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1911 Confederate Veterans Questionnaires

Act 353, approved by the legislature on May 30, 1911, was enacted to "make an enumeration or census of the Confederate soldiers residing in the State of Arkansas, and to provide for the payment thereof."

Responsibility for making the enumeration was directed to the county assessor of each county. The enumeration was to show the full name, present address, date and place of birth, date and state of enlistment, and other biographical data. The blank forms were prepared and supplied by the secretary of the Arkansas History Commission. After the enumeration was completed, the original list was to have been filed in the office of the probate judge of the county where the enumeration was taken, and "a carefully compared copy, duly certified under oath, by the assessor, shall be forwarded to the secretary of the Arkansas History Commission for preservation therein."

Compensation for making the enumeration, or census, was to be ten cents for each name enrolled under the provisions of the Act. Five hundred dollars was appropriated to cover the expense of printing the blanks and forms, postage, and transportation charges. The entire census was to be completed and filed within twelve months after passage of the Act.

There were 1,760 forms returned, in varying stages of completion. Clearly, the enumeration was nowhere near what it should have been. Many counties had no returns.

There were two forms included. One, the Biographical Memoranda Form, requested biographical information, such as full name, mailing address, date and place of birth, and family information. The other was a Confederate Military Service Memoranda, a supplement to the first form. Some files consist of this form only and provide little information. Since the questionnaires vary drastically in the amount of information they provide, a grade has been applied to assist researchers:

  • POOR means that there is little or nothing more than what appears in the index itself. Usually, only the Supplement for Form 1 is present, which offers only service related information. For example, questionnaires from Lee and Yell counties are rated poor as information is minimal.
  • AVERAGE means that some of most of the information requested was provided, more or less. Most questionnaires fall into this category.
  • EXCELLENT questionnaires provide the most information and some were even appended.