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Carded Medical Record

The Early Indicators project created three primary data sets: Military, Disease, and Census. The Military data set is a collection of wartime records (Regimental Records, Compiled Military Service Records, and Carded Medical Records) and post-war pension records.

Carded Medical Records (CMR), collected alongside Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR), are housed at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. in RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780-1917. Interior Department clerks transcribed medical information from various sources onto cards called Carded Medical Records. Boxes of CMRs are arranged by regiment and, within the regiment, cards are organized roughly in alphabetical order. This arrangement poses challenges to the researcher who often must read through hundreds of cards to locate a single soldier. CMRs have the greatest linking challenges, from misspelled or partial names, missing company designation, to discrepancies in military rank.

Generally, there are three types of cards:

  1. Hospital Returns are records of a patient's stay in a hospital on a given span of days. These records are primarily from regimental hospital records.
  2. Casualty Cards state that the recruit was wounded in action. These cards contain the name of the soldier, whether he was wounded in action, the name of the battle in which the recruit was wounded, and the date of the engagement.
  3. Hospital Cards were printed by major hospitals and contain information recorded by clerks about individual soldiers, usually including the soldier’s name, rank, service, diagnosis, name and location of the hospital, date of admission, and the result of the treatment.