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Re: In DC at NARA to research SN40825 - what records would we look for?

Posted by Ken Smith on Saturday, 6 October 2012, at 4:24 p.m., in response to Re: In DC at NARA to research SN40825 - what records would we look for?, posted by Jamie O on Saturday, 6 October 2012, at 11:26 a.m.

Hello to all on this topic, Back in 1996 and 1997, while working at Fort Selden State Monument in New Mexico, I had the opportunity to look at what rolls of micro-film were available pertaining to Selden. These were post returns which included letters sent/received, and returns from other Posts in the area from 1866 to 1891. I want to say these all belonged in Record Group 92, if my memory serves me correctly. All of this material made for very interesting reading. At that time the micro-film projector had the wrong lens in it, and one had to scan back and forth in order to read a page. But I do remember one particular letter written by Captain Arthur MacArthur, Co. K, 13th U.S. Infantry in I believe, 1884 or 1885. Captain MacArthur was post commander at Fort Selden from 1884 to 1886, and yes, the father of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Captain MacArthur writes to the local authorities to be on the lookout for a deserter from his Company. In this letter he gives the name and physical description of the soldier, and the fact that he deserted with a quantity of Government property. Included is a Springfield rifle of which he gave the serial number. This was the only case I had read of the serial number of a rifle mentioned in a post return. I would have to think that these would have been recorded in Ordnance Returns of a particular Regiment and Company. Unfortunately I did not make a copy of Captain MacArthur's letter. I wish now that I had. Jamie,I would love to be in your shoes right now, to be able to go through the National Archives and look for Ordnance Returns on the 13th Infantry from 1882 to 1888. God only knows where that deserters rifle wound up and where it is today. Regards, Ken


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