I’ve long been interested in Broadfoot Publishing’s Supplement to the Official Records, first published in the 1990’s to rave reviews. I’ve even managed to find a reasonably detailed index for the set. This is a GREAT set from everything I’ve read about it. The downside is that Broadfoot only published and sold this as a complete set, refusing to sell individual volumes. The complete set is a tad bit expensive, making it extremely difficult for me to obtain copies of the volumes I want for my Petersburg research. Most of my questions below center around how I might get copies of specific volumes of this set, and which ones I’m interested in. If YOU know of a specific volume available for sale somewhere on the secondary book market, please let me know!
In Part 1 of the Supplement, the publisher went to considerable expense using a grassroots effort of Civil War researchers known personally to Tom Broadfoot to comb every known possible source for missing reports from the original Official Records. Volumes 1-7 comprise these missing reports. In addition, several volumes contain the Courts of Inquiry requested by Gouverneur K. Warren after his unceremonious sacking by Phil Sheridan at Five Fork along with other miscellaneous items and an index for Part 1 in Volumes 8-12. Volume 7 is my single most wanted volume from this whole set. It contains all of the missing reports from Siege of Petersburg. I want to be able to figure out if some previously unpublished reports I’ve received are truly unpublished or if some of them are contained in this volume.
Questions on Part 1:
- It appears to me that I’ll only need Volume 7 of Part 1 as far as missing reports go, which applies to Volumes 38-50 of the original Official Records. Volumes 40, 42, and 46 contain Petersburg materials. Am I missing something here?
- How are the reports ordered in these volumes? I assume first by volume of the original Official Records. After that, are they ordered similarly to the original ORs, with reports going through the order of battle, parent unit reports followed by their various parts?
- It looks like I’ll also want to pick up volumes 8 and 9, the two Warren Courts of Inquiry. Does anyone know if the proceedings of these two courts of inquiry are available elsewhere, ideally free online?
Part 2, by far the largest part, comprises “records of events and itineraries” for every Civil War unit. The detailed index describes this as follows:
Records of Events and itineraries show troops movements and give histories of the units. Confederate transcriptions include the officer rosters which usually accompanied the records. Listed by states, alphabetically, with organizations numbered and named, grouped by organization type. Records of Events were transcribed from the National Archives microfilm M594 (Union, 225 rolls) and M861 (Confederate, 74 rolls).
Questions on Part 2:
- Could someone who is familiar with these records of events give me a detailed rundown of what one of these volumes contain? I just bought a random volume on some Massachusetts regiments I found online at Abebooks today, so I’m trying to answer my own question. However, any input you can share would be appreciated.
- Are the microfilm rolls mentioned above available at Ancestry.com or elsewhere online? I know they are available at $125 per roll from the National Archives, but that’s too much for a single researcher like me!
Part 3 consists of three volumes of missing correspondence.
Questions on Part 3:
- Is the correspondence listed similarly to the original ORs or is it grouped differently? I’m not as concerned with the correspondence at the moment, but I do know I will need to find Part 3, Volume 3 because it is the one which contains Petersburg material.
Part 4 is a general index for the whole set. I have no questions about the index, as I was able to identify the volumes I need for Siege of Petersburg research from the index I linked to at the top of this post.
So what are YOUR experiences with the Supplement to the Official Records? I’d like to hear from you whether you can answer my specific questions or not.