Talk:World Archives Project: Georgia, Civil War Correspondence, 1847-1865

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Background on the Confederate Draft

The first general American military draft was enacted by the Confederate government on April 16, 1862, more than a year before the federal government did the same. The Confederacy took this step because it had to; its territory was being assailed on every front by overwhelming numbers, and the defending armies needed men to fill the ranks. The compulsory-service law was very unpopular in the South because it was viewed as a usurpation of the rights of individuals by the central government, one of the reasons the South went to war in the first place.

Under the Conscription Act, all healthy white men between the ages of 18 and 35 were liable for a three year term of service. The act also extended the terms of enlistment for all one-year soldiers to three years. A September 1862 amendment raised the age limit to 45, and February 1864, the limits were extended to range between 17 and 50. Exempted from the draft were men employed in certain occupations considered to be most valuable for the home front, such as railroad and river workers, civil officials, telegraph operators, miners, druggists and teachers. On October 11, the Confederate Congress amended the draft law to exempt anyone who owned 20 or more slaves. Further, until the practice was abolished in December 1863, a rich drafted man could hire a substitute to take his place in the ranks, an unfair practice that brought on charges of class discrimination.

Many Southerners, including the governors of Georgia and North Carolina, were vehemently opposed to the draft and worked to thwart its effect in their states. Thousands of men were exempted by the sham addition of their names to the civil servant rolls or by their enlistment in the state militias.Ninety-two percent of all exemptions for state service came from Georgia and North Carolina. 

      (From  - bold emphasis is mine, pwrand)

Notes from Arbitrators

1.  Please take another look at the illustration for "Consecutive Pages".  Many keyers are choosing the wrong form.

2.  Please do not use periods. Ever.  Even if you see them, please don't key them.

3.  When keying locality, key as seen.  You will find (1) Augusta; (2) Augusta, Ga; (3) Augusta, Geo; or (4) Augusta, Georgia. City, county, and state are to be separated by a comma, even if there is not a comma on the image. This is an exception to Key As Seen.

4.  Please key the state name as well as the town and/or county.  This is the most common error seen.

Questions & Answers

Question: CROSS-REFERENCE FORM I have a form that reads "Love, Peter M.  See: Petitions - Rabun County April 8, 1864".  I'd like to capture the name, but the only form I can use for this is File Folder.  Can anyone give me any guidance on this, please?  (See screenshot below for an example of a similar form encountered by another keyer.)

Answer: I just reviewed a set that had a cross-reference form laying on top of a file folder. It appears to have been in the folder, so File Folder seems to be the right form to me.

Question: NO DATE OR LOCATION ON LETTER What do I do with a page that is obviously a letter, but has no date nor location? It continues on to another page.
Answer: Even if the record does not have a date, or location, and you can tell that it is the first page of the letter classify it as a First Page of Letter form and leave the fields empty.   Annafechter, 20 September 2011

Question: BOOK OR LETTER Some images have writing on the right hand side, and something or nothing on the left hand side (but mostly cut off). Are these just letters on a piece of folded paper, or are they bound in a book? There are no page numbers.
Answer: Based on the images I have seen, and your description, this sounds like it is a letter. Do your best to choose the right form type but don't worry over it too much.  Annafechter, 20 September 2011 

Question:  LOCATION  I have four location questions:

1.  I have come across some locations that say "near" someplace (for example, "near Atlanta, Georgia".  I have entered just the location without the "near."  Is that correct? 

2.  The instructions provide that we are not to enter regiments in the location, but what about Camp names, for example, "Camp Harrison, Georgia"?

3.  I have come across a few that include "P O" or "Post Office" in the location, for example, "Nacoochee Post Office, White Co, Geo".  Do we include the words "Post Office" or "PO" in the location?

4.  I have a letter posted from "Mount Pleasant Plantation." Does that get keyed as part of the locality?

Answer: Use your best judgement, but omit the extra words.  Use city or town, county, and state.  For #1, omit "near". For #2, Camp Harrison is fine, they just didn't want us putting in "7th Regiment Headquarters". For #3, leave out Post Office.  For #4, unofficially, leave off the plantation and use the town or county if given.  WAP may want to comment on that officially. - pwrand
The instruction to "Only key a geographical location." is referring to keying a city, state/province, or country. (Think of what locations you would find on a map.) Annafechter 18:56, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Question:  FORM TYPE  I have encountered a few images that are completely blank pages of lined notepaper, and other, similar images, that are blank pages except that part of another page of the letter (cut off and without data that can be read) shows up on either the left or right margin.  The completely blank pages I have classified as form type "Image with No Data."  But, if there is any text at all that is visible, even though it cannot be read because it is cut off, I have classified those as "Cover Page."  As I understand it, "Image with No Data" pages will eventually be completely discarded, but "Cover Pages" are preserved, even if they are not indexed, and so I have erred on the side of saving images if they have any writing at all (other than pages that are clearly microfilm targets and contain no historical markings).    Is this correct?

