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2017 UA Data User Meeting Presentations

Data 101

  • Designed for new users
  • Subsets of our best variables
  • Tailored for popular research topics


The Urban sample is a stand-alone oversampling of Civil War veterans who enlisted in the largest U.S. cities. Drawn in proportion to city size in 1860, researchers designed the sample to examine intra-city disparities in environmental conditions and draw inferences about the impact of ward conditions on the recruits’ life-cycle aging process. The five target cities are Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York (including Brooklyn), and Baltimore. The Urban sample consists of 12,671 soldiers, approximately 25% of whom can be confidently located within these five cities at the ward-level or lower.

The varying quality of records available for each city necessitated different procedures for sample identification. Using Dyer’s Compendium, State Adjutant Generals reports, and various online resources, researchers compiled a list of companies that had more than 50% of their recruits enlisting in each target city. We then extracted names and identifying information from the Regimental Books for those companies until the sample size was reached. Researchers then linked each soldier to their Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR), Pension (PEN), and Carded Medical Record (CMR). Pension Records additionally contain detailed medical records called Surgeons’ Certificates (SCRTS) which were collected separately from other pension data. Researchers also linked each soldier to U.S. Federal Censuses and added his family members to the data set.

EI researchers used spatial linking to join the Urban sample to county- and city-level data as well as the Historical Urban Ecological (HUE) data sets based on residential histories. Researchers linked individuals who resided in large cities to ward-level ecological characteristics describing the condition of their wards during the years they spent there. Researchers linked individuals who lived in mid-size and small cities to city-level ecological characteristics for their period of residence. Those who lived in rural areas were linked to ecological variables generated from fort- and county-level data.

A unique 10-digit identification number, stored in the variable recidnum, identifies each recruit throughout the separate data sets of the Early Indicators projects.

Download Urban sample data via the Bulk Download page.

The list of companies in the Urban sample is also available for download.


Urban Sample