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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Baton Rouge Civil War images, 1863. 3 items. Location: E:73. Three images (cartes-de-visite) taken in Baton Rouge during the Civil War: an African-American male in a wagon pulled by mules; a military encampment (possibly Pikes Hall); and a tree-lined street (Garrison Lane). The first is by McPherson and Oliver, and the other two are probably their work as well. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3272.

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

Battle of Port Republic, [ca. 1900]. 1 item (3 p.). Location:Misc:B.A private in Company H of the 7th Louisiana Infantry Regiment, also known as the Pelican Regiment. In this typed reminiscence,Collins gives a detailed description of the role of the 7th Louisiana Infantry Regiment in the Battle of Port Republic. He mentions General Richard Taylor, Colonel H. T. Hays, and the death of Lieutenant Colonel DeChouiseul. For more information see online catalog. Mss. 4903.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Battle, Kemp P. Circular letter, 1865. 1 item. Location: E:Imprints. Former secretary of the North Carolina Land Agency. Circular letter from Battle recommending the General Southern Land Agency of New York City to his customers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1658.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Business

Baxter, Robert Graham. Papers, 1863-1932. .25 linear ft. (146 items, 1 vol.). Location: T:15. Robert Baxter was the son of Reverend H. B. Baxter, a minister of the Christian Church, formerly of Lisbon, Ohio. Reverend Baxter established a Disciples of Christ church in Baton Rouge. Personal letters from friends, Baxter's wife Mary, and members of the Baxter family in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and Springfield, Missouri. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1819.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, Civil War

Beall, William N. R. (William Nelson Rector), 1825-1883. Telegram, 1862 September 9. 1 item. Location: E:84. Confederate general. Telegram from Port Hudson, Louisiana, to General Daniel Ruggles relating to the defense of the Port Hudson-Baton Rouge area. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 3. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3178.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Beauchamp, A. H. (Andre Hamille). Letters, 1863. 2 items. Location: Misc.:B. Letters from Private Andre Hamille Beauchamp in the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment from Port Hudson to his wife, Margaret. Beauchamp mentions the scuttled ship Indianola and the Essex, Vicksburg, Miss., federal deserters, and rumors of impending attacks. He describes an artillery attack on his position by federal gunboats. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4305, 4403.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Beauregard, G. T. (Gustave Toutant), 1818-1893. Family Papers, 1818-1912 (bulk 1850-1880). 671 items, 106 vols. (13 ms. vols., 93 printed vols.). Location: U:10-12, F:3, OS:B. American army officer, Confederate general during the Civil War, and superintendent of the New Custom House in New Orleans. Collection includes paper and items of financial, legal, political, and personal interest. Other items include recipes; scrapbooks; pamphlets; photographs; notebooks; and some papers of the Cenas family. Included are papers on New Orleans related to railroad, improvement, and other city projects. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 601.

Beauregard, G. T. (Gustave Toutant), 1818-1893. Miscellany, 1839-1918 (bulk 1861-1865). 181 items [photocopies). Location: U:13, Map case:D-8, S-1, Mss. Mf.:B. Miscellany consists of correspondence, military records, succession papers, and other documents created and accumulated by Beauregard and family members. Records document Beauregard's military service, his actions during the Civil War, post-war activities, and the settlement of his estate. Family papers include a letter by his father, Jacques Toutant Beauregard (1851), and an undated memoir by his son, Rene Toutant Beauregard. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 763, 780, 785, etc.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Medicine

Beck, John E. Letter, 1863 March 7. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Letter written by John E. Beck to Mrs. Margaret Tuckett informing her that her 'companion' George A. Tuckett died of measles at Port Hudson, Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3793.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Medicine

Beebe, William S. Papers, 1864 April 17-June 14. 2 items. Location: Misc:B. Union lieutenant, chief of ordnance in the field and assistant chief of ordnance at Headquarters, Department of the Gulf, in New Orleans. Letter from Louisiana in 2 parts. Part 1 from Grand Ecore mentions Beebe taking prisoners in a battle, 'poor Sanderson's' death, and General Stone's departure from the field. Part 2 from Alexandria describes leading his regiment and taking enemy ground. Included is a copy of a letter of General N. P. Banks recommending Beebe to Andrew G. Curtin, governor of Pennsylvania. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3302.

