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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Boothby, Charles W. Papers, 1861-1898 (bulk 1861-1874). 1 linear ft. Location: T:19, OS:B. U.S. Army captain, customs official, superintendent of education for New Orleans, and politician. Correspondence, printed military orders, and quartermaster's records reflect Civil War and postbellum New Orleans. Civil War papers document personal experiences, military engagements, African American soldiers, and political activity. Postbellum papers reflect the local and national political environment during Reconstruction. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4847.

Bosley, Hubbard S. Papers, 1825-1947 (1850-1880). 10 linear ft., 39 vols. Location: C:1-5, O:1, 98:B, OS:B, Planter of Red River Parish, Louisiana, son-in-law of William A. Powell of Caddo Parish, Plantation records, business papers, and personal correspondence of Hubbard S. Bosley, William A. Powell and families. Included are materials relating to the Civil War. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 2, Reel 19, and microfilm 6061: Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration. Series B, Part 2, reels 12-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 963.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War, Business

Boston Museum (1847-1903). Playbill, 1861. 1 broadside. Location: E:Imprints. Abolitionist playbill reading: First nights of Dion Bourcicault's greatest production! Illustrating American character! American scenes! and Southern homes! entitled the Octoroon or--life in Louisiana, ...this Saturday afternoon, Dec. 14, 1861. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1558.

Bower, Garner and Harrison. Papers, 1863-1888 (bulk 1863-1868). 0.25 linear ft. Location: E:51. New Orleans commission merchants. Letters of New Orleans, Louisiana commission merchants to a member of the firm at Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1863) and Natchez, Mississippi (1864-1868). Additionally, there is a receipt book (1866-1867). At the end of the volume are loose financial items (1869-1888). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1388.

Bowers, J. A., letter, 1863 Feb. 24. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Confederate soldier. J. A. Bowers writes from Port Hudson, La., about camp life, quality food and water, and he tells of Union troops foraging across the river. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3770.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Bowers, J.A. Letter, 1863. 2 items. Location: Misc.:B. Confederate soldier. Letter written from Port Hudson, Louisiana, describes camp life, quality of food and water, and Union troops. A certificate, signed by Captain C. Kavanaugh, states James Bowers furnished an able-bodied substitute and is released from military service, For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3770.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Boyd, David French. Papers, 1833-1934 (bulk 1860-1899). 9 linear ft., 10 microfilm reels. Location: D:12-19, MF.MSS:B, OS:B, MAP CAGE: DRAWER 34 (BACK WALL). Confederate officer, president of the Seminary of Learning at Alexandria, Louisiana, and president and professor at Louisiana State University (1884-1886). Papers contain correspondence, including correspondence with William T. Sherman; writings about Civil War figures; academic papers; photographs; financial papers; and printed items. Manuscript volumes consist of school notebooks; memorandum books; diaries, including a Civil War diary; morning reports from Kentucky Military Institute and Locust Dale Academy; and a minute book of the Demosthenian Society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 40, 99, 794, 890, 893, 1400, 1612, 4234.

Boyd, David French. William T. Sherman letters (part of the David French Boyd papers), 1859-1891. 0.3 linear ft., 1 microfilm reel. Location: U:179, MSS.MF:B, Vault:26. Civil War officers, educators. Letters refer to higher education, political issues, rights of freedmen, Ku Klux Klan activities, and the jetty system in New Orleans. Civil War letters concern Boyd's imprisonment. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 890, 893, 3362.

Boylston, William A. Diary, 1864-1865. 1 item. Location:Misc.:B. South Carolina native, Confederate soldier. Boylston provides brief daily accounts of his unit's activities and movements, including his 1864 capture by Union forces, and his eventual release. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4733.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Bradford, James L. Papers, 1856-1865. 19 items. Location: E:4. Confederate Army captain. Personal letters and bills including a letter from his brother, J. B. Bradford, discussing Louisiana politics. Civil War papers include a list of officers in Bradford's company, a record of an expense account for recruiting officers, record of stores and supplies, doctors' statements noting the health of enlisted men, and payroll account;. Available on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 3. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 727.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War, Medicine

