Sometimes you come across great sites for research while doing something entirely different. I went to the Perseus site at Tufts University to research some Greek Mythology. I was amazed. Besides the Primary and secondary sources for studying ancient Greece and Rome they have Issues of the Richmond Times Dispatch from Nov 1, 1860 through Dec 30, 1865. It is searchable in a number of different ways, including by name. Of course, those issues of the Richmond Times Dispatch include lots of articles regarding the Civil War. Taking a few moments away from my Greek mythology research, I dropped in my wife’s paternal great grandfather’s name. Poof, it came back with a hit. He was credited with capturing one of the Union’s regimental flags at the “The Crater” during the Siege of Petersburg.
Wikipedia indicates that “The Crater” was a particularly horrific battle. The article indicates,
“The prisoners taken will reach at least eleven hundred, including the wounded, who are at the Poplar Lawn Hospital, and being well cared for. The Yankee loss, all told, cannot fall short of five thousand men. Their officers, under flag of truce yesterday, acknowledged that they had about three thousand wounded in their hospitals. This, with eleven hundred prisoners and the seven hundred dead of the army, will very nearly approximate five thousand.”
Of course, as is often the case of war correspondence, the numbers appear bloated. Wikipedia indicates that Grant wrote,
“Union casualties were 3,798 (504 killed, 1,881 wounded, 1,413 missing or captured), Confederate casualties were approximately 1,500 (200 killed, 900 wounded, 400 missing or captured).
In just a couple minutes the Richmond Times Dispatch through the Perseus Hopper added to my knowledge of the family history.
The Perseus Digital Library is definitely a site to add to your Civil War and Virginia searches. Check it out at: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/search