12 April 2011

Browsing the NGSQ Archives: Genealogy and the Civil War

by Toby Webb

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War and today marks the Sesquicentennial of the start of that war. What might an NGS member find in the available online archives of the NGS Quarterly?

It shouldn’t be a surprise that NGS articles over the years have focused on people, not events.
Our genealogical interest is in placing individuals into the context of this historic confrontation. NGSQ has suggested or preserved unusual records to help us do that.

For example, who were the men who fought the War?
  • Eric G. Grundset, "Civil War Soldiers from Brunswick County, Virginia," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 90 (June 2002): 1540-55
  • Ruth Ann Abels Hager and Ann Carter Fleming, "Slaves, Soldiers, and Citizens: Special Civil War Recruitment Lists," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 91 (June 2003): 139-143
  • Jeffrey L. Haines, "North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster, Volume XV," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 92 (December 2004): 315-316
  • Jeffrey L. Haines, "North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster, Volume XIV," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 92 (December 2004): 315-316
  • Bryna C. O'Sullivan, "Dear ‘Master David’: A Letter from an African American in the Confederate Service," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 96 (September 2008): 223-232
  • Soldiers were not the only wartime employees for whom records were created.
  • Claire Prechtel-Kluskens, "Wagonmasters Serving the Union during the Civil War," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 85 (December 1997): 295-311
  • Craig R. Scott, "Russiaville and the Civil War: A Civil War History of Honey Creek Township, Howard County, Indiana, and Its Residents," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 90 (June 2002): 156

After the war, there were compensation claims to be settled, for cash or, sadly, for prosthetics.
  • Donna Rachal Mills, "Civil War Claims Commissions: The Mixed Commission of British and American Claims," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 75 (June 1987): 141-152
  • Jeffrey L. Haines, "Wegner. Phantom Pain: North Carolina's Artificial-Limbs Program for Confederate Veterans, Including an Index to Records in the North Carolina State Archives Related to Artificial Limbs for Confederate Veterans," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 93 (September 2005): 233-234
The Civil War also produced many veterans whose later lives were documented.
·        Diane Ragan, "Gone But Not Forgotten: Civil War Veterans of Northeastern Pennsylvania," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 91 (September 2003): 231-232
Veterans and their widows sought pensions.
·        "The Last Civil War Widow's Pension?," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 84 (December 1996): 306
·        "An Unindexed Union Civil War Pension File," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 85 (March 1997): 24

And many NGSQ book reviews have pointed our way to newly published resources for Civil War genealogical research.

·        Milton Rubincam, " Sellers. Civil War Manuscripts: A Guide to Collections in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 76 (June 1988): 152-153
·        Vivian Luther-Schafer, "Harris. Civil War Records-‘A Useful Tool’: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Availability and Acquisition of Civil War Records.," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 79 (September 1991): 223-224
·        Dawne Slater-Putt, "Northcott. Indiana Civil War Veterans: Transcription of the Death Rolls of the Department of Indiana, Grand Army of the Republic, 1882-1948," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 93 (December 2005): 313-314
·        Jean M. Hoffman, "Russell. The Civil War Period Journals of Paulena Stevens Jannery, 1859-1866," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 95 (September 2007): 230-231
These are just some of the articles available online which relate to the Civil War. These articles inform – but they also suggest; as we restudy the Civil War over the anniversary years to come, we remain imaginative, as these authors did, about the unusual genealogical records which that war may have produced.

NGS members can find and download these and many similar articles in the publication archives on the NGS website.

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