

Wharton, Thomas K. Diary, 1853-1859, 1862. 2 vols.(on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:W Secretary to the commission for the New Orleans Custom House and assistant to Major P. G. T. Beauregard as superintendent. Wharton was superintendent of construction in 1861 after Beauregard's resignation. Diary and sketch book describing Wharton's journey from New Orleans to Boston (1853) and continuing after his return to New Orleans until December 1854. Diary includes comments on his work on the Custom House. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 807.

Wheeler, Joseph, 1836-1906. Photograph album, 1865-1866. 1 vol. Location: M:22. Confederate general in command of the Army of Mississippi cavalry. Album of albumen cartes-de-visite depicting Confederate officers and war heroes, signed by Wheeler, 1866. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4599.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Whitaker, J. S. Scrapbooks, 1849-1880. 2 vols. Location: J:7. Judge and resident of New Orleans. Scrapbooks of newspaper clippings pertaining to Whitaker's legal decisions, New Orleans local affairs, the Civil War, and literary and scientific subjects. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 445.

White, Sam and Belcher, F. A. Civil War soldiers letters, 1863. 6 items. Location: Misc.C. Sam White and F. A. Belcher, Union soldiers stationed in Louisiana during the Civil War. Letters to their families describe their sea voyage to New Orleans and encampments at Baton Rouge, Algiers, and Brashear City (now Morgan City), Louisiana. Other topics include contraband slaves as laborers and as military recruits; and medical care. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3188.

White, Silas T. Letters, 1861-1862. 1 vol.; typescript copies of letters. Location: J:7. Member of the Hunter Rifles, 4th Louisiana Infantry Regiment, during the Civil War. Letters to White's family in Woodland, Louisiana, describe his enlistment in the Confederate army and living conditions in camps in Mississippi and Louisiana. White also describes a detail to block the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 368.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Whitley, J. H. Letter, 1865 January 18.1 item. Location: Misc. Confederate lieutenant and a prisoner of war at Officers Prison, Fort Delaware, during the Civil War. William L. Graham was a colonel in the 16th Virginia Cavalry during the Civil War. Letter from Whitley, while a prisoner of war, to Colonel William L. Graham, telling of conditions at the prison, mentioning the arrival of prisoners from General Hood's army, and requesting information concerning friends in prison with Graham. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1108.

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

Whitney, William H. Letters, 1863-1864. 34 items. Location: B:16. Officer in the 38th Massachusetts Volunteers during the Civil War. Letters describe civilian life in Baton Rouge under Union occupation, the daily life of a soldier, guerrilla warfare by Confederate troops, and the impressment of African Americans into the Union army. Whitney also writes about the Port Hudson battlefield after the siege, his unit's march to Shreveport from Alexandria, and the Union retreat after the Battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1043, 1046.

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

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