Special Collections. former McBryde building from Imagebase image number lh150

American Civil War Manuscript Guides


American Civil 
War Resources
Donaldson and Rand, Confederate Soldiers, both of the 22nd Virginia Regiment of the Confederate States Army, was taken in January 1862 in Richmond, Va.

Source: The Louise Testerman papers, Ms86-008. This image can be found at URN: lh25

The Civil War is a major collecting focus for the University Libraries. Manuscript collections contain letters and diaries from both Union and Confederate soldiers, homefront letters, memoirs, and contemporary research files. The backbone of the printed collection, located in the Special Collections' Rare Book Room, is the Elden E. Josh Billings Collection which consists of approximately 6,000 monographs. Subsantial subsequent donations of books have come from Homer E. and Margaret Davis and Ronald Alt. Since 1996, the book collection has been enhanced with acquisitions made possible through a generous grant from the George R. Wallace Foundation.

Go to Guide to the Manuscript Resources for Civil War Research for more on Civil War Manuscripts. Some of the Civil War manuscripts collections with online guides include:

  • Memoirs of Archibald Atkinson, Jr., a Confederate surgeon with the Army of Northern Virginia
  • Letters of William Latham Candler, an officer in Company A of the 1st Massachusetts Regiment, Army of the Potomac. Ms1997-007
  • Letters of Henry C. Carpenter, a corporal in Company H, 45th Virginia Infantry. Ms1996-008
  • Letters of the Cochran Family, including letters written between the election of Abraham Lincoln as U.S. President and the beginning of the Civil War. Ms1992-032
  • The Civil War Research papers of Guy di Carlo, Jr., of New Jersey.
  • Scrapbook of George F. Doyle, a contemporary collector of Union cartoons and engravings.
  • The Fenwick Collection includes John Newton Smith's letters and Charles Gulager's sketchbook.
  • Papers of Judge Wm. M. Harris, of Vicksburg, Miss., including extensive correspondence with his wife 1863-1865, while the Judge was stationed in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Papers of the Huff-Hylton families, of Floyd County, Virginia, including letters of Lorenzo Hylton who served in Company D of the 54th Virginia Infantry.
  • Papers of Daniel Bedinger Lucas, a West Virginia lawyer, politician and poet.
  • Papers of Robert Taylor Preston, a Blacksburg, Virginia, resident who was a colonel in the 28th Virginia Infantry.
  • Letters of brothers in the Smith family of Carroll County, Virginia, who served in various Virginia companies, including the 20th Virginia and the 54th Virginia.
  • Papers of the Stearns Family, including the papers of Isaac Holden Stearns, a surgeon in the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry.
  • Records of United Daughters of Confederate Soldiers, Dr. Harvey Black Chapter, an organization of female descendents of Confederate soldiers.
  • Inkwash sketches by H. E. Valentine, of Company F of the 23rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
  • Letters of Felix Voltz, a Union " drummer boy," from near Buffalo, New York.
  • Papers of John D. Wagg, a Methodist circuit preacher in Virginia in the late 1850s and early 1860s.
  • Papers of Isaac White, an assistant surgeon in the 29th and 31st Virginia Infantries.
  • Letters of Lewis Wood, a private in Companies H and K of the 2nd Ohio Cavalry.
  • President of the Virginia Secession Convention, the John Janney Papers, 1820-1871. 8 cu. ft., include over 800 letters and images.
Civil War Print Collection
Josh E. Billings: Bibliography of donations (partial)
George R. Wallace Foundation: Records of purchases
Online theses and dissertations authored by Virginia Tech graduate students
Other sites of interest:


Send questions or comments to:
specref@vt.edu
University Libraries
Virginia Tech, P.O. Box 90001,
Blacksburg, VA 24062-9001


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