NEW RESOURCES Now available: Civil War diaries and letters from Mississippi State University. “Mississippi State University Libraries has made available in its digital collections the Civil War era, first-hand accounts of the Orville Babcock Diaries and Letters of Pvt. Arthur McKinstry.” A new Web site highlights archaeological finds in coastal Alaska. “In 2013, construction workers […]
Broadening your researching into your Civil War ancestor beyond the pension records and service records can reveal new insight into the time he served. Unit histories can help you pinpoint where he was, what battles he fought in, what those battles were like, and other information that helps build context. Here are 5 sources for Civil War unit histories.
Both the Union and the Confederacy developed an army Signal Corps during the Civil War. The job of the Signal Corps in both the North and South was to quickly and accurately relay information and orders between the commanders of different units within the two forces (which was especially crucial during battles). The main way they did this was through the use of a flag system called wig-wag (not to be confused with semaphore), which was invented by Albert J. Meyer, an army surgeon, shortly before the war.
You’ll find records from both the Union and Confederate Signal Corps at Fold3. Check out the Fold3 HQ blog for details.
Did you know that the 1910 US census includes a column for Veteran which also identifies Civil War veterans? The codes are: UA for Union Army, UN for Union Navy, CA for Confederate Army and CN for Confederate Navy.
If you are researching Confederate ancestors, you might find these publications quite interesting. Southern Bivouac is a five-volume series published between 1882 and 1887 by the Southern Historical Association of Louisville. Their goal was to tell the stories of “private soldiers and ordinary people”.
The link takes you to the series at the Internet Archive. You can read/search the publications online or download copies in the format you choose.