My latest “Faces of War” column for the Civil War News is now available. An excerpt of the story of Richard Rush, U.S. navy:
The call to action that landed him in the spotlight came long after the rebellion had been put down. In May 1893, now Lt. Cmdr. Rush succeeded a fellow officer as Superintendent of Naval War Records. He inherited a mammoth task—the organization and publication of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies. Authorized by Congress in 1884, a small force of clerks and copyists set about the work. They were overwhelmed by the volume of material and challenges associated in locating copies of Confederate records destroyed when Richmond burned in 1865. Reinforcements were ordered in to help collect, classify and arrange documents and data from public and private sources.