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The Civil War. A Film by Ken Burns
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Recommended Research Resources

General Information

The American Civil War
Timeline of war from 1861 (Firing at Ft. Sumter) to 1865 (General Lee’s surrender) with links to major battles. Includes many of the officers’ official reports.

The American Civil War: Archives and Articles
Includes speeches, letters, and reports of Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses Grant and other military leaders as well as some campaign summaries.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
A computerized database containing very basic facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War. The initial focus of the CWSS is the Names Index Project, a project to enter names and other basic information from 5.4 million soldier records in the National Archives.

Civil War Potpourri
Contains 92 articles on Civil War. Topics include causes, battles, compromises, slavery, diplomacy and roles of women and youth.

Facts About Different States in the Civil War
Index includes Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Dakota Territory, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana Territory, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D. C., West Virginia, Wisconsin.

The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
Access to 128 volumes of the Official Records of Union and Confederate Armies. Also provides links to biographies of Civil War leaders, essays, letters, and diaries.

Researching People of the Civil War Era
Guidelines for genealogical research. Links to National Archives and state archives. Directions for ordering military and pension records for Union Civil War Veterans from the National Archives.

State Archives Referral List
Addresses, phone numbers, and links to official archives of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U. S. Virgin Islands.

State Historic Preservation Offices
Addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and Web sites of State Historic Preservation Offices in all U. S. states and territories.

U. S. Civil War Center, Louisiana State University
Contains over 8,000 links to Civil War articles, records, and documents. Index ( includes abolition and slavery, battles, casualties, causes, draft, espionage, genealogy, geography, government and political science, homefront, medicine, and writers and literature of the period.


The Civil War Along the Coast
Focuses on battles in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Civil War Battle Summaries by Campaign
Battles classified by year and region: Main Eastern Theater, Lower Seaboard Theater and Gulf Approach, Main Western Theater, Trans-Mississippi Theater, and Pacific Coast Theater. Describes battles and identifies commanders, forces engaged, estimated casualties, and result.

Civil War Battle Summaries by State
Summarizes battles in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Washington, D. C, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Civil War Battles by States
Enter name of state and find maps of Civil War battles which occurred there.

Civil War Related Sites in the National Park Service
Lists 47 national battlefields and military parks along with descriptions of battles which took place there.

The End of the Civil War
Excerpt from Reminiscences of the Civil War by Maj. Gen. John B. Gordon, CS, which describes the surrender at Appomattox. Article reveals the ragged condition of Confederate troops, emotions of the day, and the civility of Union commanders toward their Confederate counterparts.

Historic Places 1: Battlefields
Index to articles on Civil War battlefields in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
Commanders’ reports of major battles. Also describes courts martial of Maj. Gen. Fitz John Porter after the Battle of Second Manassas and Henry Wirz, Commandant of Andersonville, in Washington, D. C.

Timeline, the Civil War, 1861-1965
Timeline includes major battles as well as related political and military events.

Caring for the Wounded/Medicine

Caring for Casualties of the Civil War
Describes changes in caring for the Civil War wounded between the First Battle of Manassas (July, 1861) and the Battle of Bentonville, N. C. (March, 1865) due to implementation of the Letterman Plan formed by Dr. Jonathan Letterman, Medical Director of the Union’s Army of the Potomac.

Caring for the Men – The History of Civil War Medicine
Comprehensive article on development of medical corps in both the Union and Confederacy. Statistics on Union hospitals and patients. Describes the role of Dorthea Dix and volunteers.

Civil War Hospitals
Identifies 155 Civil War hospitals, their location, bed capacity, and surgeon in charge.

Civil War Era Women Physicians
Succinct article on Dr. Mary Edwards Walker and Dr. Esther Hill Hawks.

Civil War Medicine
Links to articles on Civil War medicine, hospitals, hospital ships, nurses, and surgeons.

Famous Nurses of the Civil War
Briefly discusses work of five nurses , including Mary Todd Lincoln, Dorthea Dix, and Clara Barton.

