Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
American Civil War Collection
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
2 boxes and 2.1 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-2


Consists of selected correspondence and documents related to the American Civil War.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of selected correspondence and documents related to the American Civil War. Included are letters from individuals in the army to their families or friends describing their experiences in the war and their life in army camps. There are letters of orders from army generals, with orders for brigades, pardons, promotions, and one about the return of army prisoners, and one of a Confederate prisoner describing a Civil War prison at Point Lookout, Maryland. Correspondents include Henry M. Bond and Luke Lyman who wrote letters to James Walker about their life in Union army camps; others are Henry L. Benning, John Archibald Campbell, Gen. Charles H. T. Collis, and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. There are circulars, "Returns for Provisions" for Fort Sumter, S.C.; receipts for food and supplies for army personnel and for the horses; a "Parole of Honor" (1865) for J. C. Whitwell; and a musters roll for Capt. S. D. Rainey. Also included are a piece of a Confederate flag, a drawing of "Rebel" and Union "Picket Pits" at Fort Sedgwick ("Fort Hell") in Petersburg, Virginia, and a manuscript poem titled "Lines by a Confederate Major," dated May 1865 and written on the back of a Confederate one dollar note. In addition, there is a sample of paper manufactured by the Southern Confederacy during the Civil War.

Collection Creator Biography:

The American Civil War, also known as the War Between the States, began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked a U.S. military installation at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Eleven Southern slave states had declared their secession from the U.S. and formed the Confederate States of America (the Confederacy). Led by Jefferson Davis, they fought against the U.S. federal government (the Union), which was supported by all the free states and the five border slave states in the north.

The Civil War was the deadliest war in American history, causing 620,000 soldier deaths and an undetermined number of civilian casualties. Its legacy includes ending slavery in the United States, restoring the Union, and strengthening the role of the federal government.

Collection History


"Parole of Honor" for C. J. Whitwell, was a gift of John Colman Whitwell.

"Returns of Provisions" for Fort Sumter were a gift of George Blight Halsted, Princeton Class of 1839, on June 29, 1937 .

Letters of Henry Bond were a gift of Mrs. Wilson Farrand, wife of Wilson Farrand, Princeton Class of 1886, on Nov. 29, 1938 and Sept. 1940. AM 11486, 12029-12030. November 29, 1938 and September 1940 . Various AM.

Custodial History

The collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Dina Britain on August 18, 2009. Finding aid written by Elizabeth Mulvey on August 20, 2009. Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager (2015) in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

American Civil War Collection; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-2