In 1914 and 1915, Questionnaire forms were sent to all known living Tennessee Civil War Veterans by Dr. Gus Dyer, who was then serving as Archivist of Tennessee. In 1920, Mr. John Trotwood Moore, Director of the Tennessee Historical Commission, sent a revised from which covered essentially the same information.All the completed forms were returned by 1922 and contain such information as date and place of birth; date and place of enlistment; war service, including descriptions of battles, prison life and hospital experiences; rosters of the Company of which ;the veteran was a member; comments on the economic and social status of the veteran; opinions on slavery; genealogical data; educational and religious data; his and his father’s occupation both before and after the war, and many incidental facts.
The veterans were encouraged to write fully of their experiences and to give as much family history as they remembered. Many of them included additional pages of material, newspaper clippings, book pages of published information from the Veteran, and an occasional photograph.These interviewed veterans came from all social classes, and their answers varied from short and barely literate annals of the poor farmer to perceptive assessments of pre-war social conditions and detailed autobiographies of well educated sons of planters, artisans and merchants. This cross-section of human experience makes the material useful to historians, as well as to the genealogist pursuing information about lives of specific ancestors.
The questionnaires have been published in a five volume set of books by the Southern Historical Press, inc. of Easley, S. C. The microfilm copy is housed in the Manuscripts Section of the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA). The following is a list of those men from DeKalb County that returned the Questionnaires. Visit the TSLA website for more information.
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