Civil War Primary Source Documents

Civil War Primary Source DocumentsConnect to this database

This unique archive captures various accounts of the Civil War as it was experienced on land and at sea. The collection provides firsthand perspectives from hospitals and prison camps and reactions to the War from the homefront.

Northern and Southern Points of View
The Civil War Primary Source Documents collection, drawn from the holdings of the New-York Historical Society, is comprised of over 110,000 pages from over 400 individual collections, and focuses on the War as it was fought from both Northern and Southern perspectives.

Battlefront Perspectives and Personal Artifacts
Invaluable primary resources include letters, diaries, administrative records, photographs and illustrations. Personal accounts appear in various scrapbook journals and family portraits, and strategic initiatives are evident in maps featuring details of troop movements and local landmarks.

Insightful Correspondence and Notable Papers
Highlights include the papers of David Cronin, a famous soldier and artist, soldiers' diaries chronicling daily life and experiences as prisoners of war, Union Defence Committee records and Confederate Army records.

Content Includes:

  • Over 110,000 pages from over 400 individual collections
  • Extensive correspondence from both the Confederate and Union troops, societies and individuals and their families
  • Diaries from soldiers on the field and civilians on the homefront
  • Hand-drawn illustrations, maps, and engineering notebooks
  • Military content from both the army and navy, from the front lines to hospitals and prisons
  • Letters and first person accounts from such well-known leaders as Ulysses S. Grant, as well as accounts from individual soldiers and sailors

On-Campus Link