A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion

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Title page of A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion - Click for full-sized scanned image

A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion is a 3-part statistical history of the American Civil War. The first edition manuscript was published on February 15, 1909 after 42 years of researching, compiling, editing, and revising. It was written by Frederick Dyer, a Grand Army of the Republic veteran who served as a drummer boy in the 7th Connecticut Infantry / Company H during the war. Dyer's Compendium has been praised for its accuracy and attention to detail by Civil War veterans and researchers alike, and provided the initial inspiration for the creation of the Warriors of the Rebellion Wiki.

Publication History

In 1867, Frederick H. Dyer joined the Grand Army of the Republic and began a massive project to acquire resources concerning Union regiments. His work brought him in contact with many veterans and officials from the war, collecting information as he went. The statistics he accumulated expanded into further areas, from regiments to details of army formations, battles, movements, and other important information. He began to research using official records in various state capitals, and continued speaking to ex-soldiers and high-standing officers, such as General Sherman, who expressed interest in future publication of such a comprehensive compendium.

Dyer primarily utilized The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies and the reports of the Adjutants General of the respective states. He collected records for 35 years before settling into a single room in Des Moines, Iowa to compile the information. From 1904 to 1908 he made seven revisions to his manuscript, each taking around seven months. His finished product was a 4,025 page single volume in three parts, published on February 15, 1909 by "The Dyer Publishing Company". Dyer personally funded, wrote and promoted his work, printed by Torch Press of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A total of 4,500 copies were produced in its original run.

Due to its popularity with historians, it was reprinted several times:

  • 1959 – New York: Sagamore Press; Thomas Yoseloff (Includes a new introduction by Bell Irvin Wiley)
  • 1978 – Dayton, OH: Broadfoot Publishing Company; Morningside Press (Includes a new introduction by Lee A. Wallace (Jr.))
  • 1979 – Dayton, OH: National Historical Society; Morningside Press
  • 1991 – Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America
  • 1994 – Dayton, OH: Broadfoot Publishing Company; Morningside Press


Foreword by Frederick Dyer

The following foreward by Frederick H. Dyer was included with the volume:

Foreward page of A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion - Click for full-sized scanned image

THIS BOOK is the result of many years' study and tabulation of the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, supplemented by authentic information from all reliable and available sources. Every book or work treating of that great struggle, has been studied and compared. State records, reports of the Adjutants General of the several States, Regimental Histories, and all reports and documents issued by the United States government or State Military Bureaus, have been carefully examined and matter there found collated, and after verification, added to the work. There has been a dearth of official information regarding certain statistics and data of great interest and value to both participant in that great struggle and to the student who wishes details in connected form. The Official Records of the War, a monumental collection, is wonderfully deficient in many particulars, and is practically impossible to use except by a specialist. Its arrangement is such that only those familiar with it from the beginning are able to use it with benefit. Its many series, its various departments, its incomprehensible indices and its continued reference to one or more books in dealing with any subject, are beyond the average reader's ability to grasp. To remedy this for one seeking information, to gather all relating to each subject, whether of statistics or events, into a connected and complete whole, to digest the voluminous history of the war, has been the object of the compiler.

The work is divided into three parts: Part I - Being devoted to vital and various statistics of value and interest, and to the formation of the various Armies and Departments of the war, the troops assigned to and serving with each, and their various Commanders from beginning to end.

Part II - Records the various Campaigns, Battles, Engagements, Skirmishes, and the important events and operations, showing Union troops engaged in each event, and losses sustained, where such was officially reported. That part is arranged first, alphabetically as a whole, then alphabetically and chronologically by the States, thus making it easy to find any particular event.

Part III - Presents a concise history of every Regiment, Battalion, Battery or other organization mustered in by the several States and Territories, and by the United States. This part is arranged by States alphabetically, the troops of each State in numerical order beginning with Cavalry, following with Artillery, Heavy and Light, Engineers, Sharpshooters, and Infantry.

Those who have furnished valuable information for this compilation are so many as to preclude special mention by name, but to them all my heartfelt acknowledgements are herewith extended, and the result is dedicated to the memory of all my Comrades, fallen or surviving, who participated in the events here recorded.



Number and Organization of the Armies of the United States - click each section below to access the pages of this source


Chronological record of the Campaigns, Battles, Engagements, Actions, Combats, Sieges, Skirmishes. etc., in the United States, 1861 to 1865


Regimental Histories


Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. The Dyer Publishing Company (Des Moine, 1908).