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Civil War Era Autograph Book

In the late nineteenth century, collecting autographs of famous Civil War heroes was a popular activity. Collectors wrote Civil War figures asking for autographs, attended public speeches by Civil War generals, made trips to army reunions, or bought bank statements, letters, or personal documents that had famous signatures in order to complete their homemade autograph books.

This autograph book donated by Dr. Andrew Carroll in 1977 was originally the property of his grandfather, Joseph Charles Carroll. Throughout the late nineteenth and into the early twentieth century, Joseph Charles Carroll collected more than 75 autographs. Over 60 of those autographs are from notable Civil War generals collected from 1864-1867. These autographs include Union generals Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, George G. Meade, George A. Custer, and Joseph Hooker. Confederate generals include P.G.T. Beauregard and James Longstreet.

Besides great military leaders, this book includes autographs of President Andrew Johnson, former vice-president of the Confederacy Alexander H. Stephens, and U.S. Senator and former Secretary of War Simon Cameron.

Many of these signatures are written directly on the pages of the autograph book while others were clipped from personal documents including official correspondences and personal letters.

To view this item, visit Special Collections on the 3rd floor of McCain Library in room 305. The book can be found in the Joseph Charles Carroll Autograph Book collection (M200).

For more information about this item or any of the collections in Special Collections, contact Jennifer Brannock at Jennifer.Brannock@usm.edu or 601.266.4347.

Text by Stephanie Anne Seal, Public History Intern in Special Collections