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Primary Sources on the Web
War Times Journal: American Civil War
This site includes excerpts from the memoirs of General U.S. Grant, General John Gordon, General John B. Hood, Lieutenant General James Longstreet, and General William Tecumseh Sherman, as well as orders, telegrams and reports from the navies of the United and Confederate States.
A selected list of websites with primary source material.
Ulysses S. Grant Association
This site provides access to many primary source documents on Ulysses S. Grant. Search within the “Digitized Items” section.
Eyewitness to the American Civil War
This site presented by Ibis Communications includes firsthand accounts of John Brown's raid, the assassination of President Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address, Sherman's March and many other important events. Also includes a Georgia plantation owner's diary that provides insight into life in the South immediately following the defeat of the Confederacy.
Keywords: John Brown, Fort Sumter, Abraham Lincoln, Assassination, Bull Run, Bread Riot, Gettysburg, Sherman's March to the Sea, Appomattox
The American Civil War Homepage
This web site links to sources of excellent primary materials. A subject index makes it easy to access a whole range of issues that were the subject of either Senate or House debates in both the pre- and post-Civil War period. This site also has an extensive Civil War music section, providing the lyrics to many popular tunes of that period, along with various other primary sources—letters, regimental histories, and biographies
Cartoon of the Civil War
Includes information and cartoons from Harper’s Weekly on the Civil War in general, as well as on Slavery and Black America from 1857-1874, the Ku Klux Klan hearings, and the Reconstruction.
Civil War Primary Sources (Civil War Trust)
Includes full-text of official records; addresses and speeches; acts, bills and orders; military correspondence and documents; personal correspondence and narratives; prints and photos; and maps.
Library of Congress: American Memory Collection
Civil War Treasures from the New York Historical Society
The images of this digital collection are from the New York Historical Society’s archive of the Civil War. It includes recruiting posters, stereographic views, photography showing the war’s impact on both sides, and drawings and writings by everyday soldiers.
American Memory from the Library of Congress has an enormous collection of primary source and other materials related to the Civil War. Some LOC web pages to look for these resources are:
The National Archives
The National Archives American Originals: Discovering the Civil War
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the National Archives has created a digital exhibit of many important documents from the Civil War/Reconstruction Era, with a brief introduction to establish the historical context. The site also includes videos with transcripts of programs at the National Archives, including a discussion by Drew Faust Gilpin on her book This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War. There are also articles from Prologue, the magazine of the National Archives and pathfinders on several Civil War topics such as “Confederate Sympathizers in New Mexico During the Civil War.” Other web sites sponsored by the National Archives are:
A collection of primary source material from the vaults of the National Archives. It can be difficult to navigate, but there is an abundance of excellent material here.
From the National Archives’ Docsteach.org program, which helps educators add primary source material to their lesson plans. It is also helpful for student research.
Matthew Brady Photos
The U.S. National Archives has digitized over 6,000 images from the series Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes (National Archives's Local Identifier 111-B) and included them in our online catalog