Bradly, James Thomas. Reminiscences, 1907. 3 items. Location: Misc.:B. Confederate soldier. Typescript of James Thomas Brady's article "Naval Reminiscences: An Ex-Confederate's Account of the Monitor and Merrimac Battle." Brady gives an account of his service in the Confederate navy aboard the gunboat Lady Davis, the Merrimac and its battle with the Monitor, and his subsequent service along the Atlantic coast. Brady's obituary and family photograph accompany the article. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3176.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876. Letter, 1856 February 12. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Confederate general in command of the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War. In reply to a request for biographical information from J. Furlong of Brooklyn, N.Y., Bragg discusses the circumstances of his situation as a sugar planter in Louisiana at the beginning of the Civil War, laments the misfortunes of his 125 former slaves, and briefly describes his military career for the Confederate States of America. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2537.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Civil War, African Americans

Bragg, Braxton, 1817-1876, Letter, 1860 December 7. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Confederate general in command of the Army of Tennessee during the Civil War. Letter written from Thibodaux, Louisiana, while Bragg was a major general in the Louisiana militia. It presents his opinions on the role of the militia system and the need for the governor of Louisiana to seek advice of military men. The letter also comments on the attitudes of the local residents towards military service and states that they are poorly equipped. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3072.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War

Breda, Jean Philippe, 1808-1882. Family Papers, 1776-1921. 1,070 items and 31 vols., 3 mf reel. Location: B:64-65, J:13, 98:, OS:B, Mss.Mf:B, Vault:3. Physician and druggist of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Letters, personal papers, and business records of Dr. Breda concerning his medical practice, Louisiana politics, and family matters; together with correspondence and papers of his son, J. Ernest Breda, relating to the Civil War and politics. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 953, 966, 1021.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War, French, Medicine

Brent, Joseph Lancaster. Papers, 1862-1940 (bulk 1862-1904, 1926-1940). 1.3 linear ft., 12 volumes. Location: U:243-245. Maryland native, lawyer, and Confederate general. Joseph Lancaster Brent practiced law in Louisiana, Baltimore, and Los Angeles. Married to Rosella Kenner, he assisted in the management of his father-in-law, Duncan Farrar Kenner's, plantations. Brent served as a Brigadier General in the Louisiana Cavalry Brigade during the Civil War. Collection consists primarily of correspondence between Brent and his wife, Rosella, and published and unpublished writings, including manuscript and printed copies of "Memoirs of the War Between the States" (1940), "The Lugo Case" and "Capture of the Ironclad Indianola" (1926). There is also a diary written by Brent in 1862 during his service in the Civil War. Also part of the collection are the papers of Brent's daughter, Nanine M. Brent, including a personal diary, recipe book, and household hints. Parts available on microfilm: University Publications of America, Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reel 15. Mss. 1477, 1822.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War, Literature

Brent, Rosella Kenner. Papers, 1865, 1902-1916. 0.1 linear ft. Location: U:245. Daughter of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, planter and politician Duncan Farrar Kenner and wife of Confederate brigadier general Joseph F. Brent. Two narratives of Brent's recollections of Ashland Plantation, including a sketch of slave Henry Hammond. She also recounts an 1862 incident in which her father escaped to Bayou Lafourche upon learning that Union troops were coming to arrest him. Three letters pertain to Rosella Kenner Brent's husband, Brigadier General Joseph L. Brent, C.S.A. A 1910 letter describes General Brent's service in the Confederate army. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reel 14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1167, 1822.

Brigadier General Mason Brayman letter, 1864. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Letter to Brigadier General Brayman concerning the living conditions of freedmen in Natchez, Mississippi. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3666.

Bringier, Louis Amadee and family. Papers, 1786-1901. 2 linear ft. and 13 volumes. Location: T:96-97, F:9, OS:B. Planter of Ascension Parish, Louisiana; Confederate officer and commander of the 4th Louisiana Cavalry and the 7th Louisiana Regiment. Papers include military records, correspondence and business papers relating to the administration of Hermitage Plantation in Ascension Parish and Houmas, Burnside, and Bagatelle plantations. One letter report that a woman killed a federal soldier in New Orleans (1862); another describes Grand Ilse as a resort frequented by Jews. Some items in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reels 1-2, and microfilm 5322: Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 1, Reel 13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 43, 139, 544.

Brown, Charles L. Letters, 1862-1863. 5 items. Location: Misc.:B. Civil War letters by a Union soldier stationed in Virginia to his family in Waltham, Massachusetts. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2423.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Brown, E. Y. Letter, 1863 April 21. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Letter written while aboard the steamboat, Natanzas, describing the scenery along the Mississippi river, war torn New Orleans, and a visit to a military hospital. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3802.

Brown, Sarah Goodwin. Collection, 1840-1944. 31 items. Location: U:181. Materials documenting the history of Baton Rouge and Clinton, Louisiana. Included are two letters referring to the enlistment of a Northern school teacher in the Confederate army. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1573, 1986.

