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ly and enthusiastically carried on by the various Boards, and members of his immediate family, who can but feel the Trustees, and Committees to whom it has been dedicated. We tender our heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved widow, loss more keenly than anyone else.
Resolved, That these resolutions be printed in the Publications of the Southern History Association, and furnished to the Public Press, copies being duly transferred to his family.
MARCUS J. Wright,
The recent determination of the Secretary of War to publish, in accord with the instructions of Congress, a complete roster of the troops who served in the Confederate armies will go far towards settling the vexed question of the number of men serving in those armies and will be of immense service to the future historian and genealogist.
Secretary Root in calling this matter to the attention of Congress said the Department was constantly in receipt of appeals from State officials, historical societies and patriotic or memorial associations for transcripts of the military records of State troops, to answer which would cost more than a million dollars, so that the most economical way would be to publish a complete roster. The publication will include perhaps 30 volumes as large as the Civil War records.
The Secretary's letter to the Governors in which the scheme is outlined is as follows:
"Washington, D. C., March 16, 1903. “To the Governor of the State of
"Sir: There is a very general desire on the part of the surviving participants of the great struggle in which the country was engaged from 1861 to 1865, and on the part of the descendants of those who have passed away, for a publication that shall be accessible to the
general public and shall show the names of those who, either as officers or enlisted men, bore arms for the Union or for the Confederacy during the great war. In the opinion that this desire is one that should be gratified, and that can be gratified, in great measure at least, by compiling and publishing, as a continuation of the publication known as the 'Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,' a complete list or roster of the officers and men who served in those armies during the Civil War, this Department recommended at the last session of Congress the enactment of a law authorizing the compilation and preparation of such a roster for publication. That recommendation was followed by the enactment of a provision of law, which was embodied in the executive, legislative and judicial appropriation act approved February 25, 1903, and which is as follows:
"That under the direction of the Secretary of War the chief of the Record and Pension Office shall compile, from such official records as are in the possession of the United States and from such other records as may be obtained by loan from the various States and other official sources, a complete roster of the officers and enlisted men of the Union and Confederate armies.'
“The Department is prepared to enter at once upon the work of making the compilation thus authorized and to push it to completion as rapidly as possible. There will be little or no difficulty in making the Union part of the roster complete, but there will be great difficulty in regard to the records in the possession of this Department of the Confederacy. We wish to obtain a temporary loan of the Confederate rosters and any and all authentic Confederate records that can be found anywhere. Many of these records are in the possession of the various States and it is hoped will be made readily accessible, but there are others that are widely scattered among historical and memorial associations and private citizens. The problem of how to find and to procure the loan of these scattered records is a difficult one, but it is one that must be solved in order that the Confederate soldier shall receive the full credit that is due him in the roster that is to be compiled.
“I earnestly invite your coöperation with the Department in an effort to make this compilation as nearly complete as it is possible to make it, and I shall be glad to have the benefit of any suggestions that you can make as to the manner in which that end can best be attained. The work will be in the immediate charge of Brigadier General F. C. Ainsworth, chief of the Record and Pension Office of this Department, and I beg leave to suggest that if the plan herein outlined meets your approval you designate some official of your State to communicate with him relative to the details of the work and the steps to be taken in furtherance of it.”
The plans of Brigadier General Ainsworth are given more in detail in a letter to State Auditor Dixon, to whom the work for North Carolina has been entrusted by Governor Aycock.
"In acknowledging the receipt of your letter of the 19th inst. [March] I beg to express the gratification of the Department at your cordial assurance of coöperation with it in the effort to make the recently authorized roster of the officers and men of the Union and Confederate armies as nearly complete as it is possible to make it, so far as North Carolina troops are concerned.
"A considerable collection of the rolls of North Carolina Confederate organizations is now in the possession of this Department. While the collection does not by any means show all the names of the officers and men who were in the Confederate service from North Carolina, and while it does not show the complete military histories of those whose names it does show, it is hoped that the list of names and the histories of individual officers and men can be made more nearly complete by record evidence obtainable from other original rolls that may now be in the possession of the State of North Carolina, or of historical societies, memorial associations and individuals of North Carolina and other States.
"The legislation authorizing the compilation of the roster is construed by the Department to restrict it, in making the compilation, to the use of original records made during the war period, and to preclude the use of the printed or manuscript copies or compilations made subsequently. For this reason and in order that there shall be no ground for doubt as to the accuracy of the proposed roster, the Department will be unable to use in the compilation any of the rosters that have heretofore been published, but must in all cases seek the original records upon which those rosters are based.
"You will readily see that, in order that the compilation now in progress shall be as nearly perfect as it is possible to make it, it is essential that the War Department shall obtain the temporary loan for the purpose of copying, of any original official rolls, lists or other documents that show the names of Confederate officers and men and that are now in the custody of State officials, historical or memorial associations, public or private libraries, or that are in the possession of private citizens.
“It is impracticable for the War Department to communicate with the various holders of these scattered records, and consequently the Department must rely upon each State to collect by loan or otherwise, such records of its own or other Confederate organizations as may be obtainable within the State, and to forward the collection when completed to this Department, by which the records will be copied and returned to the State with the least possible delay. Of course the express charges incident to shipping records to and from the State will be defrayed by the Department.
"Permit me to suggest, if the plan herein outlined meets with your approval, that you take such steps, through the public press and otherwise, as you deem to be advisable and proper to give the plan wide publicity, and to enable you to gather together all original Confederate records that can be collected in your State by loan or otherwise.
"If it occurs to you that a different plan from that indicated herein should be adopted, or if during the progress of the work you can make any suggestion tending to facilitate or improve it, you