| One of the main reasons I started this
web site was to prevent other researchers from having to go
through the effort of trying to find documents and information
that pertain to Confederate railroads. I have been to scores of
libraries, archives and museums over some 15 states looking for
Of course, one of the main sources of documents is
the National Archives, in Washington, D. C. Millions of pages of
material has been microfilmed, with most of the work having been
done in the 1950's and 1960's. While most of the material must
still be viewed at the main Archive, the Service Records and
Citizens' Files have been posted by Fold3.com, so you can do a lot
of research from home.
| Unfortunately, there are holes
in the records. Below are those men related to railroads that I have found
|* J. M. Fairbanks, an Agent for the Iron
Commission in Florida in 1863, should appear in the Citizen Files,
but does not.
|* Major John D. Whitford, Quartermaster,
President of the Atlantic & North Carolina RR and in charge of
railroad transportation from Richmond to Wilmington for over a
year, is missing.
|* Major Robert B. Hurt, Quartermaster,
controlled trains in northern Mississippi during the Corinth
campaign, but has no personnel file.
| Realize, I'm not talking about
individual documents being missing, I'm talking about the entire
file for that person being missing -- there is nothing in the
service records to indicate they ever served in the Army!
| While the National Archives having
records missing is disturbing, it is not the only place
this has happened. On at least three occasions, documents in an
institution's catalog could not be found, even with repeated
| And now I have found that all the
significant Civil War letters, reports and files in the Baltimore
& Ohio RR Museum's library are missing. Some of them are
quoted in a 1964 book, but appear to have not been seen since.