The Civil War Collection is an artificial collection of material, chiefly 1861-1865, pertaining to the American Civil War including items from Union and Confederate forces. The collection includes both official and private correspondence, orders, descriptions of campaigns and battles, articles concerning the war, and artifacts. There are Confederate bonds and currency; pardons; poems and songs; autographs; maps; muster rolls; pen and ink sketches of camp life; engineers' drawings; a memorandum of signals used by Confederate steamers when approaching batteries; letters concerning civilian conditions in West Virginia; general orders of the Army of the Potomac; and papers concerning Union quartermaster stores, 1863-1864. The collection also contains a receipt for a slave to work on Richmond fortifications; copy of report on the Battle of Williamsburg and artist's conception of the charge; and a Virginia secession cockade. The original pencil sketch of "The Only Union Lady in Williamsburg" (Mary Ann Bowden) drawn by a Union soldier during the Battle of Williamsburg, May 5-6, 1862, is found in this collection.
Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.
Source: Various gifts.. Acquisition information for material received after 7/13/2009 is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member. Purchased 589 items prior to 1941; purchased 12 items on 12/26/1941; received 6 items 4/7/1958, gift of Mrs. George P. Coleman including Acc. 1957.58; gift of J. T. Baldwin in 1971; gift of 9 items from Alberta J. Portergen in 1976; purchase from Henry Stevens, Sons, & Stiles in 5/1980; purchase from Dana's House, Tx. in 10/1980; received 4 items in 3/1982; purchase in 9/1982; purchase from James Lowe in 12/1982; gift of 3 items from Ruth J. Staton in 5/1984; transfer from the US Military Collection in 5/1985; gift of John Weaver in 7/1985; purchase of 1 item from Howard Mott on 1/20/1988; purchase of 1 item from Bauman on 4/20/1988; 1991.58, 2 items as gift of Spencer and Ruth Timm; 1992.19, 1 item as gift of Ralph Poriss; 1995.06, 1 item purchased, 2/21/1995; Acc. 1997.64, 5 items as gift (copies) through Fay Savadge (originals in National Archives), 11/17/1997; 1998.04, 1 item purchased, 2/10/1998; 1998.24, 2 items purchased, 6/10/1998; 1998.47, 21 items as gift of Christian Vinyard; 1998.61, purchase from Ralph Poriss; 1999.18, 2 items as gift of David Upshur; 2001.17, 1 item purchased; 2003.23, 1 item. unknown; 2003.23, 1 item purchased; 2003.58, 1 item; 2003.43, 1 item purchased; 2003.55, 1 item purchased; 2003.57, 1 item purchased; 2003.58, 1 item purchased; 2004.06, 1 item purchased; 2004.40, 1 item purchased; 2004.41, 1 item purchased; 2004.57, 1 item purchased; 2005.59, 1 item purchased; 2006.13, 1 item purchased; 2006.57, 1 item purchased; 2006.64, 1 item purchased; 2006.71, 1 item purchased. 2008.41, 1 item purchased. 2010.399, gift of Philip Hairston Seawell, per Gene L. Hardin.