Civil War


This guide includes both primary and secondary source resources about the American Civil War (1861-1865). Manuscripts must be used in the Dougherty Reading Room. To schedule an appointment or for more information, email

Manuscript Collections

The G. W. F. Harper Family Diary Transcriptions are photocopies of typewritten transcriptions of the diaries of Major G. W. F. Harper of Caldwell County, North Carolina, his wife Ella Rankin Harper and her sister Emma Rankin. Harper kept diaries from 1841 to 1921 and writes about his Confederate Army service, however, the majority of the diaries date from 1881 to 1921.

2 linear feet (4 boxes)

George Armstrong Custer (1839–1876) was a United States Army Officer and Calvary Commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. This collection consists of two items of handwritten correspondence between George A. Custer and other military officials in 1869 and 1870, respectively.

0.01 linear feet (1 folder)

The Graham Family Papers consist of microfilmed copies of receipts to and from Jiles Graham for debt payments, promissary notes, tax receipts, day books, and school committee documents.

0.25 linear feet (1 box)

The Harper-Beall Family Papers consist of nineteenth-century correspondence, medical advertisements, and financial documents from the Beall and Harper families of Lenoir, North Carolina and Davidson County, North Carolina.

James Harper of Lenoir, North Carolina and his daughter Mary "Mollie" Beall and son-in-law Robert Beall generated the majority of this collection. The collection documents the life of a North Carolina Foothill upper-class family involved in business, medicine, and politics.

3.25 linear feet (2 boxes, 1 half-sized manuscript box, 1 leather bag)

The Horton Family Papers are a collection of documents accumulated by the Horton family of Watauga County, North Carolina. Jonathan Horton and James Crittenden Horton generated most documents.

1 linear foot (2 boxes)

Isaac Sansbury Diary chronicles Sansbury's service with the 2nd West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry (Co. A) for the year 1864. The diary measures 3.5" x 2". Sansbury was from Ohio and born in 1847. Most entries only cite current locations, which were primarily in West Virginia. It also contains a list which appears to be members of his company.

0.01 linear feet (1 folder)

The J.M. Mason Papers contains two 1888 letters from J.M. Mason about West Virginia's debt movement titled a report to the commissioners. They are marked confidential.

0.01 linear feet (1 folder)


Additional Resources

The following materials are available in the Special Collections Open Stacks on microfilm. These materials are also searchable in the library catalog. The original materials are located at various other institutions, as noted in their catalog records.

Eleventh Census of the United States, 1890

Schedules enumerating Union veterans and widows of Union veterans of the Civil War, by state.


Service Records and Muster Rolls

Southern Claims Commission


Zebulon Baird Vance

Zebulon Vance (1830-1894) was Governor of North Carolina from 1862-1865.