The Eve of WarFall 1859–Spring 1861
NewspapersView transcriptions and images of the newspapers from Augusta and Franklin, providing access to how news was reported in the counties. Browse the individual newspapers by date, read articles grouped by relevant topics, or search the newspapers for particular words or phrases. In most cases, you may also view scanned images of the original newspaper pages.
Letters & DiariesRead all the pre-war letters and diaries in the Valley Archive. Both sections contain a page that gives a brief description of each collection of personal papers, so you may scan through the collections for what looks most interesting or useful. You may also search the letters and diaries, to find a particular word, phrase, or name.
1860 Census and SummariesExplore over 50 tables that show statistics on life in the two counties, such as the percentage of slaveholders in Augusta and where free blacks lived in Franklin. Examine statistics on Augusta, Franklin, or comparison statistics on both counties. These tables are based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and databases built by the Valley Project.
Church RecordsThis section contains all the records kept by churches in Augusta and Franklin between the 1850s and 1870s, including information about marriages, births, deaths, and baptisms. You may search the church records by county or church. More about the Augusta and Franklin churches.
Free Black RegistrySearch the Free Black Registry, a record people in Augusta kept on all free blacks who lived in the county.
Fire Insurance PoliciesBrowse fire insurance depositions from Staunton from 1850 through 1860, including preliminary drawings of the respective buildings.
Tax RecordsSearch the 1860 Augusta or Franklin County Tax Records Census for Staunton, Virginia, or Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, respectively. Search on a number of the fields found in the agricultural census (such as name, occupation, and various tax amounts).
The War YearsSpring 1861–Spring 1865
Letters & DiariesRead letters and diaries from the war years in the Valley Archive. Both sections contain a page that gives a brief description of each collection of personal papers, so you may scan through the collections for what looks most interesting or useful. You may also search the letters and diaries, to find a particular word, phrase, or name.
Images of WarThe image database contains over 700 photographs and magazine illustrations from the Civil War. You can use this search page to find photographs of soldiers from Augusta and Franklin Counties, scenes from battles that Augusta and Franklin units fought in, or magazine illustrations of homefront or camp life. The database also contains a large collection of photographs and magazine illustrations of African American soldiers and civilians during the Civil War years.
Battlefield CorrespondenceThe communities in Augusta and Franklin Counties sent men into over 40 different military units, U.S. and Confederate. After the war, the United States collated the battlefield reports, dispatches, and other documents that related to the war and published them under the title Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. As these 1,500 records indicate, the experiences of Augusta and Franklin Units who served in the war ranged widely.
Regimental MovementsThis database offers detailed information about the movements of regiments from Franklin and Augusta counties. Access information about specific battles, including the start and end dates, numbers killed and wounded, and weather conditions.
Soldiers’ DossiersMilitary service records were kept by the United States and Confederate States on each soldier during the war. The Valley Project has amassed all the service records from the National Archives that we could find concerning men from Augusta and Franklin counties. These records contain a wealth of information on the individual Augusta and Franklin men who fought in the war.
The AftermathSpring 1865–Fall 1870
Letters & DiariesRead letters and diaries from after the war. Both sections contain a page that gives a brief description of each collection of personal papers, so you may scan through the collections for what looks most interesting or useful. You may also search the letters and diaries, to find a particular word, phrase, or name.
1870 Census and SummariesBrowse statistics from Augusta and Franklin counties after the war, including general population breakdowns and figures on agriculture, churches, education, manufacturing, and property values.
Freedmen’s BureauThe Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands, commonly known as the Freedmen's Bureau, was created by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865, just a few weeks before Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Browse these records from Augusta County.
Southern Claims Commission PapersAfter the end of the war, the United States allowed Southerners who had remained loyal to the Union to petition to be reimbursed for losses they had sustained during the war while supporting the Union. From 1871 to 1879, 137 people from Augusta County, VA, submitted applications for reimbursement, most of which were denied. Browse all the surviving petitions and files.
Chambersburg ClaimsAfter the war Pennsylvania established a claims commission to review petitions for reimbursement for damages sustained during the war by communities along the border. A great majority of the claims came from Franklin County, largely because of the burning of Chambersburg. This database is a searchable set of the 594 Chambersburg claims..
Veterans’ CensusThe 1890 U.S. Veterans Census Database allows users to search for information about veterans and widows from Augusta County, Virginia, and Franklin County, Pennsylvania, who were living in the two counties in 1890. Users may search by name, residence, rank during the war, regiment, and other criterion..
Memory of WarBrowse memoirs, essays, articles, and newspapers from Augusta and Franklin Counties, sharing how residents remembered the war, often through personal, first-hand accounts.