Skip to main content
Microfilm

Get Started

CONTACT US

  • Share

Overview

From beginning to end, the theater of Civil War conflict extended as far west as the country itself. With President Lincoln's first call for troops, recruiters fanned out through the Midwest, state militia units were mustered, and transport to the East was engaged. With the spread of the "fire of secession," local and state units were organized for service in the region. One of the first units to respond to Lincoln's call was the 1st Minnesota, and the first Union campaign began with Ohio militia units invading western Virginia in support of Union sympathizers. Union strength in the East was greatly bolstered by rugged midwestern regiments. They fought with distinction at Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, and in the long Wilderness Campaign and siege of Richmond. In the Midwest and trans-Mississippi West, midwestern units carried out the combined ground and naval assaults that won Union control of the strategic interior rivers of the South-first the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers and, with the fall of Vicksburg in mid-1863, the entire Mississippi River. Vicksburg was the conquest that persuaded Lincoln to assign Ulysses S. Grant of Illinois to command the Union forces in the East against Lee. Grant's successor in command of the western forces was the Ohioan William Tecumseh Sherman. From Chattanooga in May 1864 Sherman, with three armies and 112,000 veteran soldiers, launched his remorseless march through the South. Because these were largely western troops, the diaries and other materials in Part 4 document this participation. The fall of Atlanta to Sherman's troops on September 2 dwarfed southern victories in the West that year. By late December, Sherman had reached the sea. The South's economy had been gutted, its morale nearly broken. Several midwestern regiments comprised foreign-born laborers, craftsmen, and shopkeepers. They were not long in this country when recruiters appeared in their German, Scandinavian, Swiss, and Irish neighborhoods in Chicago, Peoria, Detroit, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Davenport. Part 4 includes histories and narratives, some in English and some in other European languages, that highlight the immigrants' loyalty to their new country. A peculiar feature of the war in the West was the involvement of Native Americans, many of whom saw an opportunity to free themselves from the whites controlling their immediate area. Included in Part 4 are several histories pertaining to the suppression of Indian uprisings, particularly in Minnesota and the Southwest, by the Kiowa, Sioux, and Comanche. Part 4 includes unit histories and personal narratives from states and territories of the West. These materials are assembled from a wide variety of state, university, and college libraries and historical societies. Documentation from the far western states and territories, except California, is less than that from the Midwest. With smaller populations, fewer units were raised and fewer histories produced. For this reason, materials from the Far West form a single group. Part 4 documents the midwestern and western units from mustering in to mustering out, through both contemporaneous accounts and later recollections. Infantrymen, cavalrymen, artillerymen, and some officers, scouts, nurses, and spies tell their stories. There are also accounts from a chaplain, a surgeon, and a drummer boy. Their descriptions cover the full range of emotions and experiences endured in camps, marches, battles, hospitals, and prisons.

Support & Training

ProQuest offers best-in-class customer service, technical support, and training so you can hit the ground running with your ProQuest products and leverage everything they can do.

Access Support Center

Our Products

Microfilm

A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century

Eight-volume English edition reprinted in two volumes; two very scarce volumes of the German edition, which were not translated into English, reprinted in a separately available third volume.

Learn More

Microfilm

A Concordance to the Poems of Dylan Thomas

Romantic. Affirmative. Rhetorical. The poetry of Dylan Thomas urged readers to ponder life as they never had before. Researchers now have access to a concordance and word list keyed to the 1978 printing of Dylan Thomas: The Poems, edited by Daniel Jones.

Learn More

Microfilm

A People at War

Letters, diaries, memoirs, and other personal papers from the Civil War holdings of the Library of Congress. Edited by John R. Sellers.

Learn More

Blog

Dissertations...Empowering Researchers with Cutting-edge Ideas & Insight

Dissertations often provide the only information on a particular topic, and surface primary research unavailable in other formats.

Learn More

A Journey in Song: Nelson Mandela, Reggae and Rumba

Multimedia resources open up new avenues of exploration into a human rights hero’s life and legacy.

Learn More