In early January, I received a question from a patron via email regarding information in an NCpedia article about Union Volunteer Regiments in North Carolina during the Civil War. In the article, it states that an 1863 census of the freed black population of New Bern was 8,500. The patron wanted to know if the census listed them by name and also the location. In order to find out if they listed them by name, I needed to find out where the census was located. Since this question was related to 2 other research projects I’m working on, I took a lot more time than usual to find this information. It was a 3 week journey with a lot of twists and turns and surprising finds! My intent is to use this as an example of how to follow sources back to the original.
Recently, I talked about GHL’s 1901 Confederate Pension database. It gave me an idea for this week – a blog post on how different books and databases in our collection about Confederate troops can be used together to give a fuller picture of Civil War veterans.
Below, I will give an example of how I untangled two soldiers with the same name, from the same county and even in the same company and regiment. There is a list of sources at the end with links to the catalog record or digital collection website. My goal with this post is to to show how searching all of these sources for information on an ancestor can help give a deeper understanding of an ancestor’s service during the Civil War.
The Government & Heritage Library has many different digital collections thanks to the work of our Digital Information Management Program staff who work to put information online in conjunction with the State Archives of North Carolina. Currently, there are about 30 collections and more than half of those are of interest to genealogists. I will regularly highlight a collection. The first collection highlighted is the 1901 Confederate Pension Applications.
This July, the Government and Heritage Library is highlighting North Carolina’s military history at ExploreNC, and we’ve updated the Military History page to include links to many new resources, including information about the state’s early military conflicts.
Check it out here: http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/ghl/themes/june.html.
As one of the original 13 colonies, North Carolina’s military history is deep, rich, and complex—and some of the battles fought in the early days of the colonies and the United States took place on her soil. Small but intense conflicts occurred in the colony’s early history, as rival factions, both native and colonial, vied with each other for space and control of the land. North Carolina was one of the last states to join the Confederacy, and it is during this time that the phrase “Tar Heels” gained popularity. You might still hear some old timers quote Walter Clark about the Tar Heels: “First at Bethel. Farthest to the Front at Gettysburg and Chickamauga. Last at Appomattox.” Eighty years later, as World War II raged, the first class of African Americans to serve in the US Marine Corps began their training at the segregated Montford Point Base adjacent to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Today, North Carolina’s land, sea, and airspace help to train many of the soldiers and sailors currently on active duty around the world. So, as we celebrate the anniversary of our country’s Declaration of Independence, take a few moments to learn a little more about the impact of North Carolina on our country’s military history. read more . . .