Compiled military service records should be a lead in to other records and sources–they should not be an end in and of themselves.
That’s particularly true with Illinois resident George Trautvetter who served in the 15th Missouri Infantry in the Civil War. The cover sheet for his compiled military service record indicated a book mark in addition to the 30 cards that comprise his compiled military service record. We’re looking into getting more information about that book mark (A-597-V.S.-64).
Looking at just the cards for “raw genealogical information” can be a mistake as well and cause us to not get a full perspective on our relative’s military service. The other details on the cards can broaden our knowledge about the war in general and about our relative’s military experience in particular. One of George’s cards indicated that he was a part of the “Pontoon Battalion, Pioneer Brigade.” The Brigade provided engineering support to the troops and were called into action if circumstances warranted.
The asterisk provides more detail about that Brigade and also references the same “Book Mark” that is noted on the bottom of Trautvetter’s compiled military service record cover card.
The “Copyist” Adams is the clerk who copied the information from the actual military service records (in this case a Muster Roll) onto the card. These cards served as a finding aid for information about specific veterans as “personnel files” as such were not kept during the war. These cards facilitated documenting military service for veterans who would later file pension claims.
We’ll have an update when we’ve learned more about Trautvetter’s service.