Monday, May 21, 2007

An Odd Gap in the CWSS

I've made an odd discovery over the last few days doing some online research and muster roll verification. It seems that regular army officers are not included in the National Park Service's CWSS database site.

For those who aren't familiar with it, the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System is a computerized database containing very basic facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War. The initial focus of the CWSS was the Names Index Project, a project to enter names and other basic information from 6.3 million soldier records in the National Archives. It is a truly massive undertaking which has made an enormous amount of data available to researchers on the web. In my case, they have made available each and every name listed on muster rolls of the six regular army cavalry regiments during the war. There are multiple entries for those who changed companies, reenlisted, had their names misspelled, etc, but those are pretty easy to sift through. The amount of information there is pretty amazing.

What aren't there are the names of regular army officers. I'm not sure why this is, but will email the site later today and ask. Officers for volunteer units are there, so it's not just "an officer thing." No Rodenbough, Starr, Custer or Merritt. No John Buford. Gamble and Devin are both there as colonels and lieutenant colonels of their regiments.

This is not for a moment to say that the CWSS isn't a very valuable and amazing resource, but I found it curious.

1 comment:

Chris Swift said...

There are a lot of little issues like that with that system.

But overall it is a great starting point for a lot of people.