Confederates are Hiding in the 1890 Laurel County Census!

I worked for the United States Census Bureau during the 2010 enumeration.

As a genealogist, I thought it would be good experience and would, perhaps, give me more insight into how information for earlier census enumerations was collected.

Although I am forbidden to discuss the experience itself, I can say that it definitely did give me insight about how the census information was collected and why some of the information on earlier census records may be incorrect, incomplete, or missing altogether.

Some census information is missing for an entirely different reason.

For instance, in 1921 about 25 percent of the original 1890 census records were destroyed and 50 percent heavily damaged by smoke and water when a fire broke out in the basement of the Commerce Building in Washington, D.C., where the records were stored.

Fortunately, the 1890 Federal Census included a special enumeration of Civil War Union veterans and widows of veterans. Many of these records, including those for Kentucky, survived the disaster.

The Veterans Schedules were supposed to enumerate only Union veterans and widows of Union veterans, but in some areas, including Laurel County, Confederate veterans were also listed, but had a line drawn through the name.

The 1890 Veterans Schedules provided spaces for the following information: names of surviving soldiers, sailors, and marines, and widows; rank; name of regiment or vessel; date of enlistment; date of discharge, length of service; post office address; disability incurred; and remarks.

Being the curious person I am, I recently decided to take a look at the 1890 Veterans Schedules for Laurel County and see how many Confederate veterans are listed there.

Because the names (but not the information) have a line drawn through them, some are difficult to read. Others have no information other than the name. It is as if the enumerator discovered the man was a Confederate veteran and stopped gathering information. [See the image of one of the original Census pages below.]

Following is a list of Confederate Veterans who were listed on the 1890 Census for Laurel County which I recently gleaned from the original census records:

George B. Cornett; private, Co. K, 51st VA Infantry; enlisted October 1863; served 8 months; address—Marydell.

James H. Sullivan; private, Co. E, 20th TN Infantry; enlisted 12 Oct. 1861; discharged 1 Feb. 1863; served 1 year, 3 months, 19 days; address—Bush’s Store.

Eloanery [?] Phipps; private, Co. B, 64th VA Infantry; enlisted 9 Sept. 1861; no information on discharge date or length of service; address—Bush’s Store.

George A. Booze; private, Co. H, [5?]3 NC Infantry; enlisted July 1863; discharged July 1865; served 2 years; address—Pittsburg; disability incurred—shot in breast with musket.

Caleb W. Rutledge; Sergeant, Co. F, 31st TN Infantry; enlisted 17 March 1863; discharged 17 March 1864; served 1 year; address—East Bernstadt.

Henry Bowman; private, Co. A, ___ TN Infantry; enlisted 1861; no information on discharge or length of service; address—Pittsburg.

Sara R., widow of ___ Gray [?]; no information about her husband’s service; address—Pittsburg.

William A. Pugh; no information about his service; address—Pittsburg.

Isac F. Green [?]; private, Co. I; no other information about his service; address—Raccoon; remarks—Confederate soldier.

Henry W. Chandler; private, Co. I, 26 NC Infantry; enlisted 22 March 1862; no information about discharge or length of service; address—London; remarks—Confederate soldier, wasn’t discharged.

William H. Harris; private, Co. A, 42nd VA Infantry; enlisted 1 May 1861; discharged 1 May 1861; served 4 years; no address listed.

Harry H. Wig[?]ton [unreadable because it was heavily crossed out]; private, 42nd VA Infantry; enlisted 1 May 1861; discharged 1 May 1861; served 4 years; no address listed.

Jessie A. Sawyers; no information about his service; address—London; remarks—Confederate soldier.

John M. Robinson; no information about his service; address—London; remarks—Confederate soldier.

Ruffus J. Moris; sergeant, [unreadable company and state] Infantry; enlisted 1861; discharged 1865; served 4 years; address—East Bernstadt; remarks—can’t tell anything about dates.

Danna Estridge, Guest Blogger


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