This website is full of original sources. Most of them come from the National Archives. The National Archives has almost 1000 years of documents stored on almost 100 miles of shelving. A guide who takes groups around the National Archives says that when you are in there you can smell the history on the shelves!
Many Civil War sources come from the National Archives’ collection of State Papers. When you want to look at the State Papers, the best place to start is the Calendar (or guide) of State Papers. These books list, in date order, the documents that are in the collection and give a summary of each.
Here is a page from the Calendar (guide). We’ve added some labels to show the kinds of information that historians can find here.
Add your own labels to this page from the Calendar. Think about how historians might be able to make use of these sources.
Page 371 of the Calendar (the guide which you just looked at above) listed a document dated August 15. When we went to look at the original in the State Papers, this is what we saw.
This document got damp and so has been damaged. Remember, it is over 350 years old. There is a hole so we can’t read the words in the middle of the document.