Behrnes, J. P. (J. Polite), b. 1829. Journal, 1853-1893 (bulk 1853-1880). 1 v. Location: Misc. This journal of J.P. Behrnes of Irene Plantation in East Baton Rouge Parish, La., records rains; temperatures; and the planting, cultivation, harvesting, and yields of cotton and other crops. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4335.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Belcher, F. A. Letter, 1863 April 18. 1 item (10 pages). Location: Misc:B. Union soldier. Letter to Belcher's mother and brother written from Brashear City (now Morgan City), St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. It remarks on fighting in the area, the death of 'Matthew,' and General N. P. Bank's practice of remaining with his troops during battle. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3196.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Belcher, Francis A. Letters,[1863 Apr. 1]. 2 items. Location: MISC:B. Soldier in the 4th Massachusetts Infantry, Company D. Letters to his family describe marching and camp life and mentions Port Hudson and the explosion of the "Mississippi." For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3966.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Bell, Helena Jones, Letter, 1938 Jan. 28. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Southern civilian during the Civil War. Letter describes Union occupation, the loyalty of a former slave, Union soldiers killing a child, and harsh living conditions during and after the war. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4545.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, African Americans

Bell, James T. Letter: Johnson Island Prison, Ohio, to Mary Whitaker, Alabama, 1864 February 28. 1 item (2 leaves). Location: Misc:B. Confederate officer in the Civil War. Bell assumed charge of the 21st Alabama Infantry after Captain John B. (Boyington) Hazard died at Johnson Island Prison, February 1864. Letter written to Hazard's sister, Mrs. Mary Whitaker and her husband, Benjamin Andrews Whitaker, describing Hazard's illness, last wishes, death, those present at his death, and general conditions of the medical facilities and the prison itself. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3453.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Medicine

Bell, John W., Captain. Papers, 1862-1864. 3 items. 1 vol. Location: Misc:B. Captain in the 32nd Alabama Infantry who served in Alabama and Tennessee during the Civil War. He was married to Nancy Bell of Coffeeville, Clarke County, Alabama. Letters to Nancy written from Camp Forney, Alabama, and Lavergne, Tennessee, discuss monetary concerns of the soldiers. Also described are local economic conditions, women searching for food for their children, and women who worked as laundresses. Included is a notebook listing personal items and expenses of John W. Bell. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 771.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War

Bell, William R., ca. 1814-1874. Papers, 1842-1941 (bulk 1842-1874). 78 items, 2 vols. Location: C:6. Native of Scotland, mortician, and owner of Union Stables in New Orleans. Business papers document Bell's stable and mortuary and include transactions with Union soldiers occupying New Orleans. Correspondence with his family discusses economic conditions and the Civil War. Collection includes a photograph of Bell. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2117, 2118.

Belmont, August, 1816-1890. Letter, 1863 September 10.1 item (2 leaves). Location: Misc:B. German immigrant, financier, and diplomat of New York City, who was married to Caroline Slidell Perry in 1849. Letter written to Rhode Island governor William Sprague recommending the promotion of Captain William J. Slidell, giving an account of his war record, and commending him for resisting inducements to join the Confederacy under the patronage of his uncle. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1557.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Benedict, Edwin Letters, 1862 Dec. 12-1863 Mar. 20. 13 items.Location: Misc:B. Corporal with Company G of the 23rd Connecticut Infantry. Mentions the building of Fort Massachusetts and the presence of female Confederate prisoners at Ship Island, and describes food, camp conditionsand illness, as well as duty guarding Louisa Plantation, his interaction with slaves, and belief war is divine lesson for slaveholders. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4318.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, African Americans

Bennett family. Papers, 1862-1910. 220 items, 1 volume. Location: W:25, OS:B. Residents of Trenton, Monroe, and Plain Dealing, Louisiana. Confederate soldier's letters, from John Bennett, describe Civil War camp life, the Battle of Corinth, and aspects of the Vicksburg campaign. Family letters pertain mainly to children's welfare and education, household management, and social life. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2976.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

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