Guide to the Confederate States of America Collection, 1850-1876
The Confederate States of America (CSA) was formed in 1861 by eleven states in the southern United States that declared secession from the U.S. The CSA collapsed in 1865 after its defeat in the American Civil War by Union forces.
Collection was assembled from various sources and includes a variety of materials originating from administrative bodies within the Confederate States of America, including the Army, Executive Department, Congress, state governments and agencies, and the Navy. In addition to official records, the collection also includes some personal correspondence and miscellany.
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
- Confederate States of America.
- Confederate States of America Collection, 1850-1876
- Language of Material
- 17.5 Linear Feet, 13125 Items
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
The Confederate States of America Collection was assembled from various sources and includes a variety of materials originating from administrative bodies within the Confederate States of America, including the Army, Executive Department, Congress, state governments and agencies, and the Navy. In addition to official records, the collection also includes some personal correspondence and miscellany.
The CSA Congress division contains miscellaneous papers as well as original and typed copies of acts and statutes of the CSA Congress.
The Executive Department papers contain records of various offices of the Cabinet with the respective bureaus under each office, including the Justice Department, Navy Department, Post Office Department, State Department, Treasury Department, and War Department.
Also included are records of various Army units including: Army of Mississippi, Army of Tennessee, Army of Northern Virginia, Department of South Carolina and Georgia, Wheeler's Calvary, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Another group of Army related records is organized by record type and includes hospital records, military telegrams, and Quartermaster records among others.
State government records exist for Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, and state agency records exist for North Carolina and Georgia and are divided into two groups: the Court Records for the Pamlico District of North Carolina, and the poor relief and claims papers of North Carolina and Georgia.
Miscellany includes soldiers' letters, prison papers, oaths of allegiance, sketch maps, and autographs, as well as a small number of volumes and ledgers.
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
This series includes maps, personal letters from officers and soldiers, and prison papers.
The maps subseries, dated 1861-1865 (9 items), includes maps of Fort Pulaski; Garlington, Mississippi; roads between Columbus and Tuscaloosa; and the Wilmington Fort Fisher area in December, 1864, signed by John O'Connell Barclay, U.S. Navy, showing the placement of the Union fleet.
Officers' and soldiers' letters, dated 1861-1865 and 1876 (492 items), consist of letters from Confederate personnel which are unrelated to other collections, largely commenting on camp life, food, health, weather, homesickness, military campaigns and battles, prisoners and prison life, and prices. One letter of 1876 by Lewis E. Harvie, former president of the Richmond, Danville, and Piedmont railroads, defends the railroad's role in supplying the defense of Richmond.
The prison papers, dated 1861-1865 (26 items and 1 vol.), includes letters, a diary, and oaths of allegiance from Confederate prisoners at Old Capitol Prison, Washington, D.C.; Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio; Palmyra, Missouri; Point Lookout, Maryland; Fort Delaware in Delaware Bay; Fort McHenry; Johnson's Island, Sandusky Bay, Ohio; and Rock Island in the Mississippi River between Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa. There are also receipts for property of Union prisoners in Andersonville, Georgia, and a guard report from Castle Pinckney, Charleston, South Carolina.
