Category talk:American Civil War veterans


Naming Conventions

Category Hierarchy [14 April 2011]

  • American Civil War veterans
  • <state> Civil War veterans
  • Regiments
  • U.S. Navy veterans
  • Ships
  • C.S.A. Navy veterans
  • Ships
  • U.S. Army veterans
  • Army regiments
  • American Civil War Figures - for veterans that were notable or famous for their service, typically Generals.

Isn't it a little confusing to have the two categories simply called "U.S. Army veterans" and "U.S. Navy veterans"? Someone doing a search might not look carefully that these are sub-categories under the Civil War veterans category. Perhaps it would be better if they were titled like the state category, and say something like "U.S. Army civil war veterans." -Parsa 15:29, 14 April 2011 (EDT)
I agree that this is an issue... English wise, should such a category be "U.S. Army veterans of the Civil War"? Is such a category a "child" of the "Civil War" hierarchy and a child of the "U.S. Army veterans" hierarchy (meaning U.S. Army veterans can/should cover any war, right? And regiments as well will in some cases span several wars?)?--Brenda (kennebec1) 18:34, 14 April 2011 (EDT)
Very good point, Parsa. I'll go in and change those to be a bit more obvious. Brenda, right now we don't have a "general" U.S. Army veterans category (meaning all U.S. Army veterans of all time periods). Frankly, I doubt one would be at all workable, because how would you break it down into meaningful sub-categories without covering a specific war? -- Amy (Ajcrow) 19:14, 14 April 2011 (EDT)
I don't think such a category is actually *needed* - I think I'm just showing my linear brain. I just thought that as you moved "up" the category hierarchy, you'd have to end up with a general veterans category (a "pot" to hold the subsidiary categories relating to veterans). Upon reflection, though, you don't have to go all the way to the "top" of the veteran hierarchy, you can just recreate the same subcategories for the next war... (for example)
I should say that my strong suit is *not* spatial relations. I'm the sort of person is always making random leaps of cross-connections between seemingly unrelated things, not so good at visualizing complex structures...--Brenda (kennebec1) 20:11, 14 April 2011 (EDT)

Naming Rules [12 April 2011]

  • "veterans" is lower case
  • State numbered regiments use the ordinal, the state fully spelled out, and type of regiment (infantry/cavalry), capitalized. Do not use "regiment" - i.e. 103rd Ohio Infantry
  • For Union units from Confederate states, add (Union) - e.g., 8th Tennessee Cavalry (Union). Confederate state categories should note "All units are Confederate unless otherwise noted."
  • For Confederate units from Union states, add (CSA) - e.g., 3rd Kentucky Infantry (CSA). For those border states, add "Units are Union unless otherwise noted."


Generals should go in the category "American Civil War Figures" (intended for notable people). Most of them will have Wikipedia articles you should add or link to their pages. If they were associated with a particular state or division, they can also be linked to that category.

Sorting [24 June 2013]

  • On person pages, put a pipe and the name of the veteran (last name, first name) after the category name so that the category contents will sort on last name: [[Category:3rd Wisconsin Cavalry|Burlingame, Joseph]]
  • On regiment pages, put a pipe and the number of the regiment after the parent category name so that the categories sort correctly.
    • Use two leading spaces for numbers under 10 - e.g., for the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, use [[Category:Wisconsin Civil War veterans| 3]] (two space between the | and the 3).
    • Add one leading space for numbers between 10 and 99. For example, for the 88th Indiana Infantry, use [[Category:Indiana Civil War veterans| 88]].
I'm afraid I didn't recognize the current/prior unit category sort organization as reflecting an intentional scheme. So, as I was recently adding WP references to unit categories, I thought it wise to follow common practice (sort by type, then sequence, types being AH - artillery heavy, AL - artillery light, I - infantry, C - cavalry, E - engineers, etc). For sequence, I used a zero-padded numeric, so sequence order is maintained when you look at the parent category. So far, I've done this with the New England States, New York, and Wisconsin. If there's a good reason to do it differently, I'll go back and change it, but I'm having trouble imagining why anyone would choose something else. --jrm03063 10:40, 14 June 2013 (EDT)
To anyone paying attention here - my revision to this process relates only to sorting for the regiments. Instead of leading spaces I lead with a letter (or two) as noted above. Depending on the number of units of that type the state contributed, I follow with a zero-padded number. For example, we want the 9th infantry of a state to sort before the 100th, so the sort keys are "I009" and "I100" in those situations respectively. States that don't have more than 99 infantry regiments only get two digit positions. Likewise, Cavalry never needs more than two digits - and often only one is needed. I HOPE that the originators of this project will express themselves and approve of this. If not however, and there's perhaps a reason to do things differently, I accept responsibility for restoring/modifying things as may be needed. --jrm03063 10:34, 24 June 2013 (EDT)

