The Union Army data has significant economic information on the recruit and his household, including his employment status. Employment information comes from the U.S. Federal Census schedules.
2. Variable Groups
Collection: U.S. Federal Census
Employment: Recruit employment status, Household member employment status, Recruit and Household Member Class of worker in 1920 and 1930, Recruit and Household Member Working Last Day in 1930
Unemployment: Recruit Unemployed, Recruit Number of Weeks Unemployed, Recruit Number of Months Unemployed Within Year, Household Member Unemployed, Household Member Number of Weeks Unemployed, Household Member Number of Months Unemployed Within Year, Recruit and Household Member Line Number from Unemployment Schedule
3. Historical Background
3.1 Original Sources
The primary source of economic data is found in the U.S. Federal Census. We collected information on soldiers and their households from the U.S. Federal Censuses of 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930. All the information listed was recorded on the census manuscripts in the input screens.
The U.S. Constitution requires that a population census be taken every 10 years in order to apportion seats in the House of Representatives and determine the number of votes in the electoral college and appointments in state and local legislatures. The first census was taken in 1790. Though originally conceived as simply a population count, the censuses evolved to include much more information, such as age, marital status, occupation, birthplace, disability, nativity, etc. This additional data is very useful to historians, economists, demographers, genealogists, etc.
Because of privacy issues, Congress has stipulated a 72-year restriction to access of Federal Census schedules. Because of this restriction, the latest census manuscript we have access to is 1940. The 1850 census was the first to list people other than the head of household, as well as age, occupation, birthplace, and value of real estate. The majority of Civil War soldiers in our sample were born around 1840, so the 1850 census gives us a good idea of the early life of these men.
Census collection begins by extracting information from the Military, Pension, and Medical Records data set to guide us in making the strongest link possible to census schedules. We collect information on the households of the soldiers from the U.S. Federal Censuses of 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940. All the information listed on the census manuscripts is collected.
We try to link each soldier to all censuses for which he is alive. Since these men all served in the Civil War (1861-1865), we know they were alive in 1850 and 1860. If a soldier was born in a foreign country and we know from the military information and/or the 1900-1930 censuses that he did not enter the U.S. until after 1850 and/or 1860, do not search for him in those years. If the soldier served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT), he may have been a slave before the war. Slaves were not enumerated on the 1850 and 1860 censuses. If the military records indicate that a soldier was a slave, he is not searched for on the 1850 and 1860 censuses. If a black soldier was born in or enlisted in a free state or a border state (DE, KY, MD, MO, TN, WV), he is searched for in 1850 and 1860.
A "quality code" is assigned to every census link which ranks the strength of a match based on the information found in the military records. The quality codes range from 1 to 4, 1 indicating the strongest link and 4 the weakest.
In the absence of a death date, all soldiers are searched through 1880. When there is no death date in the military record, we use the last living date: application date, residence date, marriage date, discharge date, etc., that proves the soldier was alive, and search for the soldier in all census years including one decade after the last living date.
Examples of employment data include employment status and measures of unemployment. The variable recuna_1 gives the recruit's unemployment status on 4/15/1910 as reported in the 1910 census. The variable huna_1 reports the same information for household members. The variables recemp_1 and hemp_1 give the recruit and household member employment status in 1910.
4. User Guide Table
|Variable Label||Variable Name||Data-Set||Source|
|recemp, hemp||Employment status (1910, 1920, 1930)||CEN||U.S. Federal Census (1910, 1920, 1930)|
|recuna, huna||Unemployed (1910)||CEN||U.S. Federal Census (1910)|
|recwun, hwun||Number of weeks unemployed (1910)||CEN||U.S. Federal Census (1910)|
|recumo, humo||Number of months unemployed within the year (1880, 1900)||CEN||U.S. Federal Census (1880, 1900)|
|recwrk, hwrk||Whether the individual is at work the last working day (1930)||CEN||U.S. Federal Census (1930)|
|reculn, huln||Line number from Unemployment Schedule (1930)||CEN||U.S. Federal Census (1930)|