Rutgers University Libraries The Civil War and Reconstruction Eras
Basic Resources Finding Books: Library Catalogs Finding Scholarly Articles: Indexes Contemporaneous Accounts Prelude to War
Confederate States of America Military History Home Front After the War Civil War Links
RUL Home Page RUL Indexes Ask a Librarian

Basic Resources

Core Documents

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873
Search or browse a linked set of published congressional records of the United States from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress, 1774-1875. Records pertaining to the 19th century include the Journals of the House of Representatives (1789-1875) and the Senate (1789-1875), the debates of Congress as published in the Annals of Congress (1789-1824), the Congressional Globe (1833-73), and Congressional Record (1873-75); the Statutes at Large (1789-1875); the American State Papers (1789-1838); and congressional bills and resolutions for selected sessions. From the Library of Congress American Memory project.

Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy
Part of the Avalon Project, the outstanding digital collection of documents maintained by the Yale Law School.

The Crisis of the Union: An Electronic Archive of Documents about the Causes, Conduct, and Consequences of the US Civil War
Search or browse a large collection of digitalized pamphlets, books, broadsides, cartoons, maps and other print materials from between about 1830 and 1880. From the University of Pennsylvania Department of History.

The Emancipation Proclamation (1863)
Transcript plus copies of the original document.

The Gettysburg Address (1863)
Transcript plus copies of the original document.


The Civil War
Bibliographic essay by George C. Rable (University of Alabama) on the literature relating to various aspects of the Civil War.

The American Civil War: A Selected Bibliography
Annotated bibliography compiled by Henry J. Sage (Northern Virginia Community College).

Economics and the Civil War
Brief listing of books.

United States Naval History: Civil War, 1861-1865

Bibliography of Slavery and World Slavery
Extensive searchable (author or title) bibliography. Includes books, articles, dissertations, and unpublished papers.

Reconstruction Bibliography
Kenneth Winkle's historiographical annotated bibliography of books focusing on the Reconstruction period beginning with William A. Dunning's 1907 history.

Finding Books: Library Catalogs

The online catalog for the Rutgers University Libraries. Relevant subject headings that you can use in IRIS include:

    United States History Civil War, 1861-1865
    Reconstruction U.S. History 1865-1877
    United States History 1865-1898
    Southern States History 1865-1877
    Secession Southern States
    Confederate States of America

Newark Law
Camden Law
Law library materials are not listed in IRIS. Use the above subject headings to find relevant publications in the law collections.

Army Heritage Collection Online
Catalog of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC), an institute of the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) at Carlisle Barracks, PA. You can either search the Research Catalog for books, serials, manuscript (including oral histories) and photographic collections, unit histories, and microforms, or the Digital Documents System for digitized manuscripts (including oral histories), photographs, authority documents (including field manuals), photographs and descriptions of artifacts, and finding aids such as bibliographies.

Stanford University catalog. Includes the holdings of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace: 1.1 million volumes in the Main collection plus more than 50 million archival items. Emphasis on 20th century international affairs. At search screen, limit LIBRARY to "Hoover Institution Library" or "Hoover Institution Archive."

Finding Scholarly Articles: Indexes

Humanities Abstracts
1984- . Index to over 350 core English-language periodicals in the humanities, including history, philosophy, religion, and related subjects. Restricted Access.

America: History and Life
1964- . The most comprehensive index to American (U.S. and Canada) history. Indexes over 2000 journals worldwide, as well as book reviews and dissertations. Restricted Access.

Index to Military Periodicals
1988- . The Air University Library's index to "significant articles, news items, and editorials from English language military and aeronautical periodicals." Includes links to full-text journals.

Contemporaneous Accounts

American Periodicals Series Online 1740-1900
The full text of articles, advertisements, illustrations etc., from American popular and literary magazines and journals that began publication between 1741 and 1900. Search by author, title, article type, publication title, date, and keywords in the full-text. Restricted Access.

[Historical] New York Times Allows you to search and display the full image of articles published in the New York Times back to 1851. The two+ most recent years are not included; use LexisNexis Academic to find more recent articles. Restricted Access.

Historical New York Times: Chapter 2: The Civil War Years
Browse the text of the New York Times from 1860 to 1866 by date or by topic (e.g., battles, politics, social issues). From the Universal Library at Cargenie Mellon University.
[NOTE: As of 10/23/04 temporarily unavailable due to a server problem resulting from a power failure. Basic access still available via the Internet Archive at].

Prelude to War

Road to Disunity: Selected Bibliography on the Causes of the American Civil War
From the National Park Service.

Causes of the Civil War
Links to online documents relating to the causes of the Civil War. Links maintained by James F.Epperson.

James McPherson: Civil War Then and Now
3-Part interview on Civil War Talk Radio.

The Issue of Slavery

Statutes of the United States Concerning Slavery
From the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School.

The Compromise of 1850
Henry Clay's Resolution and the five statutes passed by Congress. Transcript plus copies of the original document.

The Life, Trial and Execution of Captain John Brown, Known of "Old Brown of Ossawatomie," With a Full Account of the Attempted Insurrection at Harper's Ferry (1859)
From the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School.

The Dred Scott Case
Chronology and online exhibit of documents. From the Washington University Libraries in St. Louis.

Secession Era Editorials
Collections of editorials relating to the Nebraska Bill (1854), the attack on Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner (1856), the Dred Scott case (1857), and John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry (1859).

