Tag Archives: The Civil War Collection
OG-Memoirs of Robert E. Lee 5

Book Update: Memoirs of Robert E. Lee

Memoirs of Robert E. Lee his Military and Personal History Embracing a Large Amount of Information Hitherto Unpublished by A.L. Long, a former military secretary to General Lee, was published in 1887 by J. M. Stoddart & Company.  This volume’s full text is searchable by Accessible Archives subscribers. It can be found in our The Civil War Part III. The Generals Perspective.

Dedicated to the Disabled Confederate Soldiers:

The gallant men with whom he has a right to sympathize, the author respectfully dedicates the following pages.

A.L. Long,
Charlottesville, Virginia

Dedication: Memoirs of Robert E. Lee

Dedication: Memoirs of Robert E. Lee


To overcome the inactivity to which loss of sight has for some years subjected me, I have sought occupation in recording the recollection of familiar events. Having obtained a slate prepared for the use of the blind, I soon learned to write with a moderate degree of legibility. In order to excite a pleasing interest in my work, I undertook something that might prove of future benefit. Having served on General Lee’s personal staff during the most important period of his military career, I began an eye-witness narrative of his campaigns in the war between the States. In the execution of my work I received valuable assistance from my wife and daughter, my two sons, and Miss Lucy Shackelford (now Mrs. Charles Walker), all of whom lovingly and faithfully served me as copyists and readers. I am also indebted to Colonel C. S. Venable of General Lee’s staff, Major Green Peyton of Rodes’s staff, and Major S. V. Southall of my own staff, for indispensable aid in reviewing my manuscript, informing me of facts that had not come to my knowledge or reminding me of such as had escaped my recollection. My work is now completed, and I offer it to the public, hoping it may prove of value as a record of events which passed under my own observation, and many of which have been described directly from my notes made at the time of their occurrence. It is not intended to be a history of the war in detail, but a statement of my personal knowledge of General Lee’s life, actions, and character, and of the part played by him in the great events of which he was the ruling spirit.

After receiving my manuscript the publishers desired a change of plan which would embrace some of the interesting social and domestic features of General Lee’s life. This part of the work has been edited and conducted through an arrangement with the publishers by General Marcus J. Wright, formerly of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, but now, and for some years past, agent of the United States War Department for the collection of Confederate records. My wife has rendered important aid in this part of the work by contributing personal incidents and other valuable material obtained through her friendly relations with the family of General Lee. It is also proper to acknowledge the use of the publications of Rev. J. W. Jones, Colonel Walter H. Taylor, Miss Emily Mason, the Southern Historical Society papers, Swinton, and the Report of the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War (Federal). I have had occasion to refer to the Memoirs of General Grant and The Campaigns of General J. E. B. Stuart, by Major H. B. McClellan. I have been greatly encouraged in the publication of this work by the cordial concurrence of General G. W. Custis Lee, General W. H. F. Lee, Major R. E. Lee, Miss Mildred Lee, Governor Fitz Lee, and other members of the family.

I further desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to Colonel R. N. Scott, U. S. A., for opportunity afforded me at the War Records Office of studying official reports, maps, and the confidential letter-books of General Lee, relating to the events described in the present volume, many of which have never hitherto been published, and which will prove of great value and interest both in rightly understanding military operations and in estimating the character and genius of that great soldier.

A.L. Long


When slave ships reached the Americas, the slaves were off-loaded and sold in slave markets, like the one pictured here in Atlanta (1860s).

The Slave-Market (1830-1860)

This is an excerpt Chapter IX of THE AMERICAN NATION: A HISTORY VOLUME 16; SLAVERY AND ABOLITION 1831–1841, one of the titles in our newest Civil War Collection – Part VII: Abraham Lincoln Library Abolitionist Books.

Part VII of our Civil War collection, Abraham Lincoln Library Abolitionist Books: Compiled by the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Library in Springfield, Illinois this unique collection brings together a disparate group of abolitionist era reference materials.


With very small exceptions the negro slave was absolutely subject to sale at such times, to such persons, and on such terms as pleased his master. The ownership was as absolute as that of a horse or a watch. Although prosperous masters commonly did not sell slaves, the threat of being “sent down the river” for bad conduct was often realized; and able-bodied slaves who began to lose their vigor and vitality were sometimes sold because no longer profitable as work-hands; or at the death of a master, especially if the estate went to several heirs, among whom the proceeds had to be divided. There was always an undercurrent of feeling that to part with one’s slaves was ignoble; hence the most frequent reason for selling was simply that the master was obliged to realize, either to pay for something that he wanted to buy, or because he was in debt.

Was it true, as charged by the abolitionists, that slaves were bred in the border states for no other purpose than to sell them? Probably the truth was expressed by the Mississippian who said:

“A man might not raise a nigger with a well-considered plan to sell him eighteen years after he was born; he might never sell a nigger, but for all that, it was the readiness with which he could command a thousand dollars for every likely boy he had, if he should ever need it, that made him stay here and be bothered with taking care of a gang of niggers who barely earned enough to enable his family to live decently.”

In many cases slaves passed simply from vendor to purchaser like fancy stock, but the usual way was to attract buyers by advertisements. Within two weeks there appeared in the columns of sixty-four southern newspapers advertisements for the sale of forty-one hundred negroes, besides thirty lots to be sold at auction, as, for example:

PRIVATE SALES. Excellent Cook. Will be sold at private sale, a Woman, about 22 years of age, an excellent cook, (meat and pastry) Plain Washer, etc. She is sound and healthy and can make herself generally useful.