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

Brown, Silas H. Letter, 1863 May 22. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Civil War soldier. Letter written at an unnamed army camp in Baton Rouge to his family. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4573.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Browning, Orville Hickman, 1806-1881. Speech, 1862 March 10. 1 printed item. Location:E:Imprints. U.S. Senator from Illinois. Speech delivered before the United States Senate during debate on a bill to confiscate Confederate property and slaves discusses various implications of the bill. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2918.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Civil War, African Americans

Bruce, Seddon, and Wilkins Plantation Records, 1741-1865 (bulk 1847-1854). 607 items, 6 ms. Vols. Location: S:124-125, J:20. William Webb Wilkins, James Coles Bruce, and James Alexander Seddon, partners in the ownership of sugar and cotton plantations, a saw mill, and a cooper's shop in Saint James Parish and Carroll Parish, Louisiana. Papers include legal documents, bills and receipts, correspondence, and manuscript volumes related to plantation operations and slave matters. Included are photocopies of a Union Army-issued circular and broadsides regarding slave employment and the subsistence of federal troops. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reels 9-10. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2668.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Civil War

Brusle, Charles A. Papers, 1854-1905. 32 items (includes 3 vols.). Location: U:20, F:11. Sugar planter of Plaquemine, Iberville Parish, Louisiana; and Confederate army officer; state legilator; tax collector; and sheriff. Papers include a diary, a record book, and scrapbook, primarily concerning Brusle's activities in the Civil War and in politics. Diary contains an account of his trip to the Creek Nation, Indian Territory, to muster a regiment of Creeks into the military service of the Confederacy under orders from General Benjamin McCulloch. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 3. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 558, 1605, 1627.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Civil War

Buck-Ellis Family Papers, 1812, 1826-2000. 14 linear ft and 27 volumes. Location: 16:1-14, OS:B, J:27, Vault 1. Family of educators, lawyers, and public officials. Of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Ellis family papers (1812, 1826-1987) are comprised almost entirely of personal correspondence relating to daily activities, politics, health, religion, employment, military service, education and travel of five generations. Other material includes financial papers, legal documents, speeches and lectures related to the study of law, printed items, account books, diaries, inventories, family scrapbook and minute books of United Daughters of the Confederacy, Blue Cross Chapter. The Carroll and Martina Ellis Buck papers (1922-2000) consist primarily of personal correspondence from family and friends, but include some professional correspondence, primarily from his legal and public career. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4820.

Buman, A. W. Letter, 1865 February 18. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Union soldier during the Civil War. Letter from Lincoln Hospital, Washington, D.C., describes the routines and privileges at the hospital, and mentions visits to the public buildings in Washington. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2425.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Medicine

Burguières, Jules M., Jr. Papers, 1699, 1816-1957 (bulk 1911-1915). 2.5 linear ft. Locations: 78:1-2, OS:B, J:30, E:65. Sugarcane planter and researcher, land developer. Papers consist of correspondence, research notes, clippings, photographs, and financial records relating primarily to Jules M. Burguières, Jr.’s involvement in the sugar and timber industries of Louisiana and Florida. Some research material in French and German. The estate papers of Joseph E. Burguières are also included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1927, 2026, 2134, 2264, 2525.

Burnett family. Papers, 1778-1862. 6 items. Location: Misc.:B, OS:B. Papers include bills of sale of slaves; two pieces of private script; one piece of Continental currency for eight dollars; and an 'extra' edition of the RICHMOND ENQUIRER, giving the text of Confederate President Jefferson Davis' inaugural address. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 901.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, African Americans

Burnham, B. Letters, 1863 January 4-May 23. 2 items. Location: MISC:B. Union soldier in a regiment stationed at Camp Parapet, near New Orleans, and Fort Butte-a-la-Rose (also called Camp of Fort Burton), Louisiana. His regiment was brought to Louisiana by transport ship. Letters describe the conditions of the regiment's camp, Confederate attacks on transport boats, and a African American regiment stationed near Camp Parapet. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3443.

Burnham, Howard and Horace. Letters, 1862-1863. 4 items. Howard Burnham, apparently a Union soldier in an Illinois regiment stationed in Arcadia, Missouri. Horace Burnham, apparently a Union soldier in the Marine Hospital in New Orleans in the Civil War. Howard Burnham's two letters (1862) tell of the number of men ill and in hospitals; Horace Burnham writes of accommodations at the Marine Hospital in New Orleans, African Americans, and sanitation facilities. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1181.

