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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"We are for the union" Civil War song, circa 1861-1865. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Printed lyrics of "We Are for the Union," a boisterous anthem of eight four-line stanzas, each with four-line chorus. The song celebrates the loyalty of Union troops, reserving especial priase for those from Pennsylvania, and castigates Confederate rebels for their treason and attempt to exempt themselves from federal taxation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3108.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

1st United States Infantry Regiment of Louisiana Volunteer Corps d'Afrique, Company II. Muster roll, 1863. 1 item (21 x 30.5 in.). Location: VAULT:72. In April 1863 Brigadier General Daniel Ullman was sent by the U.S. War Department to New Orleans, Louisiana, to raise a brigade of African-American troops; Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, at Opelousas, proposed the formation of the Corps d'Afrique. Muster roll identifies Edward Carter as captain, Spencer H. Stafford as colonel, and the regiment's sergeants, corporals, musicians, a teamster, and privates. Soldiers are listed by their names, and further description includes rank, time and location of enrollment, time and location mustered into service, and pay roll information. Most soldiers enrolled and were mustered in at New Orleans, while others were at Baton Rouge, St. Mary Parish, Bayou Ramos, Fort Jackson, Fort St. Leon, and Thompson Creek. Verso of item also contains lists of deceased, discharged, deserted, and resigned soldiers in the regiment. Several soldiers are listed as being killed in action before Port Hudson. Muster roll covers the period from July 1 to August 31, 1863, while pay roll covers the period from June 30 to September 1, 1863. Mss. 5379.

25th United States Colored Infantry Regiment, Company H descriptive book, 1864-1892 (bulk 1864-1865). 1 volume. Location: M:19. Books contains lists and registers of commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, men transferred, men discharged, deaths, and deserters and a descriptive roll of Company H. The descriptive roll lists names, physical characteristics (including complexion), birthplace, occupation, enlistment information, and general remarks about company soldiers. Mss. 5374.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, African Americans

30th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment Clothing Book, 1861-1863. 1 volume. Location: O:61. Account ledger of clothing issued to soldiers in Company A of the 30th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Includes names of soldiers being issued clothing, date of issue, and cost. Soldier discharges and deaths are also recorded. Mss. 5309.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Paxson, Charles, died 1880. A slave girl from New Orleans carte-de-visite, circa 1864. 1 photograph. Location: MISC:S. Charles Paxson was a photographer in New York during the 1860s. He created carte-de-visite photographs and was one of a few photographers who took photographs of emancipated slaves for Major General Nathaniel P. Banks' campaign to raise funds for emancipated slaves in Louisiana. The carte-de-visite, titled "A Slave Girl from New Orleans" (1864), features the image of a very Caucasian looking African American, Rebecca, from New Orleans. Rebecca was a recently emancipated slave of her white father from New Orleans. New Orleans was under the command of the Union Army's Major General Nathaniel P. Banks. Rebecca was one of eight slaves from New Orleans to tour the North and raise funds for Banks' work in Louisiana. Carte-de-visites, like this one, were sold to raise that money and the back of the carte-de-visite states the sales money was "devoted to the education of colored people in the department of the Gulf." Mss. 5102.

A Song for the Ladies broadside, circa 1863. 1 item. Location: MISC:S. The author of the broadside, "Bones," was a drummer in Company G of the 77th Illinois Infantry Regiment, formerly of the 130th Illinois. Lyrics compare virtues of soldiers to flaws of men who stayed at home. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 4290

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Civil War

A. F. Whelan Diary, 1865-1866 One vol. Location: G:20. A.F. Whelan served in the U.S. Army, 3rd Michigan Cavalry, Co. Diary concerns the final days of the war, with entries on Lincoln's assassination, capture of Jefferson Davis, and the steamship, SULTANA. Entries refer to insubordination, desertion and prisoners, and General Sheridan's march to Texas. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4747

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Civil War

Abstract of wages paid to teachers employed in city colored schools, Memphis, Tennessee, 1864 December. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Abstract signed by T. A. Walker, captain, 63rd United States Colored Infantry, listing wages to teachers in African American schools in Memphis, Tennessee, administered by the Freedman's Department during the Union occupation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3092.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Education, African Americans

Account of the Red River Expedition, ca. 1890. 1 item (28 pages). Location: Misc:A. Union soldier in the Civil War, a Vermont native in Nim's 2nd Massachusetts Battery. Anonymously written account of the Red River Expedition in Louisiana. The writer speculates about the reasons for and possible outcomes of the expedition and comments on generals Butler and Banks. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3422.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Achord, M. H. Map, 1931. 1 item. Location: OS:A. Map drawn from memory by M. H. Achord depicting an area on the boundary of East Baton Rouge Parish and Livingston Parish, Louisiana. The map indicates that a Civil War skirmish or other war-related incident took place in this area. Available on University Publications of America microfilm 5735: Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge