Confederate Inspection Report:
Benning’s Brigade, Field’s Division, First Corps, Army of Northern Virginia1
September 19, 1864
The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia produced inspection reports at approximately monthly intervals late in the Civil War. Luckily, many of these reports have been preserved and are available on microfilm from the National Archives and Records Association. I have produced transcriptions of the key information from these reports. See the bottom of this page for freely downloadable transcriptions of most of these reports. This transcription is copyrighted by Brett Schulte and may not be distributed, changed, or reproduced in any manner without the written consent of the transcriber.
M935 Roll #: 10
Image # from Digitized Copy: 0047-0058.jpg
Date of Inspection: September 19, 1864
Commander: Colonel Dudley M. DuBose (of the 15th Georgia)
Inspection Location: Chaffin’s Farm near the James River
Aggregate Present & Absent: 1,8892
Aggregate Effective for the Field: 1,889
Officers and Men Present for Duty (PFD): 677
Weapons: Enfield Rifles, Springfield Rifles, and Richmond Rifles
- 2nd Georgia, Lt. Col. William S. Shepherd, 144 officers and men PFD
- 15th Georgia, Major Peter J. Shannon, 213 officers and men PFD
- 17th Georgia, Lt. Col. William A. Barden, 139 officers and men PFD
- 20th Georgia, Captain William Craig, 181 officers and men PFD
- Confederate Inspection Report P-15: Benning’s Brigade, September 19, 1864; Inspection Reports and Related Records Received By the Inspection Branch in the Confederate Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office. (National Archives Microfilm Publication M935, Roll 10: Inspection Reports P-12 – 39-P-24); War Department Collection of Confederate Records, Record Group 109; National Archives Building, Washington, D.C. ↩
- SOPO Editor’s Note: Clearly the inspector was not accurately representing one of either “aggregate present & absent” or “aggregate effective for the field.” The former should be much larger at this point in the war. I wanted to point out the inspector filled out the report this way. I did not have a typo here. ↩
This has been an interesting trail of Confederate reports. Seems as if Col. DuBose continued to enter the information incorrectly. What do you think was going on? Deliberate fudging of the numbers or DuBose misunderstanding the procedure?
Thanks! I have more scheduled out for the next several months, one per Thursday. And those are just one portion of one roll. There are at least four other rolls I’ll need to get to. It wasn’t Colonel DuBose filling out these forms. The Confederate inspectors were in charge of the forms. I am not sure why some inspectors got it right (you’ll see instances of that in the coming weeks), and some didn’t. Record keeping probably wasn’t a big priority for the Confederates at this point. Surviving was. And record keeping in general during the 1860’s was subpar, as I’m sure you’ve found in your own research. The important thing with these inspection reports is that historians now know EXACTLY how many men were PFD in each regiment on specific dates, helping to work forward or backward between these inspection dates using known casualties to come up with pretty good estimates of unit strengths. Every time one of these inspection reports comes out, you’ll find I’ve also added the information to the corresponding regimental pages (already published) and brigade pages (unpublished, but I’m adding info to each of them on both sides, and will get them all published eventually).