Answer: When the pages are filmed, sometimes the adjacent page sneaks in at the edge.  That does not mean that we have to classify it.  It will have its own image somewhere else, probably the page before or after.  If the "main" page is blank, then chose Image with No Data, even if the edge of some other page shows a little. - pwrand

Question: PUNCTUATION  - Notes from arbitrators say NEVER to use a full stop/period. Instructions which come up for PREFIX however say "Dr. Rev. Mr.". Which is correct, please? Also it is confusing to be told ALWAYS key as seen, then be given exceptions.

Answer: WAP Keying Standard #15 states: "The majority of punctuation should be entered as you see it on the record with a few exceptions listed below. 1. Periods should not be keyed."   NOTE:  WAP Keying Standards rule, except when a project has local instructions.  WAP controls the field instructions, and we do not have access to change or correct them.  USUALLY if you have any questions, you should KEY AS SEEN, but there are a few exceptions on each project. (I think that in computer-language, periods mean something different that we mere mortals don't know!) - pwrand 9/20/11
I apologize for the confusion that has surrounded the field help - since the punctuation is so small it is hard to distinguish between a comma and a period. (I thought they were periods too.) In the field help we are listing the options with commas in between. We are working on how we word this sentence so it does not cause future confusion.Annafechter 18:35, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Question: BOOK PAGE  I am now coming across book pages and want to clarify what I am to enter. The instructions say: Key the name of the person writing or receiving the correspondence, but not the Governors. The name in the Book Page form type can be found at the beginning of the entry or at the end if the entry is simply addressed as "Dear Sir". Key the locality from which the correspondence was written as seen. If there are several entries on the page for the same person key the name only once along with the earliest date and location. The particular pages I am working on now (see sample screenshot below) are letters from the Executive Department, Geo W Crawford, who I presume is in the Governor's Office and writing on behalf of the Governor. The letters are to Genl D McDougald, Columbus, Geo, and Capt John Loyall, Covington, Geo.

Do I key “Geo W Crawford, Milledgeville, 12 May 1847” once and nothing more?
Or, do I key “Genl D McDougald, Milledgeville, 12 May 1847” for the first letter and “Capt John Loyall, Milledgeville, 15 May 1847” for the second letter?
Or, something different?

Answer:  I read those instructions to say that you would key both letters and use the Generals' names, just exactly as you have indicated above.  Thanks for your clear question and the screenshot.  - pwrand 9/22/11

Question: FILE FOLDER, Subtitles The File Folder instructions say if a "name" other than the name of a person appears on the folder, such as "Justices Liberty Co", key the name into the surname field. How are we to handle "subtitles" on the file folders, for example, the name "Joseph J Pollard" that is written on the outside of the file folder? I have received several images with these "subtitles," some of which are names, and others that are not, such as "468th Brig Ga Mil".   

 Answer:  This is being interpreted to mean that if there is a name as subtitle, key the name instead of "Justices Liberty Co".  If the subtitle is something else, then use the original title on the folder.  pwrand 9/23/11

Question: BOOK PAGE, Multiple Recipients  I have come across several letters in the book pages where there are multiple recipients of a letter or the recipient isn't a "person" but, for example, Honorable Justices of the Inferior Court. I have keyed as folllows:
1. Messrs Maitland, Phelps, Jones: I have keyed as [prefix] "Messrs"; [surname] "Maitland, Phelps, Jones" (I have not created multiple records for a single letter, but entered all names in one record)
2. Messrs Maitland & Phelps: I have keyed as [prefix] "Messrs"; [surname] "Maitland and Phelps" (using the general keying standards rule to key ampersands as "and")
3. Honorable Justices of the Inferior Court: I have keyed as [surname] "Honorable Justices of the Inferior Court" (following the File Folder rule for entering names that are not persons) (should "Honorable" be a prefix in this case?)
Are these entries correct?

Answer: When you encounter a list of names, as indicated by Messrs, each name should be keyed as its own record. In your example you would enter Mr as the prefix and then the surname of each individual in the surname field. Yes, Honorable would be entered as the prefix with the surname(s) entered in the surname field. Annafechter 18:35, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Question: BOOK PAGE, Use of Esquire as a suffix  Almost every letter is addressed to men using "Esquire" as a suffix. Is this to be keyed?

Answer: It is appropriate to enter Esquire in the Suffix field. Annafechter 18:35, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Question: FORM TYPE I have received some images that are pre-printed forms, for example, orders from the governor's office or acceptances of appointments. I had originally classified these as Cover Pages, but because they contain information that we are keying on other images, I am now classifying these as First Page of Letter (in the example shown, keying "15 March 1862 Milledgeville, Georgia"). Is this correct?

Answer: ?