The Mississippi Constitutions of 1817, 1832, 1868, and 1890 are now available to view online! Access them at http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/digital_archives/constitutions/.
In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, we will be highlighting collections related to the military history of Mississippi and veterans who served the state beginning with the territorial militia in 1797 through World War II (the most recent engagement for which we have collections). Special thanks to Jim Pitts, of the MDAH Government Records section, for compiling the military records and their descriptions and to Nan Prince, Museum Division, for compiling the artifacts.
This World War I uniform coat belonged to Luther Manship, Jr., of Jackson. In 1917, he served as an artillery officer and for a time was attached to the British Army and American Air Forces in France.
Artifacts in the collection of the Museum of Mississippi History are available for viewing by appointment only. Please contact Cindy Gardner, Director of Collections or Nan Prince, Asst. Director of Collections by email to schedule an appointment.
The image above shows the May 1917 draft registration card of a Mississippian who was already involved in military training at the Reserve Officer Training Camp in Plattsburg, NY.
The above image shows the same soldier’s World War I statement of service cards, showing that he was in the Army Air Service and served overseas in France.
In honor of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, we will be highlighting collections related to the military history of Mississippi and veterans who served the state beginning with the territorial militia in 1797 through World War II (the most recent engagement for which we have collections). Special thanks to Jim Pitts, of the MDAH Government Records section, for compiling the military records and their descriptions.
From the establishment of the Mississippi Territory in 1797 until statehood in 1817, a territorial militia was maintained and then carried over into statehood. This militia eventually became the Mississippi National Guard. Occasionally elements of this militia were called to national service (similar to the current practice of federalizing the National Guard).
The image above is of the compiled service record of a volunteer in the Mississippi Territory Militia. MDAH holds these records on microfilm. See the other types of military service records at MDAH by going to the “Military Records” section of the “Master List of Microfilm” search option on the catalog page.
Editor’s Note: The blog has been neglecting the task of announcing additions to our digital holdings (usually non-digitized items that have recently been scanned). This will be the last post dedicated to updating readers about collections that are now available to view online (that is until more collections are scanned)!
These records are available to view online through the Government Archives page of the Digital Archives or by clicking the links below.
When the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, many in the South believed he would undermine the institution of slavery and reduce or eliminate the rights of the southern states to govern themselves. This opinion, together with the widespread fear of slave insurrection—Jim Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry was still fresh on the nation’s memory—made the election one of the most contested in American history.
When the results of the national elections became known in Mississippi, Governor John J. Pettus called an extraordinary session of the legislature for the purpose of electing delegates for a convention to consider seceding from the Union. The secession convention convened in Jackson on January 7, 1861, and elected William Barry as its president. Former United States Senator L.Q.C. Lamar was elected chairman of the committee charged with drafting the ordinance of secession. On January 9, 1861, the Ordinance was approved by a vote of eighty-four to fifteen and signed by all but one delegate.
Hugh Reid Miller of Pontotoc served as representative in the Mississippi House of Representatives and, later, circuit judge of the Seventh District of Mississippi. He was elected a delegate to the Secession Convention on December 20, 1860, and was one of the “Committee of Fifteen” who drafted the Ordinance of Secession. Miller organized the “Pontotoc Minute Men” (later Company G, Second Regiment, Mississippi Infantry, Confederate States Army) and was elected captain of the unit. He went on to organize the Forty-Second Regiment, Mississippi Infantry, which took an active part in the Gettysburg Campaign (June-July 1863). Miller was mortally wounded at the Battle of Cemetery Hill, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863.
Physician John L. Thornton of Brandon carries the distinction of being the only delegate not to sign the Ordinance of Secession. In a newspaper article written several years after the Civil War, a colleague quoted Thornton as telling the convention “his constituents elected him to vote and work against secession, and the fame of Ceasar’s [sic] or Alexander could not induce him to forfeit the trust imposed in him.” Thornton would go on to serve as surgeon of the Twenty-Second Regiment, Mississippi Militia, and later as colonel of the Sixth Regiment, Mississippi Infantry. He was wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, April 1862. Thornton resigned from the Confederate States Army on May 25, 1862, and returned to Brandon to resume his medical practice.
Boatner, Mark Mayo. The Civil War Dictionary. New York: Vintage Books, Inc., 1991.
Busbee, Westley F. Mississippi: A History. Wheeling, Ill.: Harlan Davidson, 2005.