From the Rare Book Collection, Catalog #5136.1 Conf., Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

One hundred and fifty years ago today, America was at war. For four years, southerners and northerners fought, died, survived, mourned, and rejoiced when loved ones returned. And they wrote.

Drawing on the vast holdings of the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library, we will present samples of the Civil War’s documentary remains. The concept of Civil War Day by Day is a simple one: every day for the next four years, we will present a document that is 150 years old to the day.

At the conclusion of this project, Civil War Day by Day will contain images of more than 1458 primary source documents. Contributions from Documenting the American South, the North Carolina Collection, the Rare Book Collection, the Southern Folklife Collection, the Southern Historical Collection, and University Archives will include newspapers, pamphlets, books, broadsides, legislation, photographs, sheet music, letters, diaries, order books, and telegrams.

Civil War Day by Day is neither an exhaustive, nor even a representative presentation of our holdings. Rather, it is suggestive, presenting readers with small stories and isolated declarations. It is also a largely unmediated presentation. Readers will encounter our documents as they are presented in our library’s reading rooms—often fragmentary, cryptic, and hastily scrawled.

Acts of interpretation and understanding will be the reader’s. But these moments of discovery need not remain private.  Our hope is that a community of researchers, anxious to share their interpretations, questions, and perhaps, even their transcriptions will emerge as frequent contributors to Civil War Day by Day.

If you have questions about Civil War Day by Day or Wilson Library, please contact us at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu.

9 Responses to About

  1. Robert Waldrop says:

    Excellent !!! Thank you.

  2. Ann A. Jones says:

    I am greatly enjoying your series with one exception. Since everyday you repost the proceeding days’ posts, it is already taking me several minutes to download the page. Since this has only been available for a few weeks, I am afraid that by the end of the war, I will take hours to acquire the information.
    Is is possible to redesign the website so that past information is archived and only a few days’ information loads daily? Otherwise, I will not be able to follow this history for much longer.
    Thank you.

    • dcbh says:

      Hi Ann,

      Thank you for your comment and I’m glad you are enjoying the project. I’m sorry you are having trouble with loading our blog posts. Unfortunately, I’m not quite sure what might be causing this issue for you.

      We do recommend that readers view the blog in Firefox – it seems to behave best in that browser. What browser are you using to view the blog?

      Also, our blog is currently configured only to display the last 10 posts (last 10 days), so it shouldn’t be showing any more than 10 posts at a time. Is that what is showing for you? Or are you seeing more than that?

      Again, I’m sorry you’re having trouble with our content. Hopefully we can help you diagnose it.

      Biff Hollingsworth

  3. Christian Yorck says:

    Great series
    Good Work

  4. Jane Hoppenworth says:

    I am looking for possible speakers to give presentations to the Civil War Round Table of Durham. Could you give me any suggestions? I am particularly interested in speakers who are knowledgeable about any of the following: women and civilians, minorities, and North Carolina in general during the Civil War; researching Civil War primary-source material; Civil War material available through UNC library.
    I have enjoyed subscribing to the Civil War day-by-day posts. The compilers and bloggers have done an excellent job of making history “alive” by showcasing writings of people 150 years ago.
    Thank you all for your hard work.
    Jane Hoppenworth (UNC class of 1982)

  5. Thomas says:

    The coded message from Johnston to Lee (April 8th, 1862) has been solved: http://scienceblogs.de/klausis-krypto-kolumne/2017/08/31/an-unsolved-message-sent-to-robert-e-lee/:

    “There are cars here for one brigade. Six. More to follow. Three of them, long street. Will march. Can not the government procure cars for the other three? I hope enough for one brigade will come tomorrow.”

  6. debbie hoffman says:

    I am trying to find out any information on the Roswell Mill women

  7. Pingback: The Big Picture – Let's Get Civil War

  8. Jo Ann says:

    Is there a compilation of all the entries from this project? Thank you

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