Ladies’ Union Aid Society
Describes the role of women volunteers in founding the Western Sanitary Commission, creating hospital ships, and caring for the wounded in battlefield and prison hospitals.

Medical Directors’ Reports from the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
Reports from head of the Medical Department of the Army of the Potomac, including those filed after the Peninsular, Virginia, Campaigns and Battle of Gettysburg.

U. S. Sanitary Commission
Describes formation and activities of the Commission, which had branches in 2,500 communities. Includes reports on Battles of Shiloh, Antietam, Olustee, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, and Chancellorsville.


American Civil War Battle Statistics: Commanders and Casualties
Provides number of Union and Confederate casualties in 29 major battles.

American War Deaths
Compares Civil War deaths with those of other American conflicts from the American Revolution to the Gulf War. Also estimates costs of wars.

Deaths of Union Forces, by State, 1861-1865
Lists number of union troops who were killed in action or died of other causes in each state.

Losses in the Battles of the Civil War and What They Mean
Article by Col. Hilary A. Herbert, 8th Alabama Infantry, CSA, and U. S. Secretary of the Navy, which compares the endurance of Union and Confederate soldiers in specific battles to that of soldiers in foreign conflicts, such as the Battle of Waterloo.

The Price in Blood! Casualties in the Civil War
Identifies ten costliest battles of the war. Provides statistics for battlefield deaths as well as deaths due to disease, accidents, and other causes.

Statistical Summary, America’s Major Wars
Shows the percentage of the population who participated in all American wars and the casualty rates.


Confederate Draft
Discusses law, age requirements, exemptions, and provision for substitutes. Link to Union Draft ( Describes requirements, exemptions, and problem of "bounty jumpers".

Conscientious Objectors in the Civil War Relates efforts by both the Union and the Confederacy to accommodate pacifist religious groups.

Conscription (Military Draft) in the Civil War
Describes opposition to draft laws in both the Union and the Confederacy.

New York Draft Riots (July 11-13, 1863)
News of the Battle of Gettysburg and perceived inequities in the draft led to mob violence following Lincoln’s Enrollment Act of Conscription issued on March 3, 1863. Article describes riots in New York City and provides links to reports taken from the Official Record of the War of the Rebellion.


The American Question Abroad in the Civil War (Part 1)
Summary of British attitudes toward the U. S. Civil War and Union and Confederate efforts to enlist British support.

British Opinions and Responses to the American Civil War
Articles on divided British opinion, effects of the Emancipation Proclamation and Trent Affair, and possible consequences of a British war with the U. S.

The Trent Affair
Article from the Washington Evening Star relates story of Confederate diplomats traveling aboard a British vessel who were seized by Union officials.


Allan Pinkerton
Short description of Pinkerton, his work as head of the American Secret Service during the Civil War, and his post-war activities.

Civil War Spies: Good Intelligence Knows No Gender
Humorous article about activities of Confederate spy Belle Boyd ("La Belle Rebelle") and Union spy Elizabeth VanLew.

Spying in the Civil War
Describes ease with which both Union and Confederate spies obtained information, including "secret" plans published in newspapers.


Geography and Strategic Importance of the Valley
Five-part article discusses military action in the Shenandoah Valley and its importance to Lee’s Maryland campaign, Gettysburg, and Early’s invasion of Washington, D. C.

West Point Civil War Atlas
Easy to read color maps of 58 Civil War battlefields


Civil War 1861-65 mil3.htm
Lengthy article about both Union and Confederate women’s participation in the war.

Civil War: the Wisconsin Homefront
Describes activities of Women’s Soldiers Aid Society and women’s contributions to work force during the war.

Civil War Women (online archival collections, Duke University)
Papers of Rose O’Neal Greenhow, spy for the CSA born in Montgomery County, Md.; Alice Williamson, schoolgirl whose diary describes Union occupation of Gallatin, Tenn., Feb.—Sept., 1864; and Sarah E. Thompson, who worked with her husband to organize Union sympathizers in Tennessee and later became a spy.

