The University of Mississippi Classbook, which included photographs of both students and faculty, preceded the University's yearbook, The Ole Miss (1897-), by over 35 years.
In 1861, political events interrupted campus activities at the University; many students withdrew before the end of the school term to enlist in the Confederate Army. Most returned home to enlist in local units, or joined a company called the University Greys, C.S.A. Army of Northern Virginia, 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, Company A, while others joined the Lamar Rifles, C.S.A. Army of Northern Virginia, 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, Company G. With only four students registered for fall classes, the university closed until 1865. Many members of the class of 1861 lost their lives fighting for the Confederacy.
In 1866 the University of Mississippi awarded the class of 1861 diplomas; only one member of the University Greys could attend the ceremony.