A Source For Confederate Records
by Lisa South, Certified Genealogist
The following article was written in the August 22, 2005 OneGreatFamily newsletter. Since Lisa is no longer writing for us, we are featuring some of our favorite articles written by her.
“Mike Kelley is dead.” I’m sure these were tragic words at the time they were written, but they are thrilling to the genealogist. “Mike Kelley is dead” is the first sentence of an article in “The Confederate Veteran Magazine”. The article gives Mike Kelley’s death date and place, birth date and place and includes information about his military service in the Confederate States of America, and then the coup de gras – a picture of Michael Kelley.
This article appears in “The Confederate Veteran Magazine” in a section called “The Last Roll Call.” “The Last Roll Call” was made up of death notices of former confederate soldiers. Of course, they were only included if a family or friend knew to submit the information and took the time to do so. Some notices are very short, some are full of information and if we are really lucky a picture of the veteran is included.
As the title suggests – this is only applicable to those who fought for the Confederacy, but because records for Confederate soldiers are not as plentiful as those for Union soldiers, “The Last Roll Call” can be a real boon to researchers. The Confederate Veteran Magazine also has a great deal of first hand accounts of the battles and other Civil War experiences. One of my ancestors was captured by the Union Army at Missionary Ridge. I searched the “Confederate Veteran” and was able to read eye-witness accounts of what happened on that day.
“The Confederate Veteran Magazine” was originally published from 1893-1932. There is a separate cumulative Index to all of the magazines.
The Library of Virginia has a wonderful site at: http://ajax.lva.lib.va.us/F/?func=file&file_name=find-b-clas68&local_base=CLAS65
The site will search the index of “The Confederate Veteran Magazine”. If the name on which you search is listed, the site will also give you a brief synopsis of the article.
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has the index as well as hard copies of the magazines. Since the magazines have not been microfilmed, they cannot be sent to the branch libraries of the LDS Church.
If you don’t have access to the internet or would like to read the entire article, check your local libraries. Interestingly enough, I found the index at my local library, but they did not have the magazines. Later while visiting a relative, I found their library did NOT have the index, but did have the magazines. By using both libraries, I came home with some valuable records about my ancestors who served in the Confederacy.