Government Documents Guide: U. S. Civil War


State Adjutant General Reports - Union States, 1860-1868

State Adjutant General Reports, which are typically written by a State Adjutant General to his Governor, contain a copious amount of valuable and interesting information regarding the role of the individual U.S. states in the American Civil War. The State Adjutant General is a state’s senior military officer and the de facto commander of all of that state’s National Guard and militia forces. They typically are appointed by and subordinate only to the State Governor.

The Adjutant General reports can include the Office of the Adjutant General’s correspondence between the State Governor, various officers from the Adjutant General’s Office, the U.S. War Department (many involve Edwin M. Stanton, the U.S. Secretary of War from 1862-68, or Simon Cameron, the Secretary of War from 1860-61), and the U.S. Adjutant General. Much of this correspondence deals with the Federal Government asking the State Government to raise and equip volunteer troops and send them to the aid of the Union Army, which was furiously battling the Confederate Army. Also included is the request for recall of state militia to help quell resistance from elements in their home state, such as when the Governor of New York requested his militia be sent immediately to New York City, where the massive 1863 Draft Riots were threatening to engulf the city in mayhem. At the end of this correspondence, the amounts of the “Artillery, Small Arms, Accoutrements, and Harness” (supplies given to the state militias) are listed.

Some states' reports also record the names all active state guardsmen and militia, their rank, the arm of the military that they belong to (infantry, artillery, cavalry, etc.), and where they were from in their state. Others will only list officer names for each company. Adjutant General reports from the years after the war might tell of the individual outcomes of each soldier (whether they died, when were discharged).

The Missouri Adjutant General reports contain many of the same elements as those for other states: general correspondence, supply listings, troop registries, etc. The Missouri reports also had, in addition to those other things, short histories of the various Missouri regiments. These accounts, called “Historical Memoranda”, cover the regiment’s entire activity during the period when it was active. The Memoranda tells of where that regiment was assigned, any battles or skirmishes it may have fought in, and how many casualties and deaths were suffered within the regiment. These mini-histories provide a more personal look into the rigors of military duty during the Civil War and offer detailed descriptions of the movements of a particular body of troops.


Missouri State Government Primary Sources for Civil War

See our Government Documents research guide to the Civil War in Missouri. For a complete list of Missouri state government agencies active during the 1860s, check our Missouri Historical Documents Browser and click on the year: 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, etc.


War of the Rebellion:
a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

 


Congressional Globe

 


Papers Relating to Foreign Affairs

In the Papers Relating to Foreign Affairs, researchers will find a wealth of primary source material involving relations between the Union and Confederate forces with Great Britain. Included are letters, telegrams and other correspondence between the U.S. Secretary of State (Wm. H. Seward) and the American ambassadors to Great Britain (George M. Dallas [1856-61] and Charles Francis Adams [1861-68]). Also included is the official correspondence between Seward and the British Foreign Minister, Lord Lyons, as well as a few official letters between Seward and Lord Palmerston, the British Prime Minister from 1856 to 1865. Issues discussed in particular include the Trent Affair, the controversy surrounding the CSS Alabama, and many discussions regarding whether Great Britain was going to diplomatically recognize the Confederate States of America. A large number of the letters between Seward and Adams discuss British public and governmental opinion on the American Civil War. This source is also full text searchable through the Wisconsin Digital Library: 1861, 1862, 1863 pt. 1, 1863 pt. 2, 1864, 1865, or search all years.


Civil War-era Federal Government Agencies

For researchers who wish to look into government materials published during the Civil War, we present this complete list of executive agencies below. The SuDoc number is the call number; it can be useful for locating materials in the library.

