Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Minnesota Research - Documenting the 1862 Dakota War

We've been hammering away for several days on a research project that has wide-ranging impact not only for the state of Minnesota, but also locally for the counties involved,  as well as having a personal connection for me.  I have ancient roots in Minnesota; my mother's family were Minnesota Pioneers, settling in Goodhue County in 1856.  My great-great-grandfather's brother, Loren Webb, was Sibley's adjutant for two weeks in August 1862.  My ancestors loved living in Minnesota.

More data on the Dakota War of 1862 can be found here -

We are working with representatives of the Brown County, Minnesota Historical Society to research, discover and eventually duplicate (scan) all the records associated with the event.  This means we will be looking in at least a dozen Record Groups at the National Archives.  We may also end up looking at records at the Library of Congress and other libraries and repositories like USMHI in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

We have even found records accessioned as late as 2001 that are associated with this project.  This work will endeavor to uncover ALL documentation at the federal level that touches on the subject of the Sioux and the militant activity in 1862.

There is more information on Brown County's goals and objectives outlined in this article from the New Ulm Journal. We are looking for volunteers to assist with scanning, transcription and editing of files.  Please contact Gabrielle Spiers for information on how to engage as a soldiersource volunteer.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

NARA announces closing of the Massachusetts' Civil War CMSRs

A CMSR is a Compiled Military Service Record.  These records represent and contain the service data of several tens of thousands of soldiers who served from Massachusetts in the Civil War.  The National Archives is participating in a digitization project with their partner to scan or photograph those records.  They will still be serving up copies, but not providing CMSR files for review on-site.

NARA's announcement, courtesy of Rebecca Warlow :
"Fold3 will be digitizing the records as part of the ongoing work to digitize Civil War service records.  We have closed the records for use in the research room so that they can be flattened, arranged, assessed, and treated for conservation needs prior to imaging.  In order to continue to provide access to researchers, the Archives I staff will make paper copies for in-person patrons on a case-by-case basis and will respond to individual form requests by providing copies of the files as before."