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The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies
Most of the Confederate Navy Department records were lost during the burning of Richmond. Union Navy Department records were preserved, but not until 1884 was work begun by Navy Department librarian, later Assistant Secretary of the Navy, James R. Soley to collect and publish. Intending to partially replace missing reports, many personal narratives were collected and included, often gaining Navy researchers incidental access to draft copies of original reports once thought lost. The official title of publication is Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion.
Series I: Records of all naval operations including all inland waterways
Series IIRecords relating to statistics and condition of both forces at the outset of conflict, returns of captured materials, and records of naval prisoners of war.
A proposed third series was deemed unnecessary; the final volume of series two was published in 1922. The Navy Department did not publish a comprehensive index to these volumes.
The Official Records of the American Civil War (O.R.) contains all 128
volumes of the Official Records of the Civil War.
The Official Naval Records consists of 34 volumes - over 30,000 pages dealing with the Navy in the American Civil War.
Both sets are now available in Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF) format.
Comments from researchers:
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-Nancy Midgette, Story Professor of History Elon College, NC
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