Abstracts of dispatches received, North Carolina, 1864-1865, 1 vol. (510 pp.); applications for transfer, 1863-1864, 4 items; discharge certificates, 1861-1865, 26 items, including attached receipts for discharge pay; commissary papers, 1861-1865, 78 items; commissions and enlistment papers, 1861-1864, 12 items; exemption papers, 1862-1864, 12 items; field returns, 1861-1864, 12 items, showing organization and strength for armies and departments; order book, 1 vol. (62 pp.) of Victor J. B. Girardy, adjutant general at Augusta Arsenal, Georgia; records relating to hospitals, including an account of the expenditures for Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond, 1863-1865, 1 vol.; letterpress book of James Lawrence Cabell, superintendent of Charlottesville, Virginia, hospital, 1 vol., 1861-1862; miscellaneous hospital records, 1861-1865, 45 items; routine papers of the Surgeon General's Office, Richmond, 1861-1865, 12 items; papers of hospitals in North Carolina, 1862-1865, 10 items; of McPhersonville Hospital, South Carolina, 1862-1864, 4 items; and of hospitals in Virginia, 64 items and 5 vols.; impressment papers, 1863-1865, 10 vols., concerning the taking of cattle, horses, and slaves for work on fortifications and public works; morning reports, 1862-1865, 35 items, of various regiments, brigades, and battalions ordnance reports and requisitions, 1861-1865 47 items; payrolls, 1862-1865, 11 items, including muster rolls, receipts for pay received, and lists of pay and clothing for various individuals and units; provision returns and requisitions, 1861-1865, 30 items; quartermasters' papers, 1862-1865, 1,429 items and 1 vol., including records of John Jenkins, Motte A. Pringle (Charleston, South Carolina), Hamilton J. Stone (Anderson's Division, Army of Northern Virginia), and Fleming A. Saunders (pay vouchers for various Virginia regiments); quartermasters' accounts, 1863-1864, 1 vol. (156 pp.), for Mississippi and Alabama; reports on clothing, 1864-1865, 16 items, relating to the 34th Georgia Regiment and the 29th Alabama Regiment; reports of men present and absent, 1861-1865, 48 items, for various Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Texas regiments; reports on transportation, 1862-1865, 33 items, include information of transportation facilities in various units and reports of the arrival and departure of troops at Augusta, Georgia, 1865.
Papers, dated 1861-1865, 71 items, of the Army of Mississippi relate to ordnance, supply, medicine, scouting, furloughs, signals, casualties, paroled federal prisoners, organization, transportation, and cotton. Persons mentioned include N.A. Birge, Adolph Dies, William Joseph Hardee, Albert Sidney Johnston, and Thomas Jordan. There are references to Mississippi cavalry, the 17th and 18th Louisiana Volunteer Regiments, Daniel Ruggles' Division, the Partisan Rangers, and the Washington (Louisiana) Artillery. Battles mentioned include Farmington, Mississippi, 1862, and Shiloh. Papers of the Army of Northern Virginia, dated 1862-1865, 25 items and 1 vol., are mainly miscellaneous orders. For the Army of Tennessee, 16 items and 1 vol., dated 1862-1865, there are miscellaneous orders and letters relating to furloughs, military life, supplies, organization of the artillery; also a dispatch book, including many dispatches, November and December, 1864, from John B. Hood to Beauregard, concerning the battle of Franklin and Union cavalry raids at Greenville and Pollard, Alabama. For the Department of Richmond, 1864, 2 items, there are conscription notices. Papers of the Department of South Carolina and Georgia, dated 1862-1865, 59 items, are largely orders of John C. Pemberton concerning surgeons, officers and their commands, discharges, publication of orders, the form of reports, courts-martial, supplies, and Beauregard's commands and inspections; there is also a memorandum on the condition of the fortifications on Sullivan's Island, April 6, 1864, by Roswell S. Ripley. For the District of the Gulf there is an order signed by Gen. Dabney H. Maury, dated 1864, concerning a detail for special duty. Relating to the Florida 8th Regiment of Volunteers are muster rolls, dated 1864, 9 items. For Georgia State Troops there are general orders for the 2nd Brigade and other units, dated 1861-1865, 31 items and 2 vols. Miscellaneous letters, reports, and orders concern various regiments of Louisiana, dated 1861-1863, 19 items and 1 volume. Records of North Carolina State Troops, dated 1861-1865, 36 items and 4 vols., concern the 2nd, 4th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 25th, 27th, 37th, and 66th Regiments, and contain letters, general orders, muster rolls, payrolls, requisitions for supplies, orders for movements, courts-martial, lists of veterans, lists of medical exemptions from duty, and a history of the 13th Regiment by H. C. Wall. For South Carolina State Troops, dated 1861-1864, 14 items and 1 vol., there are receipts for supplies and pay, letters, courts-martial papers, and an agreement of Lancaster District citizens to form a company of home guards which became Company A of the 9th South Carolina Infantry. Relating to Tennessee State Troops are rolls, 1 vol., dated 1861-1862, of the 3rd Regiment. For Virginia State Troops, dated 1861-1865, 2 items, there are lists of soldiers. For Wheeler's Cavalry Corps there are reports, 1865, 18 items, of Thomas Harrison's Brigade, Dibrell's Brigade, Iverson's Division, 11th Texas Cavalry, and 3rd Arkansas Cavalry, concerning transportation, ordnance, extra-duty rolls, medical and sanitary conditions, supplies, and lists of men.