Department of Agriculture (1862- ) SuDoc: A 1
- Division of Gardens and Grounds (1862-1901) SuDoc: A 14
Freedman’s Savings and Trust (March, 3 1865-1920) SuDoc: FST 1
Government Printing Office (1860- ) SuDoc: GP 1
Department of the Interior (1849- ) SuDoc: I 1
- General Land Office (1849-1946) SuDoc: I 21
- U.S. Department of the Interior Library (1849- )SuDoc: I 22
-Patent Office (1849-1925) SuDoc: I 23
-Bureau of Pensions (1849-1930) SuDoc: I 24
United States Marshals Service (1789- ) SuDoc: J 25
U.S. Court of Federal Claims (1855-1982) SuDoc: Ju 3
Supreme Court (1790- ) SuDoc: Ju 6
Library of Congress (1800- ) SuDoc: LC 1
Department of the Navy (1798-1947) SuDoc: N 1
- Bureau of Construction and Repair (1842-1940) SuDoc: N 4
- Bureau of Equipment (1862-1910) SuDoc: N 5
- Marine Corps (1798-1947) SuDoc: N 9
- Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (1842-1947) SuDoc: N 10
- Nautical Almanac Office (1849-1947) SuDoc: N 11
- Naval Academy (1845-1947) SuDoc: N 12
- Naval Observatory (1842-1947) SuDoc: N 14
- Bureau of Naval Personnel (1862-1947) SuDoc: N 17
- Bureau of Ordinance and Hydrography (1842-1947) SuDoc: N 18
- Bureau of Supplies and Accounts (1842-1947) SuDoc: N 20
- Bureau of Yards and Docks (1842-1947) SuDoc: N 21
The National Academies (1863- ) SuDoc: NA 1
United States Postal Service (1792- ) SuDoc: P 1
- Bureau of Finance (1836-?) SuDoc: P 4
- Division of Dead Letters (1825-1904) SuDoc: P 7
- Money Orders Division (1864-1951) SuDoc: P 9
Department of State (1789- ) SuDoc: S 1
- Bureau of Rolls and Library (1789-1921) SuDoc: S 8
Smithsonian Institution (1846- ) SuDoc: SI 1
Department of the Treasury (1789- ) SuDoc: T 1
- Comptroller of the Currency (1863- ) SuDoc: T 12
- Commissioner of Customs (1849-1894) SuDoc: T 16
- Bureau of Engraving and Printing (1862- ) SuDoc: T 18
- Board of Examiners (1853-1909) SuDoc: T 19
- Library (1818-?) SuDoc: T 23
- Lighthouse Board (1852-1903) SuDoc: T 25
- United States Mint (1792- ) SuDoc: T 28
- Special Agents Division (1860-1915) SuDoc: T 35
- Steamboat Inspection Service (1852-1903) SuDoc: T 38
- Treasurer of the United States (1789-1940) SuDoc: T 40
- Office of the Solicitor of Treasury (1830-1870) SuDoc: T 44
Department of War (1789-1947) SuDoc: W 1
- Subsistence Department (1775-1912) SuDoc: W 5
- Engineer Department (1802-1947) SuDoc: W 7
- Military Academy (1802-1947) SuDoc: W 12
- California Department (1858-1865) SuDoc: W 13
- Department of the East (1853-1903) SuDoc: W 17
- Department of the Gulf (1862-1911) SuDoc: W 18
- Department of the Missouri (1862-1911) SuDoc: W 20
- Department of Texas (1853-1911) SuDoc: W 24
- Northern and Northwestern Lakes Survey (1841-1947) SuDoc: W 33
- Ordnance Department (1812-1947) SuDoc: W 34
- Pay Department (1816-1912) SuDoc: W 36
- Provost Marshal General (1863-1947) SuDoc: W 37
- Quartermaster’s Department (1812-1912) SuDoc: W 39
- Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (March 3, 1865-1947) SuDoc: W 41
- Signal Office (1860-1947) SuDoc: W 42
- District of Columbia Soldiers Home (1851-1947) SuDoc: W 43
- Medical Department (1818-1947) SuDoc: W 44
- Pacific Division (1847-1907) SuDoc: W 51
- Department of Washington (1861-1869) SuDoc: W 52
- Atlantic Division (1865-1907) SuDoc: W 64
- Department of the South (1862-1883) SuDoc: W66
- Department of Virginia and North Carolina (May 22, 1861-1870) SuDoc: W 67
Architect of the Capitol (1793- ) SuDoc: Y 3: Ar 2

There are several ways to access Civil War era publications from federal agencies:

  • Get full text from the U. S Congressional Serial Set database. Some (but not all) of the agencies' publications will be included.
  • Get a list of publications from the CIS Index to U.S. Executive Branch Documents, 1789-1909 : Guide to Documents listed in Checklist of U.S. Public Documents, 1789-1909, not printed in the U.S. Serial Set (See MERLIN record for this item on the Documents Reference shelf.) This is a subject index to the Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909.
  • Try a search in the full text of Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789-1909 through Google Books.

