The Local Records collections at the Library of Virginia contain a number of Civil War–related records. Those dealing with specific localities (counties or cities) may be more difficult to find because many are items found within collections, rather than being the entire collections. These items can be found as exhibits in chancery court records or within business records. A Guide to County and City Research in Virginia helps researchers navigate the complex variety of county and city records in the Library’s collections.
Conduct a keyword or subject search heading in the catalog using the following examples of Library of Congress subject headings.
[Locality] History Civil War, 1861-1865
Virginia History Civil War, 1861-1865
Douthat, James L. Civil War Records, Washington County, Va., 1861–1865. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1985.
Dubbs, Carol Kettenburg. Defend This Old Town: Williamsburg during the Civil War. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002.
Duncan, Richard P. Beleaguered Winchester: A Virginia Community at War, 1861–1865. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2007.
Furgurson, Ernest B. Ashes of Glory: Richmond at War. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996.
Gold, Thomas D. History of Clarke County, Virginia, and Its Connection with the War Between the States, With Illustrations of Colonial Homes and of Confederate Officers. Berryville, Va.: Chesapeake Book Co., 1962.
Greene, A. Wilson. Civil War Petersburg: Confederate City in the Crucible of War. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006.
Jordan, Ervin L. Charlottesville and the University of Virginia in the Civil War. Lynchburg, Va.: H. E. Howard Inc., 1988.
McFall, F. Lawrence. Danville in the Civil War. Lynchburg, Va.: H. E. Howard Inc., 2001.
McKnight, Brian D. Contested Borderland: The Civil War and Appalachian Kentucky and Virginia. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006.
Pardy, Cynthia. Civil War in Hampton Roads, 1861. Norfolk, Va.: WHRO, 2007.
Sutherland, Daniel E. Seasons of War: The Ordeal of a Confederate Community, 1861–1865 [Culpeper County]. New York: Free Press, 1995.
Thomas, Emory M. The Confederate State of Richmond: A Biography of the Capital. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971.
Tripp, Steven Elliott. Yankee Town, Southern City: Race and Class Relations in Civil War Lynchburg. New York: New York University Press, 1996.
Weaver, Jeffrey C. The Civil War in Buchanan and Wise Counties: Bushwhacker's Paradise. Lynchburg, Va.: H. E. Howard, 1994.
Amelia County. Military and Pension Records. Militia Enrollment Book, 1864. Barcode 1104201.
Militia enrollment book, 1864, records various enrollment lists of persons eligible for militia service between ages 18–45 and 45–50. Examples of enrollment lists include persons who applied for exemption from militia duty, persons applied to be detailed, persons exempt from militia duty on the basis of number of slaves owned or occupation, list of conscripts in Amelia County, and a list of free Negroes. The lists generally include the following descriptive information: date of enrollment, name, age, occupation, birth place, height, eye color, hair color, skin complexion, and how disposed, i.e., whether exemption was approved or disapproved, reason for exemption, whether detailed or not. Loose papers found in the volume include a circular sent to district enrolling officers in September 1864 requesting a full account of all male free Negroes and a separate full account of all slaves who had been impressed in Amelia County; an urgent note dated September 1864, urging a lieutenant to post notices, perhaps enrollment notices, as soon as possible; and a list of names of individuals living in Amelia County and beside each name a number, perhaps the number of slaves each individual owned.
Arlington County. Courts-Martial Book, Military District of Alexandria, 1864–1865. Barcode 1100404.
Courts-martial book, 1864–1865, contains general orders convening the court-martial, lists of the detail for the court, special orders appointing new or additional members, and then lists of the soldiers who appeared before the court. Information recorded for each soldier includes name, company, regiment, witnesses, summons sent to appear, date case commenced, date case finished, and date case sent to headquarters. The soldiers are all from United States Army units. Arrangement is by general order numbers that are in date order. There is no index.
Charlotte County. Salt Distribution Register, 1862–1864. Barcode 1095530.
Salt distribution register, 1862–1864, lists the number of people in a family, the first and last name of the person buying the salt, the number of pounds purchased, and the amount paid, with columns for dollars and cents. Also included are various recipes, home remedies, household hints, and building tips from an earlier unknown date.
Franklin County. Reports of Indigent Soldiers' Families, 1863–1864. Barcodes 1145465, 1145468.
Reports, 1864, include the county orders of 1864 to levy taxes on the county to provide for the support of indigent soldiers’ families. Also includes reports of indigent soldiers’ families, including the names of the soldiers and family members, the number of children per family, the amount of money provided to each family, and for what use. The reports record that funds were to be used for provisions, shoes, and clothing.
Fredericksburg. Circuit Court. Fredericksburg and Adjacent National Battlefields Memorial Park Association of Virginia. Record book, 1894, 1898–1911. Barcode 1201430.
Record book, 1894, 1898–1911, includes minutes listing founding members, comprised of veterans of the Union and Confederate armies from thirty-five states and Washington, D.C., and their efforts to establish parks to mark and memorialize the Civil War battles in Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House. The record book also contains newspaper clippings reporting on celebrations of the formal organization of the Battlefields Memorial Park Association in Fredericksburg, February 1898, which were attended by Union and Confederate veterans and featured remarks from Lieutenant General James A. Longstreet.
