Top of page

Category: Civil War

Head and shoulders sepia-toned photo of Rebecca Pomroy, facing front. She is middle aged, smiling, with white hair coiled into a bun on either side of her head

A Civil War Story: Rebecca Pomroy, Lincoln’s Nurse

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Rebecca Pomeroy, a Civil War nurse, was assigned to the White House in 1862 to help the grieving Lincoln family deal with the loss of their 11-year-old son, Willie, to typhoid fever. The story of her relationship with the Lincoln family is revealed in a collection of her papers, photographs are artifacts that are now preserved at the Library as part of the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs.

Black History Month, Day 1: A Petition for Justice Nearly 20 Yards Long

Posted by: Neely Tucker

This is a guest post by Michelle Krowl, a historian in the Manuscript Division. It appears in the Jan.-Feb. issue of the Library of Congress Magazine. In the wake of emancipation during the Civil War, African Americans submitted petitions to government entities in greater numbers than ever before to advocate for equal treatment before the law. …

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

The Soldier’s Letter: The Civil War from the Western Frontier

Posted by: Neely Tucker

The Library recently acquired a rare surviving copy of the complete run of a Civil War regimental newspaper, the Soldier's Letter of the 2nd Colorado Cavalry of the American military. More than a hundred regiments on both sides of the conflict printed at least one edition of a camp newspaper, but few survive and a complete run of one paper is even harder fo find today. The four-page Soldier's Letter, staunchly against slavery and the Confederacy, ran for 50 editions between 1864 until after the war ended in 1865. Though mostly concerned with the regiment's history and daily details of camp life, the paper shows that soldiers were more concerned about warring Native American tribes than they were Confederate units, and they would eventually form a military bridge between the Civil War and the Indian Wars that followed.

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

Hair! At the Library? Yes, and Lots of It

Posted by: Neely Tucker

One of the Library's most unusual holdings is hair -- lots of it. The Library has locks and tresses and strands from people in the arts such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Walt Whitman and Edna St. Vincent Millay; presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, James Madison and Ulysses S. Grant; and any number of famous women, including Lucy Webb Hayes (first lady and spouse of President Rutherford B. Hayes); Confederate spy Antonia Ford Willard; Clare Boothe Luce and unidentified hair from Clara Barton’s diary. Nearly all of the hair stems from the 18th and 19th centuries, in the era before photographs were common and lockets of hair were seen as tokens that could be anything from romantic to momentous.