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Re: In DC at NARA to research SN40825 - what records would we look for?
Posted by John on Saturday, 6 October 2012, at 12:05 p.m., in response to Re: In DC at NARA to research SN40825 - what records would we look for?, posted by Stephen B.McCartney on Saturday, 6 October 2012, at 10:50 a.m.
Among the estimated 8,000 courts martial per year, my guess is that probably 95% had nothing to do with small arms, so you could read several pages of charges and testimony in 7,600 only to find they dealt with alcohol related offenses, theft of a blanket or goods from the sutler, or sleeping on guard duty, or telling the Sergeant or Colonel to bugger themselves, mistreatment of government mules, and the like. Even with desertion cases, unless they were in the field, weapons were kept under lock and key and thus unlikely to be missing and noted in the record... but you have to read the whole case file to be sure.
And, consider that the courts martial records may be one of the more promising fields to search!
We truly owe Frank Mallory a huge debt of thanks for his doing the time consuming, tedious, and seldom fruitful research to find some numbers and make them available so we can know the history of some of the stuff in our collections.
He listed data for 25,407 trapdoor numbers (of all models) but several hundred of those reflect multiple citations for a number previously found. (I.e.- a nickel plated M1868 rifle on the invoice from the plating company, and noted again when shipped to a depot for troop trials, and perhaps again when returned.)
One of my trapdoors that is listed was used by a volunteer in the Philippines who was courts martialed- but the data on the rifle is from a company record book, not the courts martial records.
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