Below is a press release from the Mississippi Department of Archives & History:
On July 21, 2021, Susannah J. Ural presented "The Civil War and Reconstruction Governors of Mississippi Project" as part of the History Is Lunch series.
The project aims to make readily available the correspondence to and from eight men who served as Mississippi’s governors, beginning with John J. Pettus in 1859 and running through John Marshall Stone in 1882. Three groups—the University of Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Mississippi Digital Library—have partnered to digitize the nearly 20,000 letters, military telegrams, and official orders. By posting these documents free online, CWRGM is revolutionizing how scholars, teachers, students, and the public understand the era.
“During the timespan of 1859 to 1882 Mississippi seceded from the Union, joined the Confederacy, experienced destructive military actions, then saw slavery end, Black political empowerment, and a return to white domination,” said project director Susannah Ural. “People wrote to their governors almost like we use social media today–covering everything from the monumental to the mundane, which means their letters can help us understand how Mississippians of all backgrounds experienced one of the most revolutionary eras in U.S. history.”
Susannah J. Ural is professor of history and a senior fellow in the Dale Center for the Study of War & Society at the University of Southern Mississippi She has held the Buford “Buff” Blount Professorship in Military History and the Charles W. Moorman Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities. Ural is the author of four books, including Hood’s Texas Brigade: The Soldiers and Families of the Confederacy’s Most Celebrated Unit and Don’t Hurry Me Down to Hades: The Civil War in the Words of Those Who Lived It. She is a past president of the Mississippi Historical Society.
History Is Lunch is sponsored by the John and Lucy Shackelford Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for Mississippi. The weekly lecture series of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History explores different aspects of the state's past. The hour-long programs are held in the Craig H. Neilsen Auditorium of the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum building at 222 North Street in Jackson.