Archives & Record Management

Civil War Collections Online

Alternative Titles
Bentley Historical Library Civil War Collections Online
BHL Civil War Collections Online

The Bentley Historical Library has more than 400 collections pertaining to the participation of Michigan men and military units in the Civil War as well as the experiences of family and friends on the home front. In 2010-2011, the Bentley digitized 157 collections that had been previously microfilmed to increase access to these important materials and commemorate the conflict's sesquicentennial anniversary.

These collections range in size from a single letter or diary fragment up to multiple folders of letters as well as volumes of diaries, notebooks, or reminiscences. The materials furthermore vary greatly in degree of literacy, legibility, and content. Diary entries might be brief comments about daily weather conditions or detailed descriptions of camp life and battles participated in. The collections of letters are strongest for what was going on the war front with less information about activities of those who remained behind. All, however, offer an authentic view of the Civil War as it was experienced by the men and women of Michigan who lived through the conflict.

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