I’m having a magnificent time with stacks of books I’ve just found rendered online. They’re in a (new?) collection of 19th Century American works transcribed and posted as part of the Perseus project at Tufts, and from the University of Georgia library’s collection of Facsimile Books.

from ... Uniforms (below)

I came upon these while looking into a relatively obscure artillery unit, the 6-months 8th Massachusetts Battery and their commander Asa M. Cook.

The first information I’ve found on the battery is in a capsule history written, on behalf of the State, by T.H. Higginson, late of the 51st Massachusetts and Colonel, First South Carolina, USCT. His two volume Massachusetts in the Army and Navy during the war of 1861-1865 (1895-96) is transcribed and posted at Perseus.

The battery’s commander at Antietam was Captain Cook, whose image I found in the Photographic History of the Civil War (1911-12) by Francis T. Miller. This is in the Facimile collection as searchable (uncorrected OCR) text and as full page images. You may have this 10 volume set at your local library, we do, but it’s a delight to find it digital.

But wait, there’s more.

Let me tempt you with some highlights …

Perseus’ 19th-century American collection:

Memoirs, biographies

Compilations, Histories


And among the Georgia Facimile Books &etc:



The Facimile Books site is best used with a DjVu plug-in or reader. This is from Lizardtech, the folks that brought us the LoC‘s MrSID viewer. It’ll also run in a Java applet or as PDF (acrobat) documents.

Perhaps it needn’t be said, but some of these publications are history less than objective. In many cases, that’s the point, of course. Caveat Emptor.

I greatly admire the immense work and technology investment that’s gone into these online collections. We can only hope these and others like them keep going.

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