Original enrolled statutes, 96 items, bearing the signatures of the presiding officers of the House of Representatives and the Senate and the approval of President Jefferson Davis. Ninety of these items belong to the 2d sess., Second Confederate Congress (Nov. 7, 1864-Mar. 18, 1865). These acts have been published in Laws and Joint Resolutions of the Last Session of the Confederate Congress, edited by Charles W. Ramadell (Durham: Duke University Press, 1941). Also in the collection is the official register of the acts of the Confederate Congress, 1861-1865, 1 vol., giving title and dates of passage and approval of acts of both the provisional (incomplete) and permanent congresses. There are typescript copies of the acts and the register. There is also a register of bills and joint resolutions of the Confederate House of Representatives, 1864, 1 vol. (14 pp.), showing dates of actions taken, passage, and approval. Miscellaneous papers are a petition, 1863, from an unidentified planter of Coahoma County, Mississippi, describing conditions in the delta after the fall of Vicksburg, and a letter, 1865, to William P. Miles, member of Congress, seeking an appointment.
Papers relating to the Department of Justice, dated 1861-1865, deal primarily with legal proceedings, including the defense of Stephen W. Crawford of Georgia, 1861; an explanation offered the French consul in New York of why a French citizen may no longer do business at Camp Benjamin, 1862; several court-martial proceedings, 1863; a circular regarding punishment for the destruction of a church, 1864; charges against Major E. S. Burford, II Cavalry Corps; and charges against Union sympathizers turned over to the 45th Virginia Regiment. Papers relating to the Navy Department, dated 1861-1865, 16 items, include applications for leave; a promotion notification; a report, 1865, concerning plunder of stores; letters, 1862-1863, 3 items, concerning the captured schooner Willet S. Robbins; a report from the C.S.S. Gov. Moore; quartermaster's reports for the C.S.S. Virginia (No. 2), 1864, 2 items; report of the gunboat Sentinel, 1862, 1 item, at Roanoke Island; and vouchers, 1863-1864, 14 items, for travel, maintenance of steamers, and supplies at Shreveport, Louisiana. Papers relating to the Post Office Department, 1861-1865, 10 items, are largely reports from postmasters in Smith Bridge (Robeson County) and Harrington, North Carolina; Landon District, Abbeville, and Woodlawn (Edgefield County), South Carolina; and Austinville, Wythe County, Virginia; also a letter, 1863, regarding military exemption of postal contractors and administrative procedures regarding postage stamps. Papers of the State Department, 1861, 1 item, consist of a letter from C. J. N. Raynor providing a cipher for an agent in New York. Papers of the Treasury Department include accounts with the Confederate government in Camden County, North Carolina, 1864-1865, 1 vol., 15 pp.; auditors' office papers, 1861-1865, 8 items, containing claims of relatives of deceased soldiers, claims for an abandoned horse, and requisitions for money. Papers of the Office of the Secretary, 1861-1865, 23 items and 1 vol., contain checks, receipts, orders, and letters concerning treasury certificates and bonds, taxes and government indebtedness to railroads, and conscription orders. There are also receipts of tax in kind collected in the 7th Congressional District, Virginia, 1863-1864, 2 vols.; estimates and assessments of tax in kind, 1863-1865, 245 items and 10 vols., for Upson County, Georgia, and Mecklenburg, Albemarle, Amherst, Buckingham, Nelson, and Fluvanna counties, Virginia; and warrants, 1863-1865, 13 items, issued to Confederate agents abroad (Colin J. McRae, Ambrose Dudley Mann, and John Slidell), to Columbus Upson as governor of Arizona Territory, to Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State, for payment to the "Secret Service," and for payment of large sums to deputies in preparation for the evacuation of Richmond. There are also records of several branches of the War Department, as follows. Papers of the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, 1861-1865, 82 items, are primarily orders signed by John Withers. Papers, 1864-1865, 4 items, of the Bureau of Conscription, largely concern furloughs and absent soldiers. Papers of the Bureau of Ordnance, 1862-1863, 5 items, are routine. Papers of the Engineer Bureau, 1862-1865, 7 items, contain checks, and letters concerning construction of a bridge at Demopolis and rails for the repair of railroads in Georgia. Papers of the Office of Inspector of Field Transportation, 1864-1865, 10 items, contain complaints about the impressment of horses and mules, reports on the inspection of roads, and the use of government wagons for private freight. Papers of the Office of Secretary, 1861-1863, 26 items, concern foreign trade and the effects of the blockade, transfer of U.S. property to the Confederate government, commissions in the Confederate Army, and passport forms. Papers of the Quartermaster General's Office, 1861-1865, 23 items, are orders, requisitions, letters, circulars, an indenture, and transportation passes for soldiers. Papers of the Subsistance Department, 1862-1865, 8 items, are mostly estimates of funds needed for various periods for [Charles C.] Crews' Brigade, the 12th Texas Cavalry, 17th Texas Cavalry, and the 7th North Carolina Regiment.