The slave-traders had no social reward for this useful service; a traveller in a steamer noticed “that the planters on board … shunned all intercourse with this dealer, as if they regarded his business as scarcely respectable.”

However despised, the business was profitable. The private sales involved no public exhibition of the merchandise, and in many cases showed some regard to the preference of the slaves. The public sales brought out the worst side of the whole system. The north was shocked by such grouping of human and brute merchandise as:

SHERIFF’S SALE. I will sell at Fairfield Court House, 2 Negroes, 2 Horses and I Jennet, I pair of Cart Wheels, I Bedstead, I Riding Saddle. Sheriff’s Office, Nov. 19, 1852.


New Jersey and The Rebellion: A History of the Services of the Troops and People of New Jersey in Aid of The Union Cause

A Look Inside: New Jersey and the Rebellion

Part Two of our Civil War collection, The Soldiers’ Perspective, provides an in-depth look at the day-to-day actions of the troops themselves primarily in the form of regimental histories.

Usually written by an individual, but sometimes compiled by a committee, these books were published after the war to document what actually happened. While some battle and war narratives are included, the focus was primarily on the individual rather than on regimental action.

This is an excellent example that was published in 1868, quite soon after the war ended:  New Jersey and The Rebellion: A History of the Services of the Troops and People of New Jersey in Aid of The Union Cause by John Y. Foster.

Visitors with institutional access to Accessible Archives can browse this book at http://www.accessible.com/accessible/preLog?Browse=B00125187 and personal subscribers can locate it by logging in and using the Browse feature to reach the  The Soldier’s Perspective list of books.

From the Preface

New Jersey and The Rebellion: A History of the Services of the Troops and People of New Jersey in Aid of The Union CauseThe story of New Jersey’s part in the War for the Union, recorded in the following pages, has been written under many and serious difficulties. While the writer has in some cases been furnished with ample materials, in many others he has not been able to procure any official data whatever, while in nearly every instance he has found the testimony so conflicting and uncertain that it has been impossible to reach any really satisfactory conclusion. Compelled in some cases to examine hundreds of pages of manuscript to arrive at a single fact, and in others to travel scores of miles in quest of some authority which, when found, proved worthless or untrustworthy, the labor of gathering up the stray hints, the vague personal narratives, and the official statements out of which this Book is constructed, has been from first to last infinitely greater than any reader will conceive. But to the writer, this work, with all its embarassments and discouragements, and responsible as it proved, has been one of genuine pleasure; and if he has been so fortunate as to preserve any facts as to the gallantry of our troops, or the patriotism of our people, which might otherwise have been lost, he is wholly content.


Battle of Shiloh

General Order #14 – Rebel Instructions for Shiloh

A New York paper says that the following order of Gen. Beauregard was picked up on the battlefield of Shiloh:

General Order No. 14: Headquarters Army of
the Mississippi, Jackson, Tenn., March 14, 1862.


1. Field and company officers are especially enjoined to instruct their men, under all circumstances, to fire with deliberation at the feet of the enemy. They will thus avoid over-shooting, and, besides, wounded men give more trouble to our adversary than dead, as they have to be taken from the field.

2. Officers in command must be cool and collected; hold their men in hand in action, and caution them against useless, aimless firing. The men must be instructed and required each one to single out his mark. It was the deliberate sharpshooting of our forefathers in the Revolution of 1776, and New Orleans, in 1815, which made them so formidable against the odds with which they were engaged.

3. In the beginning of a battle, except by troops deployed as skirmishers, the fire of file will be avoided. It excites the men and renders their subsequent control difficult. Fire by wing or company should be resorted to instead. During the battle the officers and non-commissioned officers must keep their men in the ranks, enforce obedience, and encourage and stimulate them if necessary.

4. Soldiers must not be permitted to leave the ranks even to assist in removing our own dead, unless by special permission, which shall only be given when the action has been decided. The surest way to protect the wounded is to drive the enemy from the field. The most pressing, highest duty, is to win the victory.

5. Before the battle, the Quartermaster of the division will make all necessary arrangements for the immediate transportation of the wounded from the field. After consultation with the medical officers, he will establish the ambulance depot in the rear, and give his assistants the necessary instructions for the efficient service of the wagons and other means of transportation.

6. The ambulance depot to which the wounded are to be carried directed for immediate treatment, should be established at the most convenient building nearest the field of battle. A red flag marks the place and to it.


General list of vegetable seeds

The Confederacy and a Culture of Vegetables

There is nothing we shall want more during the coming season than an abundant supply of vegetables. The army will need them to preserve its men from scurvy. The people will need them to make up for the inordinate price of meat.

It is the duty, as well as the interest, of everybody to cultivate as large a quantity as possible. There is not a yard in any city or town which should not be made to contribute something towards the general store.

Among other inducements, it may be mentioned that vegetables, with few exceptions, are exempted from the tithe, and that they are not taxed beyond the income tax on the profits from their sales. A little attention and a little labor given to this end would do incalculable good.

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.


Collection: The Civil War
Publication: The Charleston Mercury
Date: April 7, 1864
Culture of Vegetables

Top Image:  Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection