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Elliot Cross and James A. Cross Civil War Collection

Cross Collection Finding Aid

The Elliot Cross and James A. Cross Civil War Collection documents the Southern perspective of the American Civil War. As FAU’s largest collection dedicated solely to the Civil War, the Cross collection contains hundreds of manuscript and published items including personal correspondence from Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, Robert E. Lee and many other Confederate military and government leaders. Also included are Confederate government documents and general orders pertaining to the war as well as photographs and illustrations from the period.

The Cross Collection was donated by Elliot Cross’ son James A. Cross in the early 1970s, following his father’s death. Elliot Cross, a life-long aficionado of the Confederacy, purchased papers, lithographs and prints, currency, published and unpublished letters and memorabilia over a period of forty years. FAU Libraries received the collection mounted in four custom-made maroon leather scrapbooks. The items have been removed from these scrapbooks for preservation purposes.

The publication of several articles about the collection in 1988 led to research by Civil War scholars that culminated in ground-breaking publication. One such breakthrough identified pneumonia as T. J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s cause of death; a thesis supported by documents in the Cross Collection and published in Robert K. Krick’s, The Smoothbore Volley that Doomed the Confederacy: the Death of Stonewall Jackson and other Chapters on the Army of Northern Virginia. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002).

   

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