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Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies in the War of the Rebellion The Civil War, the Military Records of which are contained in the publication known as the "Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies." extended over a period of more than four years. The armies assembled by the North and South were engaged in almost incessant hostilities over a theater of operations which embraced in its vast area dense forests and cultivated plains, mountain ranges and valleys, sea-coasts and sounds, lakes and rivers, bayous and trackless swamps. The armed participants in this great struggle were numbered by millions and the regiments by thousands. Bearing these facts in mind, .some conception may be had of the voluminous character of the archives which it was necessary to examine in the course of the compilation of this publication ; they embrace the records. Union and Confederate, of every company, battery, regiment, brigade, division, corps and army, as well as those of geographical military departments and divisions, and include the tiles of the War Department and all of its bureaus. The Union records are to a great extent complete; those of the Confederacy are in many respects deficient. The more important documents are preserved in the State, War and Navy building and in other buildings in the city of Washington, while others, not required for daily consultation, are stored elsewhere. In the prosecution of the work it was necessary to search all of these records, and it was also necessary that the search should be made by experts who were well (qualified for the duty by reason of their service in the Army and in the War Department. The work of compiling and publishing the civil war records was projected near the close of the first Administration of President Lincoln, and has been continued during the Administrations of succeeding Presidents, under the direction of Secretaries of War Edwin M. Stanton, Ulysses S. Grant, John M. Schofield, John A. Rawlins, William T. Sherman. William W. Belknap, Alphonso Taft, James D. Cameron. George W. McCrary, Alexander Ramsey, Robert T. Lincoln, William C Endicott, Redfield Proctor, Stephen B. Elkins, Daniel S. Lamont, Russell A. Alger and Elihu Root.
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