One of the largest and most complete Rolls of Honor for the US Civil War has been released. This is the first time that all 27 volumes have been made available online.
Familyrelatives.com continues with more data additions this month with over 276,000 Roll of Honor records for those soldiers who died in the defence of the Union during the American Civil War.
The “Names of the Soldiers Who Died in the Defence of the American Union – interred in the National Cemeteries” were recorded by the Quartermaster General’s Office in 1866. In each case the original place of interment, the soldiers’ name, rank, company, regiment, date of death, section of cemetery and the number of the grave are all detailed. In some instances the creed is provided together with a list simply referred to as “Unknowns”.
Additional volumes refer to soldiers who died in prison pens – termed “Names of the Soldiers Who Died in the Defence of the American Union – Suffered martyrdom in the Prison Pens throughout the south”. Again the soldiers name, rank, company, regiment, date and cause of death are provided.
The Roll reminds us that the Civil War was a bitter conflict and one of the bloodiest and costliest in terms of the toll it took on both sides with an estimated 620,000 military deaths, two thirds of whom died by disease as well as an undetermined number of civilian casualties.
The Union Army consisted of a large number of immigrants including many ethnic groups. A million soldiers were native born Americans of British ancestry, half a million were of German ancestry. 210,000 African Americans of whom half were freed men living in the north the remainder were slaves or had escaped slavery. A similar number were of Irish descent. Canadian, English, French, Dutch, Scandinavian as well as Italian, Jewish, Mexican, Polish, Native Americans and other nationalities numbering 2.2 million fought for the Union.
The legacy of the war meant the ending of slavery, restoring the Union and the role of federal government. The many social and political issues following the war shaped the reconstruction era which lasted many years. It was the defining event that shaped the future of the United States as we know it today.
The collection includes the Final Disposition, four additional volumes listing the original places of burial from which some of the bodies of Deceased Union Soldiers and Prisoners of War have been removed and the various National Cemeteries in which they were finally interred.