Poem by "Clea" in memory of Midshipman E.H. Edwards, who died of typhoid fever in Mobile, Alabama, 1863.
Records of the Confederate courts of Pamlico District concern the sequestration of alien property in eastern North Carolina, generally debts due northern businesses, chiefly in New York and Philadelphia, by Southern firms and individuals; and prize ships captured from the North. Included are references to the North Carolina property of Adele (Cults) Douglas, widow of Stephen A. Douglas. Papers relating to poor relief and claims, dated 1861-1865, 478 items and 1 vol., Jones County, Georgia, and Craven, Martin, and Warren counties, North Carolina, largely relate to aid for soldiers' families. There are a few papers of the U.S. District Court prior to 1861 and after 1865.
Papers relating to state governments are as follows: for Georgia there are bonds for state or county officers, 1864-1865, 6 items; oaths of office, 1863-1865, 60 items; tallies of votes cast by soldiers in state and regimental elections, 1862-1865, 42 items, of the 2nd, 5th, 13th, 32nd, 37th, and 46th Regiments of Georgia Volunteers; and 6th Regiment of Georgia State Guards; 51st Regiment of Georgia Militia; 2nd Georgia Battalion of Sharp Shooters; and the 6th Georgia Cavalry; also tax receipts, 1861-1865, 59 items; militia accounts and expenditures, 1861-1865, 47 items, concerning the Spalding Grays [2nd Independent Battalion, Georgia Infantry], Stark's Volunteers [13th Georgia Infantry], Ringgold Rangers [13th Georgia Infantry?], Hunter Guards [30th Georgia Infantry], Bartow's Artillery [22nd Battalion Georgia Siege Artillery?], Byer's Volunteers, and Gray's Infantry; military records, 1861-1864, 11 items, largely lists of men subject to enrollment in 431st District, Spalding County, and Clay County. Relating to North Carolina are miscellaneous papers of the state Adjutant General's Office, 1861-1865, 6 items; tax returns, 1863-1864, 4 items. For South Carolina there are papers of the Ordnance Office, 1861-1862, 73 items, mainly orders, receipts, and ordnance requisitions related to supplies for forts in Charleston harbour; Treasury Department papers, 1860-1861, 5 items, of a miscellaneous character; and an ordinance of the state legislature, 1862, enabling those in military service to vote. Relating to Virginia are papers of miscellaneous agencies, 1861-1864, 6 items, and income tax returns of Wythe County, 1864, 6 items.
Autographs, some clipped, of Confederate officers and leaders; permits; poems; Civil War slogans and cacheted envelopes; and a volume of notes on C.S.A. War Department documents concerning blockade-running.
Cover title: "Heavy Infantry Tactics, compiled for the use of volunteer companies, by Lieut. C. S. Andrews and Lieut. Louis Schelpert of the Home Guards, Madison, State of Georgia."
- Confederate States of America--History.
- Confederate States of America--Politics and government.
- Confederate States of America. Army of Northern Virginia.
- Confederate States of America. Army of Tennessee.
- Confederate States of America. Army.
- Confederate States of America. Congress.
- Confederate States of America. Navy.
- Confederate States of America. Post-Office Dept.
- Executive departments--Confederate States of America.
- Georgia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
- Military prisons--Confederate States of America.
- North Carolina--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
- South Carolina--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
- Southern states--History.
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.
- Virginia--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
[Identification of item], Confederate States of America Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
The Confederate States of America Archives were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift. The collection was assembled from various sources and was formerly known as the Confederate States of America Archives.
Processed by Rubenstein Library staff, date unknown
Encoded by Meghan Lyon, May 2010
Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.
This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.