|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 12:18 am||
From what I've read, notification of next of kin during the war was a very iffy proposition.
It is possible in some cases that fellow soldiers who knew the one who became a casualty would have been able to notify his own relatives to pass on the news, or notify the relatives of the casualty directly. It is possible that the regimental chaplain might attempt to communicate the loss to the victim's relatives. In addition, the soldier's regimental commander or perhaps his company commander might make the attempt. If the soldier died in a hospital, then officials there might have tried to notify his relatives.
I'm not sure if enlistment papers identified who the next of kin might be. A lot of times, all that was known was the soldier's name and hometown. I have read that sometimes notification was addressed to the post office of the soldier's hometown, addressed to: "The family of..."
Many times regiments would suffer very heavy casualties and it would take some time to sort out the living, the dead, the wounded, and the missing. Notification of the next of kin might not always have been the highest priority under difficult circumstances in the field.
If the soldier survived the war and later applied for a pension, then those records would typically include the name and address of the next of kin.
Last edited on Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 12:40 am by Texas Defender