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History 456: Government Documents

Civil War and Reconstruction
Professor: Charles Dew
Fall 2019

Confederate States of America Documents

For publications of the Confederate States of America, do a Browse Search by author in the library catalog: Confederate States of America

  • Confederate Official Documents (Documenting the American South, The Southern Homefront, 1861-1865, UNC)
  • Southern Historical Society Papers (1876-1959)
    Sawyer E483.7 .S6
    This 52-volume series, published after the war, contains Confederate wartime reminiscences, papers, and records. Use the index volumes to identify documents in the series. Partially digitized/searchable in HathiTrust Digital Library.

U.S. Government Documents

Executive Agency Documents

Williams has been a depository for U.S. documents since 1858, and many government documents can be found through searching for the government agency in the library catalog. For example here are a few Surgeon General and Sanitary Commission documents:

For additional Sanitary Commission documents, do a Browse Search by Author for United States Sanitary Commission.

Congressional Hearings, Documents, and Debates

  • Congressional Publications (library subscription database)
    Use to find congressional prints, hearings, reports.  Also contains the Congressional Globe (1822-1873) and the Congressional Record (1874-present) which provide near verbatim transcriptions of the debates of congress. The Congressional Globe from 1833 to 1873 is also available online through the Library of Congress American Memory project.

Presidential Messages

  • A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the President
    Sawyer J81 .B96 1913
    A chronological arrangement of presidential addresses, orders, and proclamations. See volume 11 for the index. Volumes 5 and 6 cover the Civil War and Reconstruction years.

For additional presidential materials do a Browse Search by author in the library catalog for the president's name.


Union and Confederate Official Military Documents

  • War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.
    Available online through Cornell's Making of America
  • Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion
    Available online through Cornell's Making of America
  • Military Operations of the Civil War: A Guide-Index to the Official Records of the War of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1861-1865
    Sawyer E470 U56 

Subject Librarian

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Christine Ménard
Meet your librarian:
Sawyer Library
Research Services, Room 347D
Pronouns: she/her/hers