by Mark F. Hall, Digital Reference Specialist
Although the entirety of its brief existence was consumed
with fighting its ultimately unsuccessful war for independence,
for four years the Confederate States of America had a federal
government modeled on that of the union from which its member
states had seceded. Much of the surviving documentation of
the Confederate government can be found in the collections
of the Library of Congress. The digital collections of the
Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated
with the Confederate government, including manuscripts, maps,
broadsides, photographs, prints, and sheet music.
This guide compiles links to digital materials related to
the Confederate States of America that are available throughout
the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides
links to external Web sites focusing on the Confederate government and
a bibliography containing selections for both general and
Library of Congress Web Site | External
Web Sites | Selected Bibliography
American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and
Other Printed Ephemera
The Printed Ephemera collection at the Library of Congress
is a rich repository of Americana. In total, the collection
comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth
century to the present and encompasses key events and eras
in American history.
Examples of printed ephemera from the Confederate era
- An act recognizing
the existence of war between the United States and the
- A list of the membership in
the Confederate Congress.
- A poem on The
Lost Cause illustrated with pictures
of Confederate money notes.
Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation
This collection contains the records of Congress from
1774 to 1875, including journals, debates, bills, and laws.
In addition to United States Congress materials such as
Statutes at Large, House Journal,
and Senate Journal, this collection
also includes the Journal of the Congress of the Confederate
States of America, 1861-1865.
Narratives of the American South, 1860-1920
This collection contains the full texts of over a hundred
books describing the American South during this period.
Many of these are illustrated with pictures and maps. Includes
than 50 books related to the Confederate States of
American Sheet Music, 1850-1920
This collection presents 3,042 pieces of sheet music drawn
from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections
Library at Duke University, including music about the Confederate
States of America.
The focus of this collection is Americana and cartographic
treasures of the Library of Congress. These images were
created from maps and atlases selected from the collections
of the Geography and Map Division. This collection contains
more than one hundred maps related to the Confederate States
Nineteenth Century in Print: Books
This collection comprises books published in the
United States during the nineteenth century, primarily
during the second half of the century. The collection is
particularly strong in poetry and in the subject areas
of education, psychology, American history, sociology,
religion, and science and technology.
this collection to find several books about
the Confederate States of America from a northern perspective.
Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals
This collection comprises periodicals published in the
United States during the nineteenth century, primarily
during the second half of the century. The periodicals
selected illuminate the subject areas of education, psychology,
American history, sociology, religion, and science and
this collection to find articles about
the Confederate government and other Civil War topics.
Back in Time: Florida Seceded, January 10, 1861.
Back in Time: Jefferson Davis
Elected President of the Confederate States of America,
November 6, 1861.
Back in Time: Lee Surrendered, April 9, 1865.
Treasures of the Library of Congress
This exhibition provides unique insight into various
aspects of American history and culture. Objects displayed
are organized according to the three categories that
Thomas Jefferson used for his library: memory, reason,
and imagination. Many of these relate to the Civil War.
Among those that represent the Confederacy are the Diary
of a Confederate Woman and the Ruins
and Uncle Sam: Four Centuries of British-American Relations
Brings together for the first time treasures from the
two greatest libraries in the English-speaking world—the
British Library and the Library of Congress—in
order to illuminate the relationship between the two
countries. Includes a political
cartoon of Britain's Queen Victoria rebuffing a Confederate
request for diplomatic recognition.
Civil War Regimental Histories in the Library of Congress
Regimental histories are valuable research sources that
offer a unique perspective for the study of the Civil
War. They provide details on the organization and achievements
of a particular unit, often focusing on wartime activities.
This finding aid focuses on Civil War regimental histories
located in the Library's general collections and is arranged
by Union and Confederate state units.
Division Finding Aids Online
View the finding aid for the Records of the Confederate
States of America in the Library of Congress Manuscript
Division. The records of the Confederate States of America
span the years 1854-1889, with the bulk of the material
concentrated in the period 1861-1865. The collection
relates to the formation of the government of the Confederacy
and the conduct of its internal, external, and military
With few exceptions, the collection consists of official
or semiofficial records generated by departments of the
Confederate government and their agents. The departments
of state, justice, treasury, navy, war, and the post
office are represented, along with material relating
to the president, the congress, and the constitution.
This collection has not been entirely digitized, but digitized materials can be found from links within the finding aid, or can be browsed.
Americana: Selected Images from the Collections of the
Library of Congress
Pictorial Americana, a 1955
Library of Congress publication, contains a chapter listing
selected images related to the Confederate
States of America.
Search the Prints
and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) for additional
images concerning the Confederate States of America.
States of America Collection
Publications issued in the South during
the Civil War. The Library's Civil War collections include one of the largest collections of Confederate
imprints in existence. The division has approximately
1,500 volumes, pamphlets, and broadsides that chronicle
the actions of the Confederate States government, southern
life, and book production during the war.
Features and Activities
Use this interactive timeline-based activity to introduce
topics of American history through primary
sources. One section focuses on The
South During the Civil War.
Delegates to the Florida Convention
in Tallahassee voted to secede from the Union.
Voters loyal to the Confederate States of America went
to the polls to elect their leaders.
American Civil War Museum
Comprising the Museum of the Confederacy and Confederate White House in Richmond,
Virginia, The Civil War Museum at the historic Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, and an additional museum in Appomattox, Virginia, the Museum's rich
collection of civilian and military Civil War artifacts
relating to the Confederate States of America, as well
as the post-war “Lost Cause” era, is a valuable
resource for the study of the role of the Confederacy
in the War and in American society today.
Davis Home and Presidential Library
Located in Biloxi, Mississippi. This
historic site was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane
Katrina in 2005. Efforts are underway to rebuild and
Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
Available online through the Making of America project
at Cornell University, contains the formal reports, both
Union and Confederate, from the first seizures of United
States property in the Southern States, through all military
operations in the field, with the correspondence, orders,
and returns relating specially thereto.
Southern Homefront 1861-1865: Topical Access to Confederate
Available online through the Documenting the American
South project at the University of North Carolina. The
documents in this section range from the provisional
and permanent constitutions of the Confederate States
of America through legislation, reports, and communications
touching upon all aspects of the national agenda for
establishing and defending Confederate independence.
Davis, Jefferson, new foreword by James M. McPherson. The
Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.
New York, N.Y.: Da Capo Press, c1990.
LC call number: E487 .D263 1990 [Catalog
Davis, William C. Look Away! A History
of the Confederate States of America. New York: Free Press. 2002.
LC call number E487 .D278 2002 [Catalog Record]
Eaton, Clement. A History of the
New York: Macmillan, 1954.
LC call number: E487 .E15 [Catalog
Evans, Clement A. Confederate Military
History: A Library of Confederate States History, Written
by Distinguished Men of the South, and edited by Gen.
Clement A. Evans of Georgia. Atlanta, Ga.: Confederate
Pub. Co., 1899.
LC call number: E484 .E9 [Catalog
Henry, Robert Selph, with a foreword by Douglas Southall
Freeman. The Story of the Confederacy. Rev.
ed. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1970 [c1936]
LC call number: E487 .H544 1970 [Catalog
Thomas, Emory M. Confederate Nation:
1861-1865. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.
number: E487 .T483 1979 [Catalog
Wakelyn, Jon L. Biographical Dictionary
of the Confederacy. Westport,
Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1977.
LC call number: E467 .W2 [Catalog
Gaines, Ann Graham. The Confederacy
and the Civil War in American History. Berkeley
Heights, NJ : Enslow Publishers, c2000.
LC call number: E487 .G25 2000. [Catalog