Corps of Engineers [18 April 2011]

I have an ancestor that was in Company I of the 1st Engineer Battalion, U.S. Corps of Engineers. How do I make a category (under US Army) for this battalion? It's not a regiment as in the infantry. Should I create "1st Engineer Battalion U.S. Corps of Engineers", "1st Engineers U.S. Corps of Engineers", or "1st U.S. Corps of Engineers"? -Parsa 12:54, 14 April 2011 (EDT)

My partner, who is a war history buff, suggests that if we stick with the rule not to use the word Regiment, then in this case Battalion should also be left out. Generally a Battalion is about 1/2 a regiment, but the Battalion seems to be the "unit" the U.S. Corps of Engineers had at this time.
He also suggests possible reconsideration of the Regiment rule, as it is possible, albeit unlikely, for veterans with the same name to be in, say, the 7th Maine Volunteer Infantry (Regiment) and/or the 7th Maine Volunteer Infantry Battalion (which was *not* a part of the Regiment of the same name). (The example might actually be the 11th, but it could and did happen in both the Union and Confederate Armies).
So either Battalion MUST be used (when applicable), because otherwise the entity will be assumed to be regiment, or the type of unit should always be added... not sure which is better.--Brenda (kennebec1) 19:36, 14 April 2011 (EDT)

Well, Wikipedia uses the word Regiment in the titles in the form "13th Regiment Indiana Infantry": Category:Indiana Civil War regiments. Wikipedia gives the 1st Engineer Battalion a title with "battalion" in it also: 1st Engineer Battalion (United States). Which presents another problem.... What if the regiment or battalion exists during other wars and other people are veterans of the same regiment at a later period of time?--Parsa 22:13, 14 April 2011 (EDT)

But in general usage, people tend to refer to their ancestors as being in the "13th Indiana Infantry", rather than the "13th Regiment, Indiana Infantry." Since the vast majority of units at this level were regiments, how about we go with Brenda's suggestion of omitting the entity unless it is not a regiment (like her 1st Battalion U.S. Corps of Engineers"? Also, we're not going to have a problem with most of the units still being in existence (or even lasting after the war). Most soldiers were in state units which disbanded at the war's close. Some were re-formed later (for the Spanish-American War, for example), but those vets would go under a different war. If we would have a soldier who was in both wars, he'd get links to two categories. -- Amy (Ajcrow) 23:21, 14 April 2011 (EDT)
I think what Parsa is saying is that because a page like Category:17th Alabama Infantry does not have the war in its title, we could run into duplication. If there could be a 17th Alabama Infantry in the Civil War and the Spanish-American War then the contents of Category:17th Alabama Infantry would contain veterans from two different wars. It may currently have the parent category of Civil War, but how will this Infantry be distinguished from one in the Spanish-American War? Mind you, I'm only using this as a general example, I have no idea what regiments/battalions/infantries existed when... --Jennifer (JBS66) 07:26, 15 April 2011 (EDT)
<face palm moment>Duh. Why didn't I see that earlier? We do need a designation for the war after the name of the unit. I think I prefer something like 13th Indiana Infantry (Civil War), rather than 13th Indiana Infantry in the Civil War, since it's shorter. Thoughts? -- Amy (Ajcrow) 07:51, 15 April 2011 (EDT)
Jennifer's point is correct, but also the same regiment could exist over several wars such as the 1st Engineers Battalion. Of course that's not so much of a problem since the same regiment or battalion sub-category could exist in multiple categories. The 1st Engineers still exists today, so that sub-category could exist as a sub-category in multiple veteran's categories. Certainly the veterans from that battalion today think of those earlier men as part of their battalion's history. By the way, I support having the word regiment or battalion in the titles.-Parsa 11:20, 15 April 2011 (EDT)
Tim (my war buff partner) supports the Wikipedia approach; he thinks that the advantage to inclusion of the full name is that is how the unit will be referred to in records, generally (so we assist good/further research by enforcing an "official" unit name). I can see Amy's point, however, that common usage is faster, and is more likely to be what a person will intuitively try to add as a category.
I am really interested, tho, in how Wikipedia handles the "units existing over time" problem. They seem to have (at least) multiple parallel category structures at the same time, along with what they call "intersection categories," where categories overlap. This may give us some clues as to how to handle the units in a particular conflict and how they related to the same units over time. See Military Wikipedia manual of style and Intersection categories. --Brenda (kennebec1) 09:04, 16 April 2011 (EDT)
I think we can get around the need for intersection categories in this instance by simply listing any related categories at the top of the page. For example, if we have a category for 1st Battalion, U.S. Corps of Engineers (Civil War), it could have a link at the top of the page saying "See also: 1st Battalion, U.S. Corps of Engineers (World War I)" (and vice versa on the 1st's WWI category page). -- Amy (Ajcrow) 14:08, 18 April 2011 (EDT)

Two final things to decide [21 April 2011]

We have two things we need to finalize. (Hopefully that's all we need to finalize!)

