Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Research Request---How Many Virginia Troops Were Literate?

Marshall University graduate student James Thomas Knight is looking into the research question 'How Many Virginia Troops Were Literate?' Culled from H-Net's American Civil War discussion group's June posting is his report and request.

"I am a graduate student in history at Marshall University writing my
thesis on the extent of illiteracy among Virginia Confederate Soldiers.
I have done nearly all the research and written, I think, just under
half of the actual thesis. To arrive at the extent of illiteracy I
studied muster and pay rolls, clothing rolls, powers of attorney,
basically anything that soldiers had to sign. This search at the
Brockenbrough Library, Virginia Historical Society, Library of
Virginia, Virginia Tech and the West Virginia State Archives yielded
358 usable rolls from 192 different companies from all three branches
of the service with about 8,000 individuals from each region of the
state. I am using this sample, along with the appropriate secondary and
other primary sources, to gauge illiteracy by year, region and branch.

I would be grateful for any thoughts or concerns from anyone on the
list to do with this study.

Very truly yours,
Jim Knight"

CWL: To join University of Michigan's H-Net American Civil War Discussion group, go to H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online and apply.

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