Civil War Women: Primary Sources on the Internet.
Diaries, letters, documents, and photographs of women during the war. Many were witnesses to battles and other war-related events in Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Journal of Jane Howison Beale
The writer lived in Fredericksburg, Va., a city which changed hands many times during the war.

Letters and Diaries
Collection of letters, journals, and diaries of soldiers who fought in Washington, D. C., Tennessee, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi. The Follett Collection contains letters of three brothers who served in the Union army and reveals the impact of the war on their family in Illinois. The Hackworth Collection provides a glimpse of life in Northern Alabama before, during, and after the war.

Participants: African Americans

African American Civil War History in the National Park System.
Links to 14 sites associated with African American history during the Civil War, including Andersonville National Historic Site, Ga., Antietam National Battlefield, Md., Fort Scott National Monument, S. C., Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Va., Gettysburg National Military Park, Pa., Petersburg National Battlefield, Va., and Vicksburg National Military Park, Miss. Links to Medal of Honor Winners, Military History, and Sailors’ Project.

African American Medal of Honor Winners
Profiles of five Medal of Honor Winners from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio. All saw action at Fort Harrison, Va.

A Historical Overview of African Americans and the Military
Speech by Dr. Martha S. Putney provides statistics on number of African American troops in Civil War battles and skirmishes and casualties. Describes early prohibitions against using African Americans in national army and state militias and special status of Louisiana Battalion of Free Men of Color.

Sailors’ Project
Statistics on African Americans who served on 700 naval vessels, including the Mississippi Squadron. Sailors database is derived from enlistment records and muster rolls of Navy vessels. Can search by name or by city and state. Provides personal information and data on naval service.

Participants: Civilian and Military Leaders

Civil War Biographies
Links to biographies of major civilian and military participants, Union and Confederate.

Many links to genealogical sources, some by state or family names with civil war ancestors. Includes genealogy "how to" guide.

Northern Leaders of the Civil War
One page biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman and other Union generals. Includes photos.

Southern Leaders of the American Civil War
Short biographies of Jefferson Davis, Gen. Robert E. Lee, and other Confederate generals. Provides photos.

Participants: Ethnic Groups/Immigrants

Ethnic Groups/Immigrants
Articles on various ethnic groups which served in the Civil War, including American Indians, Finns, Chinese, Hispanics, Italians, Jews, Hungarians, Poles, and Scots.

European Recruits
Describes Irish, French, German, and Scandinavian regiments, including the 15th Wisconsin Volunteers, also known as the Scandinavian Regiment.

Union and Confederate Indians in the Civil War
Identifies affiliation and military contributions of Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole tribes.

Participants: Military

Civil War Soldiers and Units Information
Index of over 50 articles on Civil War generals, soldiers, and women in uniform.

Regimental Histories
Links to information on regiments by state.

Can search regiments to get full description of military action and list of all soldiers in regiment.

Biographical information on 5,000,000 Civil War soldiers for which records are available. Chart "Current Soldier Record Status" ( shows number of Union and Confederate records currently available for each state. (Confederate records for some states are not yet available.) Search soldier by name and state of origin to find function and regiment.


Library of Congress – Selected Civil War Photographs
Contains 1,118 photographs, most made under the supervision of Matthew Brady. Can search by keyword, browse subject index, or use timeline.


Records from two Civil War prisons: Ft. McHenry, Md., and Andersonville, Ga. A Union prison, Ft. McHenry detained Union deserters, confederate prisoners, and political prisoners, including members of the Md. legislature and mayor of Baltimore. Andersonville, or Camp Sumter, confined 45,000 union soldiers; 30 percent died from disease and other causes. The Andersonville National Historic Site also serves as a memorial to all American prisoners of war throughout U. S. history. Site provides access to records of individual prisoners at both camps. Link to map of 16 Civil War prison camps. (

The Spanish Civil War and the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Succinct article on causes and course of Spanish Civil War (1936—1939) and role of American Lincoln Brigade.

The World at War
Lists current conflicts around the world. Provides maps and summaries of each war.

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