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U.S. Civil War in Government Documents: Home

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects

Government Documents Guide: U. S. Civil War

Government publications are a rich source of primary materials on the Civil War, but many are not discoverable through typical catalog subject searches.  If you have not been able to quickly find government information in the UM LIBRARIES CATALOG on the following subjects and their subheadings, we can help you.

For example, the State Department's reports deal with foreign relations, but a simple keyword search on the word "Confederate" in the 1861-1865 set shows how often the Civil War came into play.  Contrast this with the traditional catalog record in the UM LIBRARIES CATALOG.  Similarly, the 1861 Report of the Secretary of the Interior discusses how the war affected public lands, Indian affairs, and more (see it in Hathi Trust.)  Other agencies - the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Treasury and others were profoundly affected and reported the impact in their publications at the time.

To dig more deeply for Civil War information from federal or Missouri state government sources, choose from the gold tabs above.  To find Civil War information from other state governments, first consider whether the state sided with the Union or Confederacy.  MU Libraries has more printed material for the north, partly because paper and ink became scarce in the South as the war continued.  We recommend looking into the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) collection of state government publications, all of which are available to MU affiliates at no cost through Interlibrary Loan. CRL collections include both executive agency reports and legislative materials from many of the states.

Govt Documents Coordinator

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Marie Concannon
Welcomes questions from everyone
106-B Ellis Library
University of Missouri
(573) 882-0748