Richard Dobbins has made it his mission to gather every single record of every single soldier into one huge, organized, searchable Internet database.
Family legend had it that your great-great-great-uncle Hiram Spooner, a Massachusetts farmer, died from wounds suffered at Cold Harbor, Virginia. How can you retrace his short life? You might pick through the Massachusetts state archives and slowly assemble a narrative from a patchwork of published induction rosters, military-service diaries, and death certificates, but your search might suffer from spotty record keeping. Some battle details, for instance, might be buried in federal archives.
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