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Guide to the Civil War Collection
 MS 670.14

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Susan Kriete. Machine readable finding aid created by Susan Kriete.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on April 16, 2014
Description is in English

Descriptive Summary

Title: Civil War Collection
Dates [inclusive]: 1838-1880
Dates [bulk]: Bulk, 1861-1864
Abstract: The Civil War Collection is an "artificial" collection of materials of unrelated provenance that have been organized together by subject matter. It includes correspondence, military and official documents, legal papers, bills and receipts, personal narratives, soldier biographies, and documents relating to slaves. Although primarily Union side, there is one folder of Confederate documents, as well as several folders of material relating to post-war memorials and publications. The materials in this collection have been digitized and are available online to on-site researchers and to users affiliated with subscribing institutions via EBSCOhost.
Quantity: 0.834 Linear feet (2 boxes)
Call Phrase: MS 670.14

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Scope and Contents note

The Civil War Collection is an "artificial" collection of materials that were donated by or acquired from a variety of unrelated sources but have been organized together by subject matter. The materials in this collection have been digitized and are available online to on-site researchers and to users affiliated with subscribing institutions via EBSCOhost.

The collection has been arranged into folders by document type. The majority of documents in the collection were generated by individuals or departments within the Union. Correspondence includes pre-war correspondence of figures who later participated in the Civil War; military and official correspondence; and personal correspondence of soldiers writing to relatives and loved ones. There are also several envelopes printed with soldier ballots for the presidential election of 1864.

The collection also includes a variety of Union military documents, including battle and other official reports; military orders; certificates of enlistment, discharge and pension; safe-conduct passes; court-martial papers; and requisitions, bills and receipts (including bills of lading for shipped cotton). Other official documents include oaths of allegiance to the U.S.Government and presidential pardons signed by Andrew Johnson.

There is one folder of Confederate material. It includes military correspondence (most notably, a manuscript copy of Lieutenant Hardee's letter refusing Sherman's demand to surrender Savannah), an oath of allegiance to the Confederate States of America, safe-conduct passes, reports of deserters, receipts and vouchers, and Confederate currency. There is also a folder of material relating to slaves, including an 1860 mortgage document listing all the slaves on the plantation of John Williams, receipts for slaves supplied to labor for the Confederate army, and a certificate dated August 2, 1862, freeing a slave in South Carolina.

Several folders of legal papers consist primarily of claims brought after the war for damage caused to property (including cotton) in the Confederate states by the Union army. Many of the claimants were represented by Thomas J. Durant, a New Orleans lawyer who played a prominent role in reconstruction efforts in Louisiana immediately following the war.

Other post-war materials include personal reminiscences, documents relating to Civil War memorials, and biographical sketches of soldiers solicited by Frank Moore for his Rebellion Record. Also included are several 19th century catalogs of Civil War-related material.

Arrangement note

The material in this collection has been organized by document type, and arranged chronologically within each category.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Durant, Thomas J., (Thomas Jefferson), 1817-1882
  • Moore, Frank, 1828-1904

Subject Topics

  • Courts-martial and courts of inquiry
  • Slavery--United States
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Hospitals.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal Narratives.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Prisoners and Prisons.
  • United States. Army--Ordnance and ordnance stores.

Subject Places

  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Portions of the collection that have been microfilmed will be brought to the researcher in that format and can be made available by Interlibrary loan. Researchers on site may print out unlimited copies from microfilm reader-printer machines at per-exposure rates. See guidelines in Reading Room for details.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Items that include presidential signatures will be presented to researchers in duplicate form.

Use Restrictions

Permission to quote from this collection in a publication must be requested and granted in writing. Send permission requests, citing the name of the collection from which you wish to quote, to

Manuscripts Curator
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

The copyright law of the United States governs the making of photocopies and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials. Unpublished materials created before January 1, 1978 cannot be quoted in publication without permission of the copyright holder.

Preferred Citation note

This collection should be cited as the Civil War Collection, MS 670.14, The New-York Historical Society.

Related Materials at the New-York Historical Society

The manuscript department holds some additional papers of Thomas Jefferson Durant.

The library's extensive holdings of Civil War-related materials can be located by searching in our online catalog.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Pre-war correspondence
1838 - 1861 January
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Military and official correspondence and wrappers (includes fragments)
1861 May - 1877 July, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Personal correspondence
1861 July - 1866 April, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Battle reports and dispatches
1861 March - 1863 August
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Reports of Union troop strength
1862 December - 1863 October
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Military orders
1861 June - 1865 September, 1868 April 6
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Certificates (enlistment, discharge and pension)
1861 May - 1870 December, 1880 November
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Soldier ballot envelopes
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Inspection and morning reports
1861 July - 1864 March, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Orders assigning 18th Army Corps Officer of the Day
1864 August 10 - December 4
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Safe-conduct passes
1861 May - 1865 April
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Court-martial papers
1860 September - 1864 October
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Requisitions and returns
1862 February - 1866, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Bills and receipts
1861 July - 1866 May, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Hospital receipts
1862 February - 1865 August
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Effects and case studies of deceased soldiers treated at the New York State Hospital Depot
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Documents relating to slaves
1860 February - 1865 June, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Confederate correspondence and documents
1861 September - 1864 June
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Oaths of allegiance and presidential pardons
1861 September - 1864 June, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Resolutions
1865 April 20, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Legal papers and decisions
1862 October - 1880 June, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Legal papers relating to cotton claims
1867 January - 1878 October, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Partial manuscript describing experiences of Mounted Rifles
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Memorial and commemorative documents
1863 September - 1868 November, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Catalogs
1863, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Correspondence relating to Frank Moore's Rebellion Record
1862 February - 1869 January, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Biographical sketches for Frank Moore's Rebellion Record (A-K)
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Biographical sketches for Frank Moore's Rebellion Record (L-Z)

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