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Re: Confederate Enrollment Cards?????
Posted by: Al (ID *****0088) Date: July 22, 2012 at 11:41:36
In Reply to: Confederate Enrollment Cards????? by Thompson of 29688

It was up to the individual thirteen Confederate States to decide what information was to be gathered and in many cases it was left to the recruiting officer's discretion, and the majority of the recruiting was done at county level. In Georgia it went something like this: A person, usually a community leader, would decide to have his own company of soldiers of which he would be Captain. After all, it was believed that the war was only going to last six months at the most. He would post a notice on a tree in front of the courthouse advising of the time and place for enlisting.

At the appointed time he would write the names down on sheet of paper. He needed about 100 men which happened to be the same number of able-bodied men required by state law to be in a Georgia Militia District (GMD) already formed for local defense against hostiles since colonial times. These Militia Districts are unique to Georgia and still exist as a political subdivision and theoretically the able-bodied men in a Militia District would be mustered into service should the Cherokee and Creek Nations decide to reclaim their hunting grounds.

The enrolling officer would have known all or most of the enlistees and their families by name and there was no need for writing down such things as ages, height, and hair color. A designated time was set for the first muster and drill using their personal squirrel guns. At this muster the men would elect the commissioned and non-commission officers of the company and select a name for the company such as the "Home Guard" (my favorite is "Wool Hat Boys" from the wool hats made by my ancestor for this unit and it was said could only be destroyed by burning them). The next step would be to travel to a central camp where the Company would be placed into a regiment, assigned a letter designation, and the entire regiment would elect regimental staff officers. After training they were sent to their next post. All the papers collected in enrollment stayed with the Company captain or his successors. Some of these records were destroyed in battle, lost, or captured, but many of these documents were carried home by the person who was captain, or his clerk, at the end of the War and subsequently wound up in the attic of homes, to be discovered years later.

If you haven't done so already, it is recommended that you read information on the National Archives web page at http://www.archives.gov/research/military/civil-war/civil-war-genealogy-resources/index.html#intro to learn the history of how the Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR) were created and what they contain. The Fold 3 database is a copy of these records.

Al Turner


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