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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

useful tools

When doing research on Civil War soldiers, it is easy to get trapped in the middle of thousands of identifying names that don't mention regiment numbers. Example: Bassett's Infantry or Atkin's Infantry. Sometimes the same name will be attached to several different units. I encountered my own frustrations with Cole's Cavalry. There were several-some Union, some Confederate, Some USCT. It took me several hours of frustration and searching to finally pinpoint the particular Cole that I was looking for.

The other day, as I was going through one of the volumes of the Official Records, I found something that I'm sure many of you "old timers" know about, but, I hadn't seen. The tool I am talking about will be found as an appendix in various volumes of the OR, and refers to that specific volume. (Therefore, different volumes have different lists) It is called ALTERNATE DESIGNATIONS OF ORGANIZATIONS MENTIONED IN THIS VOLUME.

It is a wonderful resource-and had I known about it, it would already have saved me many, many hours of research. It is an alphabetical list that covers a number of pages with examples like these:

Louisiana 1st Regiment Engineers. See Union Troops, Corps d'Afrique, 1st Regiment.

Mowers (Cornelius F.) Infantry. See Union troops, Corps d'Afrique, 7th Regiment.

Webber's ( A. Watson) Infantry. See Mississippi Troops, Union, 1st Regiment, (Colored).

White's (Samuel) Mounted Rangers. See Union Troops, Corps d'Afrique, 1st. Regiment.

Just this tiny sample gives you three separate references to the 1st Reg't Corps D'Afrique. Since it was common in personal references, newspaper articles and other places (like pension affidavits) to use the names of the officers, you can speed your work, or at least get a lot less frustrated when confronted with yet another of "fill in the blank's)(unit of choice).

Good Luck in your hunting


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18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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