Congressional Committees of the 37th and 38th Congresses (1861–1865)

Senate Standing Committees
From December 2, 1861 to March 4, 1865 (unless stated otherwise)

  • Agriculture - Est. December 7, 1863 (Sherman R-OH)
  • Claims (Clark R-NH)
  • Commerce (Chandler R-MI)
  • District of Columbia (Grimes R-IA)
  • Engrossed Bills – Est. December 1, 1862 (Lane R-IN)
  • Finance (Fessenden R-ME, Sherman R-OH)
  • Foreign Relations (Sumner R-MA)
  • Indian Affairs (Doolittle R-WI)
  • Judiciary (Trumbull R-IL)
  • Manufactures – Est. December 5, 1864 (Sprague R-RI)
  • Military Affairs and the Militia (Wilson R-MA)
  • Naval Affairs (Hale R-NH, Grimes R-IA)
  • Pacific Railroad – Est. December 7, 1863 (Howard R-MI)
  • Patents and Patent Office (Simmons R-RI, Cowan R-PA)
  • Pensions (Foster R-CT)
  • Post Offices and Post Roads (Collamer R-VT)
  • Private Land Claims (Harris R-NY)
  • Public Buildings and Grounds (Foot R-VT)
  • Public Lands (Harlan R-IA)
  • Revolutionary Claims (King R-NY, Wilkinson R-MN)
  • Territories (Wade R-OH)
  • To Audit and Control the Contingent Expenses of the Senate (Dixon R-CT)

 

Senate Select Committees of the 37th Congress

  • Preservation of Order in the Galleries – Existed from March 8, 1861 to March 28, 1861 (Anthony R-RI)
  • Bill to Promote the Efficiency of the Army - Existed from July 6, 1861 to August 6, 1861 (Wilson R MA)
  • Altering the Construction of the Senate Chamber – Existed from July 8, 1861 to August 6, 1861 (Hale R-NH)
  • Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean – Existed from July 16, 1861 to August 6, 1861 (1 st Session), December 9, 1861 to July 17, 1862 (Second Session); (McDougall D-CA)
  • Surrender and Destruction of Navy Yards and United States Property – Existed from July 29, 1861 to August 6, 1861 (1 st Session), December 9, 1861 to April 18, 1862 (2 nd Session) (Hale R-NH)
  • Connecting Military and Naval Stations with Submarine Cable – Existed from December 23, 1861 to July 17, 1861 (Simmons R-RI)
  • Charges Against Senator Benjamin Stark of Oregon – Existed from March 18, 1862 to April 22, 1862 (Clark R-NH)
  • Bill for the Establishment of a National Foundry – Existed from March 21, 1862 to July 17, 1862 (Grimes R-IA)
  • Bill to Confiscate the Property and Free the Slaves of Rebels - Existed from May 7, 1862 to May 14, 1862 (Clark R-NH)
  • Impeachment of Judge West H. Humphreys, of the District Court for the Several Districts of Tennessee – Existed from May 8, 1862 to May 9, 1862 (Foster R-CT)
  • Ventilation of the Senate Chamber – Existed from June 5, 1862 to July 17, 1862 (Hale R-NH)
  • Chartering Transport Vessels for the Banks Expedition – Existed from December 22, 1862 to February 9, 1863 (Grimes R-IA)
  • Bill Concerning the Construction of a Railroad and Telegraph Line from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean – Existed from December 23, 1862 to February 10, 1863 (McDougall D-CA)
  • Bill Concerning Military Claims Originating from the Rebellion in Virginia West of the Blue Ridge, Prior to Sept. 30, 1862 – Existed from February 5, 1863 to February 13, 1863 (Davis U-KY)

 

Senate Select Committees of the 38th Congress

  • Slavery and the Treatment of Freedmen – Existed from January 13, 1864 to February 29, 1864 (1 st Session), December 8, 1864 to March 3, 1864 (2 nd Session); (Sumner R-MA)
  • Select Committee on Naval Supplies – Existed from January 25, 1864 to June 29, 1864 (Hale R-NH)
  • Overland Mail Supplies – Existed from March 3, 1865 to July 26 1866 (Stewart R-NV)

 

House Standing Committees
From December 2, 1861 to March 4, 1865 (unless stated otherwise)

 

