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Civil War Manuscripts Collections Research Guide

Georgetown University Library's Civil War Collections

The Booth Family Center for Special Collections in the Georgetown University Library contains a number of manuscripts collections documenting the American Civil War.  Manuscripts collections are generally collections of personal papers.  This page describes our Civil War collections, and it provides links to the finding aid of each collection.  Finding aids are guides which list the contents of each collection.  Some of these collections are stored off-site and may require a few days for retrieval.

Boggs Family papers

Collection Description: Correspondence of Lt. William R.T. Boggs of Pennsylvania.  Date Span: 1863-1923.  Extent: 0.25 linear feet.

Helen King Boyer collection

Collection Description: Includes extensive correspondence (1862-1864) of Z.T. Miller, of the 61st Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his family back home.  Date Span: 1800-2001.  Extent: 25.0 linear feet.

Breedin Family papers

Collection Description: Mostly correspondence of members of the family of Enoch C. Breedin and Lucy Payne Singelton of Winchester, Virginia.  Date Span: 1811-1976.  Extent: 1 linear foot.

James Clark, S.J. papers

Collection Description: Materials concern West Point days and short military career of Fr. Clark. Includes West Point documents signed by Robert E. Lee.  Date Span: 1825-1885.  Extent: 0.5 linear feet.

John E. Dooley, S.J. papers

Collection Description: Correspondence, manuscripts, and a journal of former Georgetown College (later University) student John E. Dooley, who fought for the South in the Virginia Infantry.  Date Span: 1862-1865.   Extent: 0.5 linear feet.

William O. Dundas collection

Collection Description: Dundas was a Washington, D.C. native who served in the Confederate army.  Date Span: 1839-1920.  Extent: 1.5 linear feet.

John Erwin papers

Collection Description: Mostly letters written by Erwin, who served in the 121st Ohio Volunteers, to his family.  Date Span: 1862-1863.  Extent: 0.25 linear feet.

Richard X. Evans collection

Collection Description: Includes materials concerning the Dimitry family of Louisiana, especially Alexander Dimitry, who was assistant postmaster general of the Confederacy.  Date Span: 1787-1967.  Extent: 4.5 linear feet.

Charles Ewing - William T. Sherman papers

Collection Description: Charles Ewing was an attorney who was a general for the North, and he was the brother-in-law of William T. Sherman.  Date Span: 1850-1933.  Extent: 2.5 linear feet.

Francis Pollard papers

Collection Description: Letters of Francis Pollard of the 2nd District of Columbia Infantry. Date Span: 1861-1935.  Extent: 1.0 linear feet.

Roosevelt Civil War Envelopes collection

Collection Description: 370 envelopes with illustrated Civil War themes contained in one bound volume, the gift of Archibald B. Roosevelt, Jr.  Date Span: c. 1861-1865.  Extent: 0.25 linear feet.

John S. Mayfield papers: Autographs Series

Collection Description: 34 folders of materials about various aspects of the Civil War amassed by noted collector John S. Mayfield.  Date Span: 1861-1865.  Extent: 0.25 linear feet.

Byington Family papers: part 1

Collection Description: Byington Family papers: part 1.  Includes several manuscripts by A. Homer Byington, a Northern war correspondent and friend of Abraham Lincoln.  Date Span: 1835-1996.  Extent: 2.75 linear feet.

Link to Lincoln Assassination Guide

The Georgetown University Library Special Collections also has a number of manuscripts collections about the Lincoln assassination.

Edwin C. Fishel papers

Collection Description: Research files generated by Fishel for his landmark book "The Secret War for the Union: The Untold Story of Military Intelligence in the Civil War" (1996).  Date Span: 1980-1990.  Extent: 35.5 linear feet.

Julius P. Garesche papers

Collection Description: Correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs about Georgetown College (later University) student Julius P. Garesche, who went on to serve as chief of staff for Northern General William S. Rosecrans in the Army of the Cumberland.  Date Span: 1836-1908.  Extent: 0.25 linear feet.

