Military Affairs

Military records are a significant part of the Manuscript Division's holdings. Included are the papers of military heroes from George Washington, commander in chief of the Continental Army, to Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, commanding general of the Strategic Air Command and chief of staff of the United States Air Force after World War II. Interspersed between these two luminaries are the collected or personal papers of numerous career officers, volunteers, and noncommissioned officers and enlisted personnel, as well as war correspondents, military spouses, camp followers, and private citizens caught in the path of war.

Watercolors of Civil War ironclads by Ens. D. M. N. Stouffer

The division's military collections span the entire history of the United States, but they are particularly rich for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Revolutionary War is the focus of innumerable collections, including the papers of George Washington, John Paul Jones, Nathanael Greene, Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur Rochambeau, Robert Morris, and the Shippen family. The War of 1812 is best represented in the papers of such individuals as Jacob J. Brown, William Henry Harrison, Andrew Jackson, Thomas Macdonough, James Madison, Duncan McArthur, Winfield Scott, and William H. Winder.

No military topic is better documented than the Civil War. The division is the principal repository for the papers of President Abraham Lincoln as well as those of generals Nathaniel P. Banks, Pierre G. Beauregard, Benjamin F. Butler, Jubal A. Early, Richard S. Ewell, Charles Ewing, William B. Franklin, James A. Garfield, Ulysses S. Grant, Samuel P. Heintzelman, Henry J. Hunt, Joseph W. Keifer, George B. McClellan, Montgomery C. Meigs, Carl Schurz, Philip H. Sheridan, and William T. Sherman. Admirals Andrew Hill Foote, Louis M. Goldsborough, and Samuel Phillips Lee are also represented, as are hundreds of noncommissioned officers and enlisted personnel. The famous Confederate States of America collection, the papers of war correspondents Sylvanus Cadwallader (New York Herald) and Whitelaw Reid (Cincinnati Gazette), and the papers of Burton N. Harrison, secretary to Jefferson Davis, are also among the more than one thousand collections in the division that relate to the Civil War.

Despite competition from many war colleges and libraries, the division has also managed to acquire a significant amount of material from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The papers of Woodrow Wilson, Gen. John Joseph (Black Jack) Pershing, and Maj. Gen. John Archer Lejeune document the role of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I. For the World War II period, the division has the papers of generals Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, Ira C. Eaker, Curtis E. LeMay, George S. Patton, and Carl A. Spaatz, who were instrumental in assuring Allied victory by establishing the United States as the world's greatest air power. The Edward L. Rowny Papers cover not only World War II but also the Korean and Vietnam wars and strategic arms negotiations on behalf of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Selected items relating to:

Queen Anne's War World War I
Revolutionary War World War II
Civil War Korean War

Military Affairs Items List | Words and Deeds

am Sep-8-97