Burrows, Lottie. Letters, 1860-1864. 38 items. Location: U:100. Resident of New York. Civil War letters to Burrows from family members enlisted in the Union army. Written primarily from Louisiana, they relate military life, personal health, and conditions in camp; and include descriptions of military engagements in Louisiana and Texas. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4686.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Burruss, John C. Family Papers, 1825-1882. 407 items. Location: C:56,Mss. Mf.:B Methodist minister of Virginia and planter of Wilkinson County, Mississippi. Correspondence, and personal and business papers of the Burruss and Edward McGehee families. Papers relate to the Methodist Church and plantation operationst, including sugarcane growing, rice planting, the construction of a sugar mill, and African American laborers. They also reflect Confederate military life, and civilian life during the Civil War. A group of poems concern the 1845 presidential election of James K. Polk and George M. Dallas.For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1514, 2296.

Burt, Joseph, Jr. Papers, 1856-1876 (bulk 1862-1863). 16 items. Location: Misc:B. Union soldier in the 57th Massachusetts Infantry during the Civil War. Papers include correspondence while Burt was stationed in New Orleans in 1863 commenting on military life, Confederate prisoners of war, and off-duty recreation including the shooting of alligators. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2721.

Butler family. Papers, 1663-1950 (bulk 1813-1915). 16.5 linear ft. Location: S:2-S:8, OS:B, 65:, Vault:2. Cotton and sugar planters in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Papers include letters, personal papers, financial and legal documents, photographs, and printed items. Papers discuss the Civil War; plantation life; Thomas Butler's judicial and political career; and antebellum life in the Gulf South states. Included is correspondence from prominent Louisiana residents and others. Letters from Anna Butler who lived in the White House (1849-1850) Collection also contains manuscript and published music, including the music of John Thuer.. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 5, Reels 13-27. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 893, 965, 1026, 1076, 1217, 1240, 1309, 1353, 1381, 1640, 1649, 1913, 1938.

Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin). General orders no. 98, 1862 Nov. 20. 1 item. Location: E:74. The order corrects a previous official report that stated that the 7th Regiment of the Vermont Volunteers lost its colors at the Battle of Baton Rouge. Clarifying that it was not its regimental colors but rather its camp colors that the regiment lost, the order states that the colors will be restored to the regiment. Part of the United States Army Collection. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2312.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin). Letter, 1861 September 16. 1 item. Location: MISC:B. General in the United States Army during the Civil War. Letter, written from Lowell, Massachusetts, to Mr. Haskell, discusses notices written by Haskell about Butler's role in the battle of Big Bethel, Virginia, the first land battle of the Civil War.For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3193.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

Butler, Margaret, 1821-1890. Correspondence, 1847-1880. .5 linear ft. Location: S:24. Daughter of Louisiana judge Thomas Butler and Ann Ellis Butler. She lived at the Cottage in West Feliciana Parish near St. Francisville. The Butlers were sugar and cotton planters. Letters from family and friends reflect the life of the Butler family in the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods. Antebellum letters depict plantation life and religious life in the Episcopal church. Several family members served in the Confederate army and corresponded with Margaret, describing the life of army personnel. Later letters illustrate social and economic conditions after the war. Available on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 5, Reel 2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1068.

Butler, Thomas, 1785-1847. Papers, 1804-1945. 5.5 linear ft. Location: S:13-S:15, OS:B, J:10, Vault. Judge of the Louisiana Third District Court. Butler owned plantations in West Feliciana and Terrebonne Parishes. Papers include correspondence and documents related to household and business finances, documenting the plantation economy in the antebellum and post-bellum periods. Civil War papers include Confederate military orders and other official correspondence. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 5, Reels 9-13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2850.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Civil War

Cable, James B. (James Boardman), 1846-1915. Papers, 1862-1913 (bulk 1885-1913). 0.5 linear ft. (61 items; 1 printed. Vol.). Location: U:106, M:18. Writer of Long Beach, Mississippi. His brother was the writer George Washington Cable. Papers chiefly consist of Cable's published and unpublished poetry and short stories. Letters from Cable to his mother mention his work as an orderly at Oliver Hospital, Lauderdale, Mississippi, during the Civil War. There are also letters from George. Some genealogical material regarding the Cable family and an article about James B. Cable are included. The printed item is a first edition of George Cable's Grandissimes. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 3. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1765.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Medicine, Literature

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