From time to time, I've made posts on growing a good library. If you have unlimited funds, then you can order away and stock you shelves with good books. I don't have unlimited funds, but I am always looking for good books that allow me to be better at what I do. Recently, Savas Beatie, LLC, released Richard A. Sauers' The National Tribune Civil War Index: A Guide to the Weekly Newspapers Dedicated to Civil War Veterans, 1877-1943. It is in three volumes.
A little background: The National Tribune was a newspaper that began publication in 1877 as a monthly newspaper "to help influence Congress" to help the Federal veterans with their quest in regards to a better pension for former soldiers. In August 1881, the newspaper became a weekly sheet, and began publishing articles by veterans. "We shall be glad at all times to hear from any of our soldiers or sailor friends who have matters of historical interest, incidents, or amusing anecdotes of the war to relate," the editor wrote in August 1881. By 1884, there were over 77,000 subscribers. Articles continued to appear in the National Tribune until 1943.
So, what does this have to do with Southern soldiers? While the majority of the articles that appeared with the pages of the National Tribune were written by former Union soldiers, articles were written from time to time by former Confederate soldiers. For example, volume 3 has a listing of articles pertaining to North Carolina soldiers. The one entry for the 28th North Carolina references an article that appeared on July 23, 1891. Using volume 1, I was able to see that this article pertained to the battle of Cold Harbor. Next, I went to newspapers.com (the articles are not contained in the three volumes - It is only an index), found the National Tribune for July 23, 1891, and searched "Cold Harbor." You can see the article I found here.
The majority of the articles are from Federal soldiers. The Southerners had Confederate Veteran and the Southern Historical Society Papers for their post-war writings. Yet, there are truly some gems to be found with the index. Richard Sauers' work is a fantastic addition to the libraries of those of us who spend our days poring through original sources looking for the smallest details to enhance our scholarship.
The three volumes are only available through Savas Beatie, and the first printing is limited to 100 sets (There were only 30 or set sets left when I ordered). I'm glad I ordered mine. They are a great addition to my library.