Scope and arrangement
The Department of the Shenandoah Archives, 1864-1865, document the efforts of the Department, under its superintendent George A. Mühleck, to support Union troops on campaign in West Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia from 1864 to 1865 from its main base in Harpers Ferry, as well as locations at Martinsburg, Winchester and Stephenson’s Depot. The Department worked primarily to distribute supplies received from USSC offices, branches and depots to military units, hospitals, and individual soldiers, and also gave supplies to civilians in need. It was particularly active in events leading up to and following the battles of Third Winchester (Opequon) and Cedar Creek in the fall of 1864. Other relief services represented include reporting on the whereabouts of soldiers and the disposition of soldiers’ bodies, and mailing packages of money on soldiers’ behalf.
The Department’s records are arranged in two series: a set of Numbered documents, and Agency record books.
Numbered documents comprise the Department’s letters, telegrams, and reports from relief agents in the field, the majority addressed to George A. Mühleck, as well as departmental orders, hospital reports, stock inventories, and financial records. Also present is a register of the numbered documents, created by the USSC's Archive Department.
Record books for the Department’s agencies at Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg and Winchester are mainly volumes recording supplies issued, generally to officers, surgeons (attached to hospitals or regiments), regimental chaplains, area hospitals, individual soldiers and civilians, for individual relief (person not identified), to its own relief agents for distribution in the field, and to other agencies or depots in the Department. Issues of supplies to individual relief workers, the United States Christian Commission, and the hospital for Confederates in Union-occupied Winchester are also found in the records. A few volumes (mainly for Harpers Ferry) document supplies received from USSC offices at Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Frederick, New York and Boston, including the Woman's Central Association of Relief (WCAR) and New England Women’s Auxiliary Association (NEWAA). The remaining volumes consist of cash books for the Department at Harpers Ferry and for Martinsburg, shedding light on day-to-day operations and staffing, and a record of money packages shipped by express at Winchester on behalf of soldiers.
The United States Sanitary Commission records. Department of the Shenandoah archives are arranged in two series:
- 1864-1865 and undated
This series consists of documents arranged by the USSC in categories, then chronologically within (in most cases), and numbered 1-729. The numbers and brief descriptions of each document were entered into an accompanying Archives Register. Categories overlap and similar materials can be found in multiple categories.
Some original dates were misidentified by the USSC's clerk and consequently are out of chronological sequence. Dates were supplied by the clerk for most undated items. Unnumbered items found in close proximity to a related numbered item (typically letters written by the same agent, near in time) remain there. A few miscellaneous unnumbered items found within are filed separately.
Invoices of goods (#623-658) and Express receipts and requisitions (#708-729) were identified as destroyed in the 1878 arrangement. Consult the Archives Register for a complete record of these items.
- 1864 Mar-1865 Jul
Record books chiefly concern the receipt and distribution of supplies at Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg and Winchester. Records of supplies issued typically include date, recipient, type of stock and quantity. Records of supplies received typically include sender, date, types of stock, and quantity; some also include invoice or container numbers. Entries in both cases are in chronological order. Also present are cash books for Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, and a record of express money packages sent by the USSC at Winchester. Volumes are arranged by agency location.