The Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board

Re: Letter from Camp Hope
In Response To: Re: Letter from Camp Hope ()

It's hard to imagine in this day and age, but during the Civil War the Confederate army had no official procedure for personally or directly notifying the next of kin of deceased soldiers.

Some commands published casualty lists in State newspapers, but the usual procedure was to inform the next of kin by letter from a member of the soldier's company, or directly by a soldier going home on furlough.

The only official procedures involving the death of a soldier that I've ever been able to find in the regulations involve notifying the War Department, and that requirement had more to do with settling accounts. Any monies due to the deceased soldier could be claimed by the next of kin, but the War Department took no action to inform them -- the records were simply required to be available "on call." Most claims for the accrued pay and allowances of a deceased soldier were handled by an attorney on behalf of the next of kin.

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I. Upon the death of a commissioned officer in the service of the Confederate States his immediate commanding officer will forthwith make out a certificate of the fact, stating his rank and the command to which he belonged; when, where, and from what cause he died, and, if possible, when and by whom last paid.

Upon the death of a non-commissioned officer or private in said service the officer commanding his company at the time of his death will, in like manner, forthwith make out a descriptive list, in which he will set forth when, where, and by whom he was enlisted; when, where, and from what cause he died; when and by whom he was last paid; whether there is any bounty or commutation for clothing due him, and whether there are any stoppages against him, for what cause and of what amount.

These certificates and descriptive lists will be transmitted directly to the Second Auditor of the Treasury of the Confederate States.

II. Surgeons and assistant surgeons in charge of military hospitals, or of sick and wounded officers and soldiers in private hospitals and houses, upon the death of either an officer or a soldier, will forthwith make out and forward directly to the Second Auditor of the Treasury of the Confederate States a certificate stating, in the case of a commissioned officer, his rank and the command to which he belonged; in the case of non-commissioned officers and privates, the company and regiment to which they belonged, and in all cases when, where, and from what cause they died. Should the deceased leave any effects or money, a statement setting forth a list of the effects, the amount of the money, and in whose hands the same will remain until legally called for will accompany said certificate.

General Orders, No. 80, Adjutant and Inspector-General's Office, Richmond, October 30, 1862.

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another freak accident
Re: another freak accident
Re: Letter from Camp Hope