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Texas Library Contains Volumes of Union & Confederate History for a Compelling Trip Into the Past

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The Atlanta Public Library in Atlanta, Texas, holds volumes of Union and Confederate history, dating back to the beginnings of the Civil War, which anyone can pick up and read. According to reports, the second floor houses a collection of 47 black books filled with “The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” and the volumes are in regular use.

“All the communications of the officers during the Civil War are here. It’s fascinating. You go back and read exactly what was said. These are used all the time by people searching for family history proof that someone was or was not there,” explained historian Charles Steger to nbcdfw.com.  The series actually entails 128 volumes.

Texas Library Contains Volumes of Union & Confederate History for a Compelling Trip Into the Past

Photo: Wikipedia

Examples of written communications between commanders, generals, U.S. Secretary of War J.B. Floyd, as well as between the warring sides can all be found within these books – even correspondence (including letters as well as telegrams) that lead up to within an hour of the beginning of the Civil War.

Materials in these volumes aren’t digitized on a local genealogy website. They’re meant to be perused, read, and learned. Names of those involved and battles that took place are all cataloged within these books, and many have used them to chart their family history as well as to learn how the battles were strategically planned and directed. “You choose the state where the battles occurred and research those volumes. They are important to anyone doing military research on both Union and Confederate sides. The amazing thing is that we have such communication of both sides preserved,” Steger explained to nbcdfw.com.

Texas Library Contains Volumes of Union & Confederate History for a Compelling Trip Into the Past

Photo: Wikimedia

Authorized by an Act of Congress on June 16, 1880, the cataloging of all correspondence into “The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,” includes all letters, reports, general military orders, and telegrams. As such, they were compiled, organized, and published. In all, four series were produced, and approximately 10K copies were printed. The Atlanta Public Library contains the first of the four series in a complete 125-volume set.