Day 161 – African American Civil War Soldiers Database

That’s a wordy title, I know, but I wasn’t sure how else to sum up today’s new thing: I contributed to a project to collate details of African American soldiers in the American Civil War. The African American Civil War Museum has started this project in order to build a searchable database of just over 200 000 African American Civil War soldiers so that users will be able to research veterans, search for ancestors, and have a wider understanding of the contribution these men made in the fight for freedom.

My task was simply to transcribe details from the military records such as the soldier’s name, age, birthplace, and occupation, as well as where he was enlisted and how long he was signed up for.

Sometimes there would be additional notes such as if the man died in battle, if he was promoted, or if he deserted. I was always intrigued about the ones who deserted and tried to research a little to see if I could find out what happened to them to no avail. The records were brief and mostly legible, and it was quite easy to spend most of the afternoon filling them in. A little like the proofreading yesterday, the transcriptions are looked over by multiple people, meaning that any data that has been missed or inputted incorrectly can be picked up before the final submission.

I really loved doing this new thing and will continue to help where I can. It felt moving and important to help give these men their place in history. This was a fascinating and valuable project, that I’m very happy to have contributed towards.

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