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Civil War Scrapbook

Call Number: MS179

Scope and Contents

This collection contains one scrapbook of American Civil War memorabilia (such as postcards, currency, bonds, envelopes, and other records) and one 1864 issue of the Chronicle & Sentinel, a newspaper printed in Augusta, Georgia. The bulk of the collection’s materials are dated from 1861 to 1865.


  • Creation: 1861 -- 1915
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1861 - 1865


This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

The American Civil War was a domestic conflict that took place between 1861 and 1865. After the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, tensions between Northern and Southern states regarding slavery and westward expansion came to a head when seven southern states seceded to form the Confederate States of America. It was the deadliest war in history to take place on American soil, with estimates of 620,000 soldiers killed.

For decades, there had been a dramatic difference between the economies of the North and the South. While northern states had established manufacturing and industry, the southern states’ economy was agriculturally based, relying on the labor of enslaved Africans. As abolitionist sentiment grew in the North, motivated by both moral and free labor reasons, the South felt that their economy and way of life was being threatened. These states also clashed when it came to new states being added in the West: pro and anti-slavery groups clashed in whether slavery should be allowed in these new territories. When Lincoln took office in March of 1861, Confederate rebels threatened Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, ultimately firing the first shots of the Civil War.

The war was initially thought of as a conflict that would be put to an end quickly, with the Union’s advantages in population and manufacturing; however, the strength of the Confederate forces were displayed in the Battle of Bull Run in July 1861, showing that the war would likely extend far beyond original estimates. Confederate General Robert E. Lee led the Confederate army in several victories over mismanaged Union Troops, and invaded Maryland in September 1862. After tremendous losses in the Battle of Antietam, Lee invaded Pennsylvania, but the Battle of Gettysburg forced him to retreat to Virginia, after which he never again invaded the North.

After the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln felt that the Union forces were strong enough for him to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which he signed on January 1st, 1863, ending slavery in all Confederate states. This had the effect of shifting the public opinion of the war in favor of the union, as it redefined the focus of the war to the moral outrage against slavery. In 1864, Union General Ulysses S. Grant started the Overland Campaign, in which he tried to destroy Lee’s army with a strategy of attrition. When this failed, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman led his famous “March to the Sea” in which he marched from Atlanta to Savannah, burning and ravaging the Georgia countryside along the way, and exhausting the South.

The war is thought to have ended on April 9th, 1865, when Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House. This was followed by the surrender of several Confederate generals throughout the South. This resulted in four million enslaved people being freed, and the collapse of the Confederacy, which faced economic and psychological devastation from the war. The Reconstruction Era followed the war, in which the United States attempted to establish national unity again, and civil and political rights were guaranteed to formerly enslaved persons via three new constitutional amendments.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This collection is organized in one series.

Custodial History

This booklet found in the Ryder Collection of Confederate Archives in 2011; the Ryder collection was cataloged as part of the WPA in 1939/1940 but in later decades the catalog ( A Calendar of the Ryder Collection of the Confederate Archives at Tufts College 1940) was forgotten and library staff added other materials to the Ryder collection, usually items from the South, from the 18th and 19th century and around the time of the Civil War.

The first page of booklet is a letter addressed to Professor H. W. Bumpus, April 9th 1915, in which an anonymous alumnus donates the booklet to Tufts. Clearly of different provenance the booklet was removed from Ryder collection and MS 179 was created. Susanne Belovari, Archivist for Reference and Collections, November 2011.

Processing Information

Processed by Susanne Belovari 2011.

In April 2021 this finding aid was reviewed for offensive description by Collections Management Archivist Adrienne Pruitt. Terms pertaining to slavery were updated according to P. Gabrielle Foreman, et al. “Writing about Slavery/Teaching About Slavery: This Might Help” community-sourced document, accessed December 15, 2020,

Processing status

This collection is processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States