Military History

The Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) preserves important research resources for every major American conflict. Our strongest holdings concern the American Civil War (including the papers of Jefferson Davis, the Gettysburg letters of Robert E. Lee, the papers of Albert Sidney Johnston, a strong set of Stonewall Jackson's papers, and more), but every major conflict is represented among our holdings.

We also preserve documents about other conflicts, such as the Russo-Japanese war, and peacetime military documents. They will be interfiled in the list below in rough chronological order.

American Revolution

There are 4 collections relating to the American Revolution in Louisiana, including the:

  • Kuntz Collection (American Revolution Section only) ca. 35 items



Report of Military Reconnaissance from the Post of Balise to the city of New Orleans. [1803], M 1112, in French. Military reconnaissance report written by Chief of the Battalion of Engineers Vinache for Pierre-Clément Laussat, last colonial governor of Louisiana, for the French repossession of the colony of New Orleans. The report describes military issues concerning the Mississippi River from its mouth (Post of Balise) to New Orleans.



War of 1812

For the War of 1812 there are 32 collections comprised of personal accounts and official reports, including the:

  • Priestley Narrative of General Carroll's Expedition to New Orleans, 2 volumes (1814-1815)
  • Andrew Hynes Papers, 51 items (1814-1816)
  • and a section in the Louisiana Historical Association Papers for the War of 1812, 241 items


The Mexican War

There are 9 collections composed of letters of participants in or letters about the impact of the Mexican War.  

The Civil War

Preserving documents pertaining to the American Civil War is a special mission of the Tulane University Manuscripts Department. The Manuscripts Department preserves more than ninety collections dealing with the Civil War, plus the extensive holdings of the Louisiana Historical Association papers. The majority of the collections are of private letters of individuals fighting for either the Confederate or Union side. All major theatres of operation are represented. Naturally, they are mainly the letters of Louisiana Confederates. Among the major collections are the papers of:

  • P.G.T. Beauregard, LA Confederate general, 291 items (1839-1888)
  • Cross Keys Plantation, Tensas Parish, Louisiana, plantation, 6 linear feet (1829-1983). Correspondence, diaries, financial records, scrapbooks, and other papers documenting the Cross Keys Plantation of Tensas Parish, Louisiana, and the Watson, McCall, and Cook families. The plantation was run by women during most of its existence. Topics documented include soldiers' views of the Civil War and World Wars I and II, plantation life, the role of women in the South, southern agriculture, social life in the rural South, the homefront during World Wars I and II, and other subjects.
  • Thomas Jonathan Jackson, VA Confederate general, 204 items (1848-1863)
  • Albert Sidney Johnston, KY and TX Confederate general, ca. 2,150 items (1838-1862)
  • William Preston Johnston [see Educators]
  • Joseph Jones [see Medicine]
  • Robert Edward Lee, 45 items (1858-1865)
  • Louisiana Guard Artillery Battles, nd, 1 leaf. M 1111. List of battles in which the Louisiana Guard Artillery participated. Includes name of battle, date, and names of wounded or killed. Battles noted span from October 5, 1861 to December 8, 1862.
  • Monroe, John, to Jefferson Davis, telegrams, April 27, 1862, 28 leaves M 1109 (use copy in 504 (18)). Telegrams from New Orleans Mayor John T. Monroe, and his deputy, Ducote Daponte, to Confederate President Jefferson Davis concerning Admiral Farragut’s demands for the surrender of New Orleans. Dispatched in “play by play” fashion, they describe the progress of the Federal forces, the action taken against them, the attitude of the people of New Orleans, and, finally, the terms demanded by Farragut.
  • Petition to Abraham Lincoln from members of the Louisiana Legislature for the release of John Gauche; March 17, 1865. 504 (18). Signed by members of the legislature, Governor Madison Wells, and President Abraham Lincoln, with a note in Lincoln’s hand “Let this man be discharged on taking the oath of Dec. 8, 1863. A. Lincoln, April 10, 1865.” Lincoln granted the petition fours days before his assassination.
  • George G. Shepley, ME U.S. general, 1 volume letter book (1864-1865)
  • John Henry Stibbs, IW U.S. general, 1,447 items (1819-1917)
  • Richard Taylor, LA Confederate general, 141 items (1856-1933)
  • M. Jeff Thompson, MO Confederate general, 141 items (1856-1933)


The Louisiana Historical Association Collection

In addition to the Civil War holdings listed above, the Manuscripts Department preserves the extensive collection of the Louisiana Historical Association. Among its holdings are:

  • the correspondence of Jefferson Davis, 7,231 items (1861-1888)
  • ca. 4,000 pieces of official correspondence, orders and reports from the Confederate Army
  • 289 diaries and personal reminiscences of personal Confederate papers and documents on over 3,000 Confederate soldiers
  • photographs, newspapers, sheet music and papers of memorial associations and veterans organizations


Spanish American War: There are 7 collections of personal correspondence relating to the Spanish-American War.   


World Wars I and II

The Louisiana Research Collection preserves significant holdings pertaining to World War I. Please visit our new web page devoted to describing our World War I holdings. We also preserve more than 20 collections with personal correspondence relating to World War II.


Russo-Japanese War

Japanese printed sash depicting Russo-Japanese War scenes, c. 1904-1905, 1 item, Manuscripts Collection 952. This sash is of the type used by jinrikisha pullers in Japan and contains two panels. The panel on the left depicts a dancer in a theater entertaining a group of Russian naval officers. The right panels depicts the same officers on return to their ship, which was sunk during their absence. In the upper right, the sun smiles on their discomfort.