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Fact Sheet: Civil War Guide Project

BROWSE -- Series 0147 correspondence abstracts; Series 0087 Index to [Ohio] Prisoners; or a list of our Civil War primary collections.

The Ohio Historical Society's Archives/Library Division possesses a vast collection of materials pertaining to the Civil War and Ohio's participation in the conflict. This collection includes regimental histories and studies of tactics; publications regarding individual battles and campaigns; books on equipment including firearms and uniforms; newspapers; periodicals; manuscript letters, diaries, battle reports, and artwork; State of Ohio Adjutant General material including correspondence, draft records, recruiting officers' records, regimental records, officers' records, militia and National Guard records, prisoner of war records, and Surgeon General records; Ohio Secretary of State record series pertaining to the soldiers' vote in the presidential election of 1864; and photographs including group shots and cartes de visite, and battle flags.

Among the Northern states, Ohio was third behind New York and Pennsylvania in the number of men who served during the Civil War. Ohio was represented by artillery, cavalry, and infantry units. In addition, the 5th and 27th United States Colored Troops were made up primarily of Ohioans.

Ohio units took part in all of the major battles and campaigns of the Civil War including Antietam, the Atlanta campaign, the Bermuda Hundred campaign, Carnifex Ferry, Chancellorsville, Chattanooga, Chickamauga, Cold Harbor, Forts Henry and Donelson, Franklin, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry, Lookout Mountain, First and Second Manassas (Bull Run), Nashville, the Peninsular campaign, Perryville, the siege of Petersburg and the Battle of the Crater, Sherman's march to the sea, Shiloh, Spotsylvania Court House, Stones River (Murfreesboro), Vicksburg, and the Wilderness.

The Archives/Library Division's collection contains materials relating to these battles and campaigns, as well as a wealth of social history. The everyday life of the Civil War soldier, and the effects of the war on the soldiers and their families and friends are documented. While professors, students, genealogists, and general researchers have long made extensive use of our Civil War materials, the popularity of The Civil War (the documentary film by Ken Burns which aired on PBS) and Gettysburg (the theatrical film from Turner Pictures and New Line Cinema based on the novel Killer Angels by Michael Shaara) has heightened interest in America's bloodiest conflict.

The Archives/Library Division has undertaken a long term project to compile a comprehensive list of the Civil War materials in its collections. Begun using the WordPerfect and dBASE computer programs (currently Microsoft Word and Microsoft Access), bibliographic entries will be created for each book, pamphlet, special press newspaper, periodical, manuscript collection, government record, and photographic collection. Each entry will have the following fields: Item Number, Type, Author, Title, Place, Publisher, Date, Battle/Campaign, Unit, Comments, Subjects, and Call Number. In the "Comments" field, material of potential interest to the social historian will be noted. Indexes will be generated by subject, name, battle/campaign, and unit. Maximum access to, and dissemination of, the information in the database is a primary goal of the project, and a wide range of software will be examined to achieve this goal. For example, the applicability of CD-ROM technology will be evaluated.

During the first phase of the project, a list of the Archives/Library Division's Civil War primary collections was compiled. Browse approximately 1,200 collections which pertain either totally or in part to the Civil War.

Among these collections are:
AP - Antique Photographs
AUDVFM - Audio Vertical File Material
CA - Cartoons
LGR - Local Government Records
MIC - Manuscripts on Microfilm
MSS - Manuscript Collections
N - Negatives
OVS - Oversize Manuscript and Visual Materials
P - Photograph Collections
PR - Print Collections
SC -Small Picture Collections
Series - State Archives
T - Transparencies
VFM - Manuscript Vertical File Material
VOL - Manuscript Volumes

Guidelines for offsite reference and vital records requests, see

Thank you for your interest in the Ohio Historical Society!

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