  1. Handling of unit types. Two options: always include it in the category name or include it only when it isn't a regiment.
  2. Wording of Civil War. How does everyone feel about unit (Civil War)? For example, 1st Ohio Infantry (Civil War). (Or 1st Regiment, Ohio Infantry (Civil War), if we'd go that route from question 1.) I don't think we need to include the word American or the phrase U.S. or United States, as it would be redundant. (The only Civil War an Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, etc unit would be in would be the American Civil War.)

Please post your thoughts on these two items. Thanks! -- Amy (Ajcrow) 14:10, 18 April 2011 (EDT)

I'm wondering if it might wise to use the same title as WP for the units. That would be an easy rule for novices to follow. Also, WP has had more time to work out titling conflicts (like disambiguating between 7th Regiment Indiana Infantry (3 months) and 7th Regiment Indiana Infantry (3 years)). We may also want to carry that rule to the names of conflicts as well. So, the main category would be called American Civil War as opposed to the U.S. Civil War. As for #2, I'm not entirely sure. I tend to like the consistency of American Civil War, but I understand the desire to simplify it a bit! --Jennifer (JBS66) 17:34, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
I hesitate referring people to use whatever WP uses. I'd much rather refer them to a site like the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS), which uses Dyer's Compendium as its source for the regimental histories. (Which is usually x Regiment, state type (e.g., 7th Regiment, Indiana Infantry). As for the 3 month units and the 3 year units, there is very little difference when it comes to the records. Technically, they were different units, but the records rarely reflect that. If you look at a CW pension it will rarely state one or the other. I think we would be introducing a level of confusion (for little, if any, payoff) by adding that detail to the category name. -- Amy (Ajcrow) 18:05, 18 April 2011 (EDT)
The Wikipedia articles are not a single format (for example: 101st Indiana Infantry Regiment and 10th Regiment Indiana Infantry). I agree with the format x Regiment, state type. For the regular army it could be x Regiment, U.S. type. —Parsa 20:01, 20 April 2011 (EDT)
I'm not a fan of repeating words that are pretty obvious (regiment, for example). I do think that including (Civil War) is useful because it guarantees that that text will be on the page regardless of what happens to the narrative (for searching purposes, for example), in addition to helping with disambiguation. I also think that if WP is distinguishing between units that most people can't do (i.e. 3 month units v. 3 year units, apparently, or, for the Rev. War, pretty much any unit name), then we shouldn't follow it's rules.--Amelia 00:11, 19 April 2011 (EDT)

It sounds like we are mostly in favor of the format <#> state unit (Civil War). (With some dissent, I know.) So it would be 1st Indiana Infantry (Civil War) and 1st Battalion, U.S. Corps of Engineers. Can we move forward with this format? -- Amy (Ajcrow) 19:23, 20 April 2011 (EDT)

This looks good to me! --Jennifer (JBS66) 06:12, 21 April 2011 (EDT)

State Militias how handle? [26 May 2012]

I have an ancestors who was in the Lafayette Artillery co. in NH. He is listed in the 1890 Veterans schedule and served coastal defense duties. According to Wiki Lafayette Artillery Company, this unit of the NH Militia was formed in 1804, part of the 22nd NH Reg. It does not appear to have been part of the traditional Union command structure. Some of its members enlisted in federal (Union) regiments. It was not disbanded after the Civil War, however, it evolved into a social/educational organization, and remains active to this day.

My understanding of military organization is limited. How would this be handled?--Kpb2011 08:04, 16 January 2012 (EST)

I would create a category called "Category:Lafayette_Artillery_Company" and you could add whatever categories you want to put it under to the page, including Category:New_Hampshire_Civil_War_veterans. There are state militias listed under some of the states such as Virginia and Missouri. I would just keep it without the "(Civil War)" since it still exists today, and may fit under multiple categories. — Parsa 14:15, 26 May 2012 (EDT)

Grand Army of the Republic [14 June 2013]

I just wanted to notify everyone that I created a category for veterans who were members of the Grand Army of the Republic organization after the war:
Category:Grand Army of the Republic members
Parsa 13:25, 26 May 2012 (EDT)

That's intriguing. Even more so - what if we made use of the POST/DEPARTMENT organization to create both local, state, and a full-blown national organization? This sort of hierarchy is historically accurate and potentially revealing. --jrm03063 10:48, 14 June 2013 (EDT)