The act of March 1, 1889, establishing a Census Office in the Department of the Interior, provided that the Superintendent of Census in taking the Eleventh Census, should "cause to be taken on a special schedule of inquiry, according to such form as he may prescribe, the names, organizations, and length of service of those who had served in the Army, Navy, or Marine Corps of the United States in the war of the rebellion, and who are survivors at the time of said inquiry, and the widows of soldiers, sailors, or marines..." The act also provided that there be prepared and published, in connection with the census, "a list of the names, organizations, and length of service of surviving soldiers, sailors and marines, and the widows of soldiers, sailors, and marines."
Because of the difficulties in securing data concerning the veterans or their survivors that the regular and special enumerators were expected to encounter, the Census Office secured all possible information in advance of the enumeration. A preliminary list of the names of 458, 677 surviving veterans was compiled from the records of the Pension Office; efforts were made to obtain rosters of all Grand Army of the Republic posts throughout the country; and requests were made for State rosters, adjutant general's reports, and other publications likely to be of value in the work of verifying the special schedules.
The work of the enumerators, which was begun on the first Monday of June 1890, was completed by July 1 of that year. The work examining, verifying, and classifying the information on the special schedules was carried on from August 1, 1890, to June 30, 1891. During this period many thousands of letters were written to veterans to obtain information not obtained by the enumerators, and inquiries were published in about 500 newspapers throughout the country in order to elicit responses from veterans overlooked in the enumeration. An examination of the special schedules indicates that that at least part of the data so obtained was added to the schedules by the Census Office.
special schedule, consisting of four pages, contains spaces for fifty
entries. On the upper half of each page are included the name
of the veteran (or if he died not survive, the names of both the
widow and her deceased husband), the veterans rank, company, regiment
or vessel, date of enlistment, date of discharge, and length of
service in years, months and days. The lower half of each page
contains the Post Office address of each person listed, disability
incurred by the veteran, and under the heading "general
remarks," other information necessary for a complete statement
of the veteran's term of service. Persons who enlisted and
served under assumed names, and afterward assumed their lawful names,
are listed under their real name followed by their aliases. In
a few cases names of Confederate veterans were reported
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