Scope and arrangement
The Department of North Carolina Archives include letters and reports, camp inspection returns, hospital reports, garden and farm records, supply records, and journals, documenting the workings of the department from 1862-1865, especially its supply distribution and relief efforts for soldiers and refugees in the New Bern area and eastern North Carolina. The records also reflect the Commission’s functions of monitoring the condition of troops, and reporting the status of sick and wounded soldiers in hospitals.
Records from 1862 to early 1865 mostly pertain to the day-to-day activities of the department, which focused primarily on the distribution of supplies to area general, regimental, and other hospitals; to individuals in need including soldiers, refugees, former prisoners-of-war, and discharged soldiers; and occasionally to hospital transport ships and navy vessels. Documents also illustrate the department’s cooperation and work with the federal government, as well as internal USSC activities and procedures. Some correspondence and reports reflect the threatening presence of nearby military actions and disease. In addition, the Commission’s functions of monitoring the condition of the troops and reporting the status of sick and wounded soldiers in hospitals are demonstrated in letters and reports, camp inspection returns, and weekly hospital reports listing soldiers admitted and released in hospitals mainly in New Bern, Morehead City, and Beaufort.
Numerous items, including reports and supply records, concern activities during the spring of 1865, when Sherman’s troops moved through the state and the Department of North Carolina expanded its field of operation in the final months of the war.
Most documents in this record group were numbered by the USSC following the submission of records to the Archives in August, 1866. These documents are listed in numerical order and briefly described in the USSC New York, N.Y. Archives, Historical Bureau, Archives Department register Volume 12.
The United States Sanitary Commission records. Department of North Carolina archives are arranged in five series:
Letters and reports pertain to supplies requested, received, and distributed; area hospitals; relief agents’ activities in the field; cooperation and work with the federal government; general USSC procedures and actions; local battles, wounded soldiers, and military activities; work with refugees; the whereabouts of individual soldiers; soldiers’ bodies; the USSC’s Department of the South (based in South Carolina); yellow fever; assistance for Sherman’s troops starting in Feb 1865; and post-war work with soldiers and former POWs. Also present are a small amount of copies of Inspector J.W. Page’s outgoing correspondence and reports, as well as some bills, telegrams, and testimonials from army doctors about the USSC’s work in North Carolina.
Correspondence within the USSC is mostly from the Washington Office (especially J. Foster Jenkins), the Woman’s Central Association of Relief, the New England Woman’s Auxiliary Association, and the Hospital Directory.
Letters and reports are roughly chronological.
- 1862 Mar-1863 Oct
Camp inspection surveys #217-231 completed by J.W. Page for regimental camps within the Department's field of operations, using USSC forms A and 19A. (Some are not signed by Page, but are in his hand.)
Weekly reports ("Report of Sick and Wounded Soldiers in U.S. Army Hospital at ___ for the week ending ___") of hospitals in New Bern (Foster and Stanley), Morehead City (Mansfield), and Beaufort (Hammond) of soldiers admitted and released (also a small amount from Lenoir in Kinston). Reports were organized by hospital and bundled by month (approximately), then numbered. Arrangement within particular hospitals is usually chronological. Unnumbered bundles found within numbered hospital reports are filed within appropriate locations. Unnumbered reports that were stored separately and identified as "not entered" are filed at the end of hospital reports.
Also present are several lists of hospital personnel in New Bern (medical staff and soldiers detailed for hospital work), filed at the end of New Bern.
- 1864 May-1865 Aug
Includes multiple small volumes (some disbound), memoranda, and correspondence relating to the USSC hospital garden and farm in the New Bern area. Information includes yields, recipients of garden vegetables; general totals of requisitions filled; accounts of produce; tasks (plantings, etc.); and notes on personnel, tools, and seeds.
The bulk of Department of North Carolina volumes record supplies issued, primarily in the New Bern area, to general, regimental, and other hospitals and to individual soldiers, sailors, and civilians in need. Entries generally include date, recipient, and quantities and type of stock issued. Most supply record books contain a few scattered instances of supplies received. Entries are usually in chronological order. Many supply entries contain issue or requisition numbers that do not appear to connect to other material in the collection. Also present are mixed-use volumes containing journals and supplies issued, as well as one journal, in the hand of Dr. J.W. Page. Volumes are arranged chronologically by first date.
Supply records also contain tabulated statements of issues and a few miscellaneous items concerning supplies that were loose and unnumbered in the record group.