Thursday, August 4, 2011

Go To The Source

I’m particularly fond of websites that make available digital images of primary sources (letters, diaries, newspapers, etc.). I’ve featured the Community & Conflict: The Impact of the Civil War in the Ozarks website before, and it is well worth a visit. The Springfield-Greene County Library District, in cooperation with several other entities, has made available a number of diverse primary documents on the website. Here are just a few of the collections on the website:

1st Kansas Colored Infantry Regimental Order Book

Benjamin Fullager Papers—He documents service in Arkansas and the Indian Territory as a soldier in the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry.

Captain Maxwell Phillips Order Book—Phillips served in the 3rd Regiment Indian Home Guards, and his order book concerns activities at Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory.

George Falconer and Albert Ellithorpe Diary—Falconer was a Confederate soldier in Colonel J. J. Clarkson’s Missouri Cavalry, and he, along with his diary, was captured at the Locust Grove skirmish in the Indian Territory. Ellithorpe, part of an Indian Home Guards unit, appropriated the diary and penned his own entries in it.

Moses J. Bradford Collection—Bradford, a member of the 10th Missouri Infantry (CSA), was captured at the battle of Helena, Arkansas.

Elizabeth Thompson Papers—She and her husband owned a general store in Missouri.

The collections on the website are the kinds of collections historians use in researching and writing their journal articles and books; at least they should be the type of sources that historians use! Dig in, and check out the “raw materials” of historical research and writing.

Keep an eye on this website; according to a recent article in Hallowed Ground, the publication of the Civil War Trust, “The Trans-Mississippi Virtual Museum and Digital Photo archive” will soon be posted. An artifact gallery and hundreds of photographic images from the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield’s collections will be made available for the general public to view.


  1. I've been following your blog from the beginning and you inspired me to start my own. I hope you get something from my feeble attempt at recording and explaining small bits and pieces of the war in south Missouri. Jim Morris

  2. Well, I'm pleased that my efforts inspired you to start your own blog! I looked at your blog the other day, and you're off to a good start. I'll add your blog to the list of ones that I follow.