23 June 2014

Mystery Monday -- Can you solve this research riddle? NARA Record where it does not belong!

My wife's grandfather Carl Gastone Casattas was born 26 Oct 1894 in San Francisco, California, and died 9 Sept 1970 in Santa Cruz, California.  In between he resided for a long time in Oakland, Alameda, California.

Since he was born almost three decades following the end of the Civil War, imagine the surprise when we found this Index Card in the Civil War Pension file at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  NARA was surprised too!  They said it did not belong and had no idea what it was doing there.  (They could not tell us where it properly belonged so they said it would be returned to the Civil War Pension file.)

Keep in mind we can find no record of him having military service, although he was a member of various veterans groups.

What does it say?  What does it mean?  Click to Enlarge --

UPDATE: We found his draft registration in the "Old Man's Registration."

UPDATE 2: We have since learned he was a member of the Coastal Artillery Corps (C.A.C.), stationed in San Francisco.

UPDATE 3: The July 12, 1973 fire at the St. Louis National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) destroyed approximately 80% of Army personnel records from 1 Nov 1912 to 1 Jan 1960.  This could explain why we can find no record of his service.

Copyright © 2014 by Kevin W. Walker

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kevin! You didn't mention, but his memorial -- on findagrave :) -- states that he was a WW1 vet. I would definitely search newspapers of that era. Also, his WW2 draft registration indicates that he was employed by IRS & 1940 Census indicates employment thru the WPA-both federal jobs, probably because he was a vet. I wonder if there is any way to gain employment records, will more than likely have some military info (I would think). Is there any record of which veterans' groups that he belonged to? Sometimes some information is available there, If not, maybe they would have an idea of which direction to go. And then--this card indicates a disability along with an attorney code. I would try to work that angle. There you go, way more of a comment than you wanted or needed :) Good Luck!