Document of the Month

September 2017 Document of the Month | Official Records Collector

By John Coski
Historian

On July 1, 1878, the United States War Department hired Marcus J. Wright (1831-1922) a former Confederate brigadier general from Tennessee, as an agent to help collect records relating to the Civil War. Wright sent a copy of the circular announcing the appointment to his former commander-in-chief, Jefferson Davis, who responded with this letter on July 18, 1878.

June 2017 Documents of the Month | Camp Sketches

 

By John Coski
Historian

The most popular subjects of sketches by Civil War soldiers were their camps – no doubt a product of the amount of time they spent in those camps. Highlighted here are two such sketches from the Museum’s collections: a simple pencil and ink sketch of a simple camp at Neil’s Dam, Virginia, 1861, by Pvt. Kennedy Palmer of Company H, 13th Virginia Infantry, and a more elaborate sketch of the more elaborate winter quarters of an artillery battalion in Albemarle County, Virginia, 1863-1864.

May 2017 Documents of the Month | Photos from WWI Era

By John Coski
Historian

Prompted by Germany’s declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare, the United States entered “the Great War” on the side of the Allies in April 1917. While the U.S. government worried about the loyalty of millions of German-Americans, other “hyphenated Americans” went out of their way to demonstrate their support of the American war effort.

January 2017 Document of the Month | An Appeal for Aid

By John Coski
Historian

One hundred and fifty years ago this month, an estimated 300,000 southerners, white and black, faced the real prospect of famine.  The immediate cause of the crisis was not the effects of civil war and emancipation, but drought and crop failure during the 1866 growing season. The Federal government, through the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands – the “Freedmen’s Bureau” – budgeted $500,000 in aid, and private organizations mobilized throughout the United States to raise and distribute money, food, and clothing.

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