Saturday, February 9, 2019

Complete Roster and Service Records of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia during the Overland Campaign

Many readers know and are appreciative of Alfred Young's services in compiling Confederate reference material for the 1864 Overland Campaign. His 2013 book Lee's Army during the Overland Campaign: A Numerical Study was well received and positively reviewed. But now there's more, a great deal more. The Spring 2019 LSU Press catalog has an announcement of the upcoming publication of Young's Complete Roster and Service Records of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia during the Overland Campaign.

It is "the first compilation of the entire roster and service records for all the various units that composed Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia during the 1864 Overland Campaign. It is the ultimate reference guide to the more than 120,000 soldiers who served with Lee in Virginia as he led his army into a series of battles against Union General Ulysses S. Grant. While there are specific guides to several of Lee’s units, Young’s work is the first comprehensive companion that features data on all of the men who served under the general during this campaign. Using an array of primary source material, from official Confederate records to southern newspapers, Young provides the enlistment and unit data for each soldier as well as a concise history of their service, including records on their rank, time served, promotion, hospitalization, wounds, capture, desertion, absence without leave, furloughs, and death. An essential archive for both genealogists and Civil War scholars, the Complete Roster and Service Records of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia during the Overland Campaign is the most wide-ranging catalog in existence of each soldier’s record during the campaign."

Though the catalog lists a February release date, the press's website still has no product page up for the roster (or at least one that I could find), which will be e-book only ($65, ISBN:9780807170533). The fact that it is 5,580 pages in length surely figured prominently in the decision to go that route, along with the digital format's "enabling ease of search and annotation". This is definitely one of those daunting projects that you're glad exists and that someone else risked their sanity to do it.


  1. This is a really impressive feat by Young; huge kudos to him! This must have taken over ten years.

    For my Corinth project I'm doing something similar (though for fewer categories than Young), and it's very tedious but very interesting/illuminating when one sees patterns appearing.

    Looking forward to purchasing this whenever LSU releases it.

  2. Apologies Drew - forgot to include my name.

    Chris Slocombe

    1. I figured it was you! BTW, I've been meaning to ask you how the Corinth project was coming along.

    2. The project is taking an almost embarrassingly long time, for several reasons: some personal, some research-based.

      A bit over two years ago I realized that, despite the mountain of research I’d done into manuscripts, the OR, etc, any conclusions I drew about sickness, disease, and even battle casualties during the Siege would be incomplete and ultimately unsatisfactory without hard numbers. So I decided to jump off the deep end, as it were, and attempt to assemble accurate numbers of sick soldiers, deaths by disease during (or reasonably attributed to) the campaign, types and severity of sickness and disease, and, generally, the flow of humans from the TN/MS front to hospitals and homes in the North and South. Digging through regimental books, rosters, compiled service records, and newspaper sick lists and reports has illuminated dark corners and helped me understand the scope and scale of military and civilian efforts from April-July 1862 in that area. While this will benefit the final product, its also delayed things.

      Still, I'm more advanced now than at any previous point, and pushing ahead faster than before.

    3. Thanks for the update, Chris. Just don't go down too far into the void of ever-expanding scope. If you do that you'll never finish. And we want to see it!


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