Re: How Should We Think about Civil War Numbers That Never Add up?

Thank you David P., for the offer. If the information comes readily to hand, I would like to hear about Stillman's experience. And David S., thank you for the citation. I'm very interested in reading your article. To be honest, I'm a bit surprised this kind of thing persisted into the 20th century.

Cheers,

Hugh

Re: How Should We Think about Civil War Numbers That Never Add up?

Thanks for the reply, Hugh.  What happened with the Civil War in terms of physical disability sounds remarkably similar to what happened in Britain in the First World War.  Men who were essentially blind, had no use of one arm, etc., were routinely let in during the years 1914-1916 (when Britain relied on volunteers rather than conscription), with recruiting sergeants and doctors informally conspiring to pass them.

If you're interested, I put out lots more detail in:

Re: How Should We Think about Civil War Numbers That Never Add up?

Hello Hugh, 

I'm sure someone here is much more expert on the medical examination topic, but for what it's worth, one person I studied from my previous monograph, William Stillman, returned from Europe at the start of the war to enlist for the Union but was denied because of of the quality of his vision (if I remember correctly). That's likely too far afield for your purposes, but I can always look up the reference and email it to you if that helps. 

Best, 

Dave 

Re: How Should We Think about Civil War Numbers That Never Add up?

My research regarding the 1,305 men who enlisted in the Seventeenth Michigan Infantry over three years (1862-1865):

Under eighteen years old = 37 (ages thirteen to seventeen)
Seven were musicians; four of which were sent home during the course of the war due to age.
Fifteen were seventeen years old.

Over forty-five years old = 11 (ages forty-six to fifty-one)
One was a chaplain and one was a surgeon.

The mode was eighteen years old (232)
The average was age twenty-four years old
the midpoint was thirty-one years old

BLOG: Unlocking the Nonhuman Animals in the Archivo de Bogotá by Javier González Cortés

Research Corner
 

Are you enjoying Research Corner? Well, my pile of drafts is diminishing. I would love to have some more contributions lined up to edit for publication in the summer or fall. I’m seeking discussions of archives, libraries, or digital repositories, or musings about how to do research in general. (Past discussions have included how to write a second book and how to do transnational research.

Re: How Should We Think about Civil War Numbers That Never Add up?

Dear All, 

Thank you for these interesting exchanges--allow me to add a few thoughts. Lois's question about why we care about some kinds of data, and why people in the past did, is a good one, especially in the context of university administrations. I wholly agree with her emphasis on asking why we trust / care about these numbers, and why people in the past did.

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