Back on March 26 I received an email from reader Griff Bartlett. He had a letter from his great-grandfather, a member of the Washington Artillery at Bull Run, to his brother-in-law. The letter describes the fighting at Blackburn’s Ford on July 18, and was printed in the New Orleans Sunday Delta on July 28, 1861,
Mr. Bartlett included his source for the letter, two typewritten pages numbered 52 & 53. I wanted to at least get the publication info on the book to include in my citation for the letter. Griff wrote back that the images were all he had, and that he had acquired them from the library at the Jackson Barracks in Louisiana. So I checked into things on the internet and found a phone number. After a couple calls I was put in touch with Richard Holloway, archivist for the Louisiana National Guard at Camp Beauregard in Pineville, Louisiana. I described the images to him (and later forwarded them) and he immediately recognized them as part of a set of Works Progress Administration (WPA) volumes that collected and transcribed LA newspaper accounts of LA military units and events from the 1700s up to the 1920s.
So far Mr. Holloway has sent me 30 pages of Bull Run related items from one of the volumes. He has yet to locate the volume containing the two pages provided by Mr. Bartlett, but there was some damage to the library collection as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the volume may have been temporarily misplaced (the collection did undergo extensive preservation and restoration efforts). Mr. Holloway has indicated that there is plenty more where these 30 pages came from.
The long and short of it: this is a great news for Bull Runnings. I’ll have plenty of Louisiana primary accounts to put into the Bull Run Resources section of this site, thanks to Mr. Bartlett and Mr. Holloway.