Garesche Family papers.  A related collection of letters by Louis Garesche, son and biographer of Julius P. Garesche.  Date Span: 1879-1920.  Extent: 0.25 linear feet.

Loughborough Family papers

Collection Description: 3 parts of the Loughborough family's papers, with material on the Civil War experiences of family members, including James Henry Loughborough and Margaret C. Loughborough, both of whom joined the Confederate cause.

Part 1: Date Span: 1803-1952.  Extent: 0.25 l.f.
Part 2: Date Span:  1796-1969.  Extent: 6.5 linear feet.
Part 3: Date Span:  1800-1939.  Extent: 1.0 linear feet.

Jackson McElmell papers

Collection Description: Includes letters and orders documenting McElmell's service in the Union Navy during the Civil War.  Date Span: 1851-1908.  Extent: 2.5 linear feet.

McHarg Family papers

Collection Description: McHarg Family papers: part 1: Includes about 50 subtstantial Civil War letters from members of the McHarg family from New York fighting on the side of the North.  Also, five letters dated 1864 relating to amateur baseball games in New York state, including box scores.

McHarg Family papers: part 2.  Collection Description: A few documents related to Union officer Horace Porter and material concerning John McHarg of New York state, an Assistant Quartermaster of Volunteers for the Union.  Date Span: 1856-1992.  Extent: 3.25 linear feet.

John Mullan papers

Collection Description: Includes documents about Mullan's work with War of the Rebellion Claims for several Western states. Date Span: 1826-1966.  Extent: 8.0 linear feet.

Ord Family papers

Ord Family papers: part 1.  Collection Description: A wealth of material produced by the Ord Family, including some coverage of the Civil War.  Date Span: 1840-1963.  Extent: 2.0 linear feet.

Ord Family papers: part 2.  Collection Description: Includes ample documentation of the life of E.O.C. Ord, a noted Union general.  Date Span: 1848-1969.  Extent: 22.0 linear feet.

Ord Family papers: part 3.  Collection Description: A small collection of documents about the Ord family.  Includes one wartime letter by Northern general E.O.C. Ord.

Horace Porter collection

Collection Description:  Manuscripts, photographs, and a large number of medals and muniments of Horace Porter, best known as an aide-de-camp of Union General Ulysses S. Grant.  Date Span: 1855-1921.  Extent: 13.0 linear feet.

Peter J. Sullivan papers

Collection Description: Includes a limited number of documents about the Civil War experiences of Peter J. Sullivan, a Union officer.  Date Span: 1843-1950.  Extent: 5.5 linear feet.

Daniel S. Curtis papers

Collection Description: Letters of Daniel S. Curtis, who served in the 28th Wisconsin Volunteers, next in Lafayette C. Baker's unit, and then in the 1st Maine.  Date Span: 1862-1890.  Extent: 2.75 linear feet.

Rare Books in Special Collections

The Booth Family Center for Special Collections also houses rare books about the American Civil War.  The books are searchable in Hoya Search, the library's online catalog.  Rare books in Special Collections are marked as "LAU Special Collections" in the location field.  Special Collections books do not circulate.  They must be used in the Special Collections reading room.

Isaiah Garrett, Jr. papers

Collection Description: Forty-one letters to his family from Georgetown College student Isaiah Garrett, Jr., who fought for the South.  Thirty-seven of the letters were written while he was a student at Georgetown, one letter was written from a camp in Georgia, and one from a camp in Mississippi.  Date Span: 1859-1865.  Extent: 0.2 cubic feet.

Peter R. Brady Papers

Collection Description: Most of the correspondence in this collection is from Brady's sisters, Margaret and Mary Ellen, and their respective husbands, Edmund and Major B. B. French. Letters from these individuals provide a fascinating view of the country, and especially Washington, D.C., before, during, and after the Civil War. Date Span: 1850-1898. Extent: 0.42 linear feet.

American Song Sheet Collection

Collection Description: The American Song Sheet Collection includes song sheets published in the United States from the 1850s through the early years of the Civil War. There are songs of African American interest and a few relating to events in the Civil War. Date Span: 1850-1865. Extent: 3.0 linear feet.

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