House Select Committees of the 37th Congress

  • Rules - Existed from July 4, 1861 to March 3, 1863 (Grow R-PA)
  • Pacific Railroad – Existed from July 8, 1861 to March 3, 1863 (Curtis R-IA)
  • Government Contracts – Existed from July 8, 1861 to March 3, 1863 (Van Wyck R-NY)
  • Loyalty of Government Employees – Existed from July 8, 1861 to March 3, 1863 (Potter R-WI)
  • Establishment of a National Armory West of the Allegheny Mountains – Existed from July 10, 1861 to February 28, 1862 (Moorhead R-PA)
  • Reduction of Government Expenditures – Existed from July 13, 1861 to March 3, 1863 (F. Conkling R-NY)
  • Bankruptcy Law – Existed from July 15, 1861 to March3, 1863 (R. Conkling R-NY)
  • Defenses of the Great Lakes and Rivers – Existed from December 5, 1861 to March 3, 1863 (Arnold R-IL)
  • Gradual Emancipation of Slaves in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Missouri – Existed from April 7, 1862 to March 3, 1863 (White R-IN)
  • Confiscation of Rebel Property – Existed from April 24, 1862 to June 17, 1862 (Olin R-NY, Sedgwick R-NY)
  • Ship Canal Around the Falls of Niagara – Existed from June 24, 1862 to March 3, 1863 (Van Horn R-NY)
  • Charges of Corruption Contained in the New York Tribune – Existed from June 30, 1862 to January 12, 1863 (Clark R-NY)
  • Investigate Charges Against the Honorable James M. Ashley – Existed from December 4, 1862 to February 28, 1863 (Bingham R-OH)
  • Government Employees in Banking Institutions Having Government Contracts or Dealing in Stocks – Existed from December 22, 1862 to March 3, 1863 (Train R-MA)
  • Military and Post Roads and Railroads from New York to Washington – Existed from January 12, 1863 to March 3, 1863 (Fenton R-NY)
  • D.P. Holloway’s Management of the Patent Office – Existed from January 30, 1863 to March 2, 1863 (Sheffield U-RI)
  • Alleged Abstraction of the Report of the Minority of the Select Committee on Government Contracts from the Clerk’s Office – Existed from March 3, 1863 to March 3, 1863 (Washburne R-IL)

 

House Select Committees of the 38th Congress

  • Rules – Existed from December 7, 1863 to March 3, 1865 (Colfax R-IN)
  • Pacific Railroad – Existed from December 14, 1863 to March 3, 1865 (Stevens R-PA)
  • Emancipation – Existed from December 14, 1863 to March 3, 1865 (Eliot R-MA)
  • The Rebellious States – Existed from December 15, 1863 to March 3, 1865 (Davis UU-MD)
  • Immigration (Special Committee) – Existed from December 15, 1863 to March 3, 1865 (Washburne R-IL)
  • National Bankruptcy Law – Existed from December 21, 1863 to March 3, 1865 (Spalding R-OH)
  • Railroad from New York to Washington – Existed from January 6, 1864 to June 9, 1864 (Brandegee R-CT)
  • Absence of Dr. Charles Mayer Wetherill, the Chemist of the Department of Agriculture – January 19, 1864 to March 21, 1864 (Orth R-IN)
  • National Armory West of the Alleghenies – Existed from February 1, 1864 to March 3, 1865 (Kellogg R-MI)
  • Allowing Department Heads Seats on the Floor of the House – Existed from February 8, 1864 to March 3, 1865 (Pendleton R-OH)
  • Purchase of Congressional Annals and Debates – Existed from March 14, 1864 to March 18, 1864 (Smith UU-KY)
  • Charge Against the Honorable F. P. Blair, Jr., of Missouri, Regarding Alleged Liquor Speculation – Existed from March 23, 1864 to April 23, 1864 (Higby R-CA)
  • Defenses of the Northeastern Frontier – Existed from April 25, 1864 to March 3, 1865 (Rice R-ME)
  • Alleged Frauds in the Treasury Department – Existed from April 30, 1864 to June 30, 1864 (Garfield R-OH)
  • Pensions – Existed from December 15, 1864 to March 3, 1865 (Griswold D-NY)
  • Indian Affairs – Existed from January 17, 1865 to March 3, 1865 (Windom R-MN)
  • Charges Against the Honorable Lucien Anderson – Existed from January 18, 1865 to March 3, 1865 (Smith UU-KY)
  • Assault by A. P. Field on the Honorable William D. Kelley – Existed from January 23, 1865 to February 7, 1865 (Beaman R-MI)
  • Charges Against the Commissioner of Patents – Existed from February 8, 1865 to March 2, 1865 (Higby R-CA)

Joint Standing Committees
From December 2, 1861 to March 4, 1865 (unless stated otherwise)

  • Joint Committee on Enrolled Bills ( Bingham R-MI, Howe R-WI)
  • Joint Committee on Printing ( Anthony R-RI)
  • Joint Committee on the Library ( Pearce D-MD, Collamer R-VT)
  • Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War ( Wade R-OH)

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