The Creed of Black Republicanism
From the "Freepont Weekly Bulletin," Cincinnati Enquirer August 19, 1858.

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Transcriptions of the debates.

The Confederate States of America

Constitution of the Confederate States of America (February 28, 1861)
Transcript plus page image from the Journal of the Confederate Congress.

Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865.

Confederate States of America Documents
Includes the declarations of secession, as well as Messages and papers of the Confederacy. From the Avalon Project at Yale Law School.

Confederate States of America: Formation of the Confederacy
Harper's Weekly covers and transcriptions of their news reports relating to the events leading to the formation of the Confederate States and the beginning of the Civil War.

Military History

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
Search or browse 127 volumes of official documents and reports on Civil War military operations. Includes the battle reports for both Union and Confederate armies, arranged chronologically by campaign and theater of operations.

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion
Search or browse 31 volumes of official documents and reports on Civil War naval operations. Includes information on squadrons and flotillas as well as single vessels. Also includes statistical data on Union and Confederate ships. From the Making of America project.

Chronological List of Civil War Battles
Year by year list of every battle in the Civil War where at least one casualty was reported.

The Encyclopedia of Civil War Artillery
On-going project which aims to provide a photograph and description of every type of cannon used in the American Civl War.

U.S. Infantry Tactics. for the Instruction, Exercise, and Maneuvres of the United States Infantry.
Full text of the 1861 Army manual. Searchable. Part of the Making of American (MOA) digital library.

A Digest of the Military and Naval Laws of the Confederate States. 1864

New Jersey in the Civil War

New Jersey in the Civil War
From Electronic New Jersey

New Jersey Infantry Regiments
Each infantry unit, organizational history, service, and a battle report.

Record of Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Civil War, 1861-1865
Searchable version of William Stryker's classic 1876 work.
Print volumes also available at Dana (Ref. E521.3.N54).

New York in the Civil War

Civil War Treasures From the New York Historical Society
Includes NYC recruiting posters, sterographic views, photographs, and drawings and writings by ordinary soldiers.

African-Americans in the Civil War

Civil War 'Freedom Fighters:' United States Colored Troops
Summary and index to Bennie J. McRae Jr.'s extensive collection of links to chronologies, legislative acts, regimental histories, battles, etc., relating to African American service in the Civil War. Part of his "Lest We Forget" site.

54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
South Carolina African American unit.

Fifty-fourth Massachusetss Infantry

Records of the 105th U.S. Colored Troops (South Carolina)


Civil War Maps, 1861-1865
Approximately 3000 Civil War maps, charts, atlases and sketchbooks depecting battles, troop positions and movements, engagements, fortifications, coastal charts, and theaters of war. Includes an introductory essay on the development of mapping during the Civil War. From the Library of Congress American Memory project.


Selected Civil War Photographs
Over 1000 photographs, most of which were made under the supervision of famed photographer Matthew P. Brady. Include scenes of military personnel, preparations for battle, and battle after-effects. From the Library of Congress American Memory project.

The Home Front

Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War
A digital archive of primary sources that document the lives of people in Augusta County, Virginia and Pennyslvania before, during, and after the Civil War. A project of the Virginia Center for Digital History at the University of Virginia.

Newspaper Research, 1860-1865
Search or browse transcribed articles, primarily from Southern Civil War newspapers. Focus is on the homefront, including women, Confederate industries, and material culture. Compiled by Vicki Betts from the University of Texas at Tyler.

Civil War Women
Transcribed documents from the Duke Special Collections Library.

North American Women's Letters and Diaries: Colonial Times to 1950
Search or browse some 150,000 pages of letters and diaries. Emphasis on materials that illustrate the role and status of women, their attitudes and reactions to specific historical or personal events or individuals, and descriptions that convey the life and times of the past. Browse by author, date, place, personal event (e.g., childbirth, family separation, spouse's absence, etc.) and historical event. Restricted Access.

After the War

A Visual Time Line of Reconstruction, 1863-1877
Timeline with links to online exhibits and documents.

Report of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction
June 20, 1866 report of the Congressional committee.

Proclamation Declaring the Insurrection at an End
Andrew's August 20, 1866 proclamation that "the said insurrection is at an end, and that peace, order, and tranquility, and civil authority now exist in and throughout the whole United States of America."

Schurz, Carl. "The Freedman". From the Report on the Condition of the South. December 1865.

"Three Months Among the Reconstructionists"
Transcribed from the February 1866 Atlantic Monthly.

Freedmen's Bureau Online
Includes records of murders and outrages against freedmen by state.

Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

Supplement to the Congresssional Globe: Containing the Proceedings of the Senate Sitting for the Trial of Andrew Johnson, President of the United States
A record of the documents and debates from the 1868 Senate trial. The Library of Congress also has an online index to this volume.

Finding Precedent: The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
Over 200 editorials, news articles, illustration and cartoons published in Harper's Weekly between 1865 and 1869.

The Impeachment Trial of Andrew Johnson
Overview, timeline, transcripts, opinions, issues, and images. From Professor Douglass Linder's (University of Missour-Kansas City Law School) Famous Trials.

Civil War Links

American Civil War Homepage
Extensive list of links to sites and online documents.

American Civil War History: Directory of OnlineResources
Compiled by Mike Madin for Academic Info.

Corrections? Additions?
Natalie Borisovets (
John Cotton Dana Library October 23, 2004