Screenwriting, Film-Making and Web TV
You might want to check out the newspaper archive at Google News. The search engine giant has opened its archive to hundreds of photographically preserved newspapers from around the world, many dating back hundreds of years.
The collection is priceless in its content, and a dedicated Google search bar makes it easy to find articles by subject matter, names or other points of reference. A ‘front page’ lists all publications by name and available dates.
Keep in mind that a thorough search will still require some sleuthing of your own.
For example, if you are looking for stories regarding a battle that happened during the civil war in Tennessee, you probably won’t find them by using the battle names we know today, since many of these were determined long after the fact.
Rather, you may first have to do some homework to figure out which publications were around at that time, and in the precise location you are referencing (keeping in mind that town newspapers were relatively common, while regional newspapers were not yet widely available).
In any event, the archive is far more convenient than anything you are likely to find in a library. Happy hunting!