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Civil War Collection

Identifier: Mss. 39.1 C76

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Civil War Collection is an artificial collection of material, chiefly 1861-1865, pertaining to the American Civil War including items from both Union and Confederate forces. The collection includes official correspondence, general and special orders, descriptions of campaigns and battles, articles concerning the war, and artifacts. There are pardons, poems, songs, autographs, maps, muster rolls, pen and ink sketches of camp life, engineers' drawings, and a memorandum of signals used by Confederate steamers when approaching batteries.


  • Creation: 1856-1940

Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.


3 Linear Feet



Acquisition Information:

Acquisition information for material received after 7/13/2009 is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member.

Purchased 589 items prior to 1941; purchased 12 items on 12/26/1941; received 6 items 4/7/1958, gift of Mrs. George P. Coleman including Acc. 1957.58; gift of J. T. Baldwin in 1971; gift of 9 items from Alberta J. Portergen in 1976; purchase from Henry Stevens, Sons; Stiles in 5/1980; purchase from Dana's House, Tx. in 10/1980; received 4 items in 3/1982; purchase in 9/1982; purchase from James Lowe in 12/1982; gift of 3 items from Ruth J. Staton in 5/1984; transfer from the US Military Collection in 5/1985; gift of John Weaver in 7/1985; purchase of 1 item from Howard Mott on 1/20/1988; purchase of 1 item from Bauman on 4/20/1988; 1991.58, 2 items as gift of Spencer and Ruth Timm; 1992.19, 1 item as gift of Ralph Poriss; 1995.06, 1 item purchased, 2/21/1995; Acc. 1997.64, 5 items as gift (copies) through Fay Savadge (originals in National Archives), 11/17/1997; 1998.04, 1 item purchased, 2/10/1998; 1998.24, 2 items purchased, 6/10/1998; 1998.47, 21 items as gift of Christian Vinyard; 1998.61, purchase from Ralph Poriss; 1999.18, 2 items as gift of David Upshur; 2001.17, 1 item purchased; 2003.23, 1 item.  unknown; 2003.23, 1 item purchased; 2003.58, 1 item;  2003.43, 1 item purchased; 2003.55, 1 item purchased; 2003.57, 1 item purchased; 2003.58, 1 item purchased; 2004.06, 1 item purchased; 2004.40, 1 item purchased; 2004.41, 1 item purchased; 2004.57, 1 item purchased; 2005.59, 1 item purchased; 2006.13, 1 item purchased; 2006.57, 1 item purchased; 2006.64, 1 item purchased; 2006.71, 1 item purchased. 2008.41, 1 item purchased. 2010.399, gift of Philip Hairston Seawell, per Gene L. Hardin.

Related Materials

There are numerous small collections that contain the personal correspondence of soldiers and civilians involved in the Civil War. Please see individual collections in the range of SC 00277-SC 00446.

Confederate Currency Collection, MS 00015.

Oversize Virgina maps: Buckholtz 1858 Railroads of Virgina and the West and Johnston 1862 map of Virginia, depicting cities, principle towns, railroads, rivers, canals and other internal movements.


Other Information:

The transcription project of "From Fights to Rights: The Long Road to a More Perfect Union" is a massive effort by volunteers to transcribe thousands of manuscripts such as diaries and letters from Special Collections and make them available online at .

Genre / Form



Karen King, SCRC Staff.
August 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository