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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Anonymous Civil War letter, 1863 August 11. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Letter from a young woman residing near Campbell County Court House, Virginia, reporting that a cousin, Robert Andrews, had distinguished himself at Winchester and had been wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2121.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War

Anonymous Civil War letter, 1863 April 18. 1 item. Location: Misc:A Letter from a Union camp in Baton Rouge describing camp life and mentioning the siege of Port Hudson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2824.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Baton Rouge

Anonymous Civil War letter, [1863] October 4. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Letter from a Southern woman who had lived in New York City prior to the Civil War compares the changes that have been made during the Civil War and in particular mentions sermons of abolitionist Dr. Henry Whitney Bellows. She also describes the problems encountered in passing through Fortress Monroe under a flag of truce. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2121.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, African Americans

Anonymous Civil War letter, 1863. 1 item. Location: Misc:A Letter from a teacher in North Carolina to his parents in Richmond, Virginia, telling of his work as a mechanic in order to avoid the Confederate conscript law. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1452.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Education

Anonymous Civil War memoir, 1900-1930. 1 item. Location: MISC:A. An anonymous author recounts his experiences as a boy in a small town in western Kentucky at the beginning of the Civil War. He describes how the boys in the town organized themselves into a company to play as juvenile Confederate soldiers. He relates two stories of how they enticed locals into their play and how he tried a near fatal trick on soldiers of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry Regiment encamped nearby. Mss. 3975.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War

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