American Women's History: A Research Guide
The Civil War Period
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Reference/Primary Sources Featured Online Exhibit

"Alice Williamson Diary:
An On-line Archival Collection."
Speical Collections Library, Duke University.

Bibliographies & Research Guides

See American Women's History: Bibliographies for additional information sources.

Cole, Garold L. Civil War Eyewitnesses: An Annotated Bibliography of Books and Articles, 1955-1986. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1988.

Eicher, David J. The Civil War in Books: An Analytical Bibliography. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1997.
Eicher notes the strengths and weaknesses of 1100 titles, about 30 of which deal with women and the Civil War.

Freemon, Frank R. Microbes and Minie Balls: An Annotated Bibliography of Civil War Medicine. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1993.
Applicable entries in the index include "Nurses, female," the names of individual women (e.g., "Barton, Clara"), and the names of organizations (e.g., "Sisters of Charity").

Habjan, Juliet K. African American Women's Lives During the Civil War: An Annotated Bibliography [online]. n.d. [cited 14 January 1997]. Available from:

McDevitt, Theresa. "A Place for Women: A Selective Annotated Bibliography on Civil War Women in Medical Services." Bulletin of Bibliography 57 (March 2000): 1-11.

------. Women and the American Civil War: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, Conn. : Praeger, c2003.

Middleton, Ken. Civil War Period [online]. In Women in Tennessee History: A Bibliography. Last update 17 October 1997 [cited 4 March 1998]. Available from:

Woodworth, Steven E., ed. The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research. Greenwood, 1996. 677p.
Online review from Reference Books Bulletin:

Biographical Sources

See American Women's History: Biographical Sources for additional information sources.

Hubbell, John T., and James W. Geary, eds. Biographical Dictionary of the Union: Northern Leaders of the Civil War. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995.
Brief biographical profiles of the following women are included in this dictionary: Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Anna Ella Carroll, Anna E. Dickinson, Dorothea Lynde Dix, Josephine Sophia Griffing, Mary Todd Lincoln, Mary Ashton Rice Livermore, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Jane Grey Cannon Swisshelm, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Annie Turner Wittenmyer.

Encyclopedias & Overviews

Campbell, Edward D.C., Jr., and Kym S. Rice, eds. A Woman's War: Southern Women, Civil War, and the Confederate Legacy. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1996.

Current, Richard N., Ed. Encyclopedia of the Confederacy. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993. Many of the 1,400 articles in this four-volume set provide good overviews of the role of Southern women during the Civil War period. Relevant headings include: "Courtship," "Diaries, Letters and Memoirs," "Education," "Family Life," "Feminism," "Hospitals," "Marriage and Divorce," "Nursing," "Plantation Mistress," "Prostitution," "Refugeeing," "Soldiers' Aid Societies," and "Women."

Massey, Mary Elizabeth. Women in the Civil War. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994.

Rable, George C. Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1989.

Vinovskis, Maris A. "Have Social Historians Lost the Civil War? Some Preliminary Demographic Speculations." Journal of American History 76 (1989): 34-58.

------, ed. Toward a Social History of the American Civil War: Exploratory Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Networking Tools: Discussion Lists

H-CivWar []

H-Minerva [Women and the Military] []

H-SAWH [Women & Gender in U.S. South] []

H-Women [Women's History] []

Primary Sources: Archives

See American Women's History: Archival Collections for additional information sources.

Duke University

Daley, Ginny, comp. Women and the Civil War: Manuscript Sources in the Special Collections Library at Duke University [online]. Last update: June 1996 [cited 13 June 1997]. Available from:

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Leahy, Kristin. Guide to Women During the Civil War [online]. Philadelphia: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, c2001. Available from:

Library of Congress

Sellers, John R. Civil War Manuscripts: A Guide to Collections in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. Washington: Library of Congress, 1986.
The index lists about 30 collections that document the role of women.

Museum of the Confederacy

Ahladas, John J., John M. Coski, and Eric D.M. Johnson. "Suggestions for Further Research." In A Woman's War: Southern Women, Civil War, and the Confederate Legacy, edited by Edward D.C. Campbell, Jr., and Kym S. Rice. Richmond: The Museum of the Confederacy, 1996.
This guide to research resources available at the Museum of the Confederacy's Brockenbrough Library includes sections on Confederate imprints, personal and government-related papers, wartime organization papers (e.g., soldiers' aid society records), and postwar memorial organization records.

University of Maryland Libraries

Stars, Stripes, and Glory: The Civil War in Maryland [online]. College Park: Archives and Manuscripts Department, University of Maryland Libraries, 1999- [cited 18 November 2000]. Available from:

Virginia Historical Society

Dozier, Graham T. Virginia's Civil War: A Guide to Manuscripts at the Virginia Historical Society. Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1998.
See the index to locate descriptions of about 80 collections that cover women's activities and attitudes during the Civil War.

Primary Sources: Digital Collections

Ayers, Edward L. The Valley of the Shadow [online]. [Charlottesville, VA :; Virginia Center for Digital History, University fo Virginia], 1998- . Available from: This site offers a wide variety of primary sources (diaries, newspapers, official records, etc.) for the study of Augusta County, Va., and Franklin County, Penn. during the Civil War period.

Call Family and Brevard Family Papers [online]. Tallahassee: Florida State Archives, n.d. [cited 26 May 2002]. Available from: Includes Ellen Call Long's Diary (1864-1865).

Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society [online]. [Washington, D.C.] :; Library of Congress, 2001 [cited 30 May 2002]. Available from:

Correspondence Between Adelaide E. Case and Charles N. Tenney, 1861-1863 [online]. Charlottesville, Va.: Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library, 2000- . Available from:

Daley, Ginny, comp. Civil War Women: Primary Sources on the Internet 1996 [cited 13 June 1997]. Available from:

Documenting the American South: Beginnings to 1920 [online]. Chapel Hill: Academic Affairs Library, University of North Carolina, 1998 [cited 21 July 1998]. Available from:

Maine Memory Network [online]. Portland: Maine Historical Society, 2001- [cited 1 March 2002]. Available from:
Includes the diary and letters of Rebecca Usher, a Civil War nurse from Maine.

Wisconsin Goes to War: Digital Civil War Collections [online]. Oshkosh: University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Archives & Area Research Center, updated 23 March 2000 [cited 1 July 2003]. Available from:
See the "Women and the Homefront" section.

Commercial Digital Collections

North American Women's Letters and Diaries. Alexandria, Va.: Alexander Street Press, 2001- . Overview from the publisher.
See "Table of Contents: Historical Events" for quick access to sections of documents that mention specific battles.

Primary Sources: Microform Collections

Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution Through the Civil War. Frederick, Md.: University Publications of America, 1985- .
Online guide to the collection:

Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries. Bethesda, Md.: University Publications of America, 1991- .
Online guide to the collection:

Talking About Women's History

Clinton, Catherine. Catherine Clinton on Women, Slavery, the South, and the Civil War [Interview online]. Interviewed by Amy Murrell Taylor. Talking History, 14 April 2005. Available from: Time: 33:00.

Silber, Nina. Daughters of the Union: Northern Women Fight the Civil War [Lecture online]. Boston, 28 October 2005. Available from: 34 minutes.

American Women's History: A Research Guide
Ken Middleton
Middle Tennessee State University Library