Henry County. Provisions for Families of Indigent Soldiers, 1863–1864. Barcode 1154886.
Reports, 1863–1864, include the names of soldiers and family members, the amount of money or supplies provided to each family, and the use for which the money was intended. Also included are lists of soldiers' families, receipts for provisions purchased, and accounts of overseers demonstrating funds distributed in various county districts and details about the families living in those districts. Information contained in the accounts includes number and age of children, economic state and health of family, and details about the soldiers. The reports and receipts record that funds were to be used for specific foods such as bacon, wheat, beef, flour and corn.
King George County. Claims for Slaves Who Escaped during the Late War, 1861–1865. Barcode 1059724.
Claims, 1861–1865, include lists and affidavits by owners of slaves who either escaped or were taken by the Union soldiers during the Civil War. Most lists include slave names and ages, and some include a statement as to the date and circumstances of the loss. Some affidavits only provide a number of slaves lost and an amount of money. Many of the lists have notations as to the value of the slave or the tax value. The list of William S. Brown of 1863 includes items other than slaves that he claims the Union soldiers also took including haystacks, mules, geese, fodder, and fencing.
Lancaster County. Reports of Indigent Soldiers' Families, 1861–1865. Barcode 1134962.
Reports, 1861–1865, include the names of soldiers and family members, the amount of money provided to each family, and the use for which the money was intended. Also included are 1862 appointments of overseers to visit and provide for the families and an 1862 list of soldiers’ families including the number of children in each family. The reports record that funds were to be used for specific foods such as salted beef, bacon, pork, ham, flour, meal, corn, coffee, sugar, molasses and household items such as a stone jar, a pitcher, shoes, and material for making clothing.
Lunenburg County. Proceedings of the Board of Exemption, 1862–1863. Barcode 1017610.
Minutes, 1862–1863, documenting the board’s ruling on petitions for exemption from military service in the Confederate army. Most petitions were made on the grounds of permanent bodily infirmity or having furnished a substitute. Included are twenty-eight signed petitions.
Mathews County. Roster of Ex-Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Living in the County of Mathews, 1898. Barcode 1181934.
Roster, 1898, of Ex-Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Living in the County of Mathews, Virginia, made by J. Frank Billups, Commissioner of the Revenue. The roster records the name of the soldier, age, rank, company, regiment to which attached or in which he served, date of enlistment, length of time in service, and a remarks column that notes if held as a prisoner of war, if honorably discharged, if present at the surrender, and so forth. The roster includes the names of "colored" men. This is not an exhaustive roster of everyone who served in the Civil War from Mathews County but is only of those still living in the county in 1898. The roster is arranged alphabetically and there is no index.
Powhatan County. Court Records, Journal of William Campbell Scott, Attorney, 1842–1862. Barcode 1050071.
Journal, 1842–1862, records a detailed account of transactions conducted by William Campbell Scott of Powhatan County, on behalf of his clients as trustee of their estates or their guardian. Includes financial accounts, correspondence, and newspaper clippings. Of note is a letter, 12 May 1863, written by an unidentified Confederate soldier to Scott. The soldier was a member of the 44th Virginia Infantry Battalion and he writes to Scott about the casualties suffered by the soldiers during the Battle of Chancellorsville. He provides the names of officers and enlisted men who were wounded and killed, type of injuries suffered by the wounded, and company name. The soldier also remarks on the death of Lieutenant General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and the impact his loss would have on the Confederate cause.
Richmond (Va.). Civil War Centennial Committee Records, ca. 1956–1965. Barcodes 1031064, 1031085, 1031087–1031088, 1051293–1051321.
Richmond Civil War Centennial Committee records, ca. 1956–1965, contain correspondence with the committee, projects undertaken by the committee, including publication of Richmond City Council minutes from the war years, and various publications produced by the committee and research files relating to those publications. Also includes photographs, both originals and copies from other institutions, and maps related to the Civil War.
Westmoreland County. Reports of Indigent Soldiers' Families, 1861–1865. Barcode 1176633.
Reports, 1861–1865, include the names of soldiers and family members and the needs of the families or the supplies provided to each family and the cost of the items. Also included are court orders to issue bonds for the purchase of supplies and an authorization for Westmoreland County to issue currency notes for this purpose. Lists of indigent soldiers included with these records contain detailed descriptions of the fate of the soldiers and their family situations, including children's ages, and crops, and livestock in the families’ hands. The reports record that funds were to be used for specific foods such as corn and pork and household items such as cotton, clothing and shoes.
Wythe County. Judgment (Writ of Habeas Corpus), 1864 December. Barcode 1166710.
Judgment, December 1864, consists of a writ of habeas corpus from the case Leroy Spencer v. S. Tubman, Enrollment Officer of Carroll County, ordering Spencer, be taken into custody of the military reserves corps of the Confederate States of America.