The Marching Dead

US sends draft notices to 1800s men



The agency responsible for maintaining and updating the data which allows the United States government to theoretically the maintain operational capability of conscripting its citizens for military service recently made a slight error.


Young men registering for military conscription, New York City, June 5, 1917

Young men registering for military conscription, New York City, June 5, 1917


An operative with the Selective Service System, an independent Federal agency with responsibility for maintaining the draft process, inadvertently entered the digit ‘8’ instead of ‘9’ when selecting those who were to be send letters warning them to register with the System. The vast majority of respondents (listed as having been born in 1889, instead of 1989) had died years previously, ironically most of whom had already served in at least one major conflict which the US had been party to in the twentieth century!




Without maligning veterans, in most Hollywood depictions of mankind battling long dead zombie hordes, the writers probably never imagined the SSS trying to ‘raise’ their own army of the undead!

About eamonntgardiner

I am a PhD Student at the National University of Ireland, Galway. I am conducting research into links between wartime traumatic-neurosis and evidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder amongst British First World War veterans serving as Auxiliary Policemen in Ireland during the Anglo-Irish War 1919-1921. I have previously conducted research into local Irish Volunteer/Old IRA units in Munster as well as British responses to popular insurgencies in areas they administered. I have previously published a book on the British Counterinsurgency responses to the IV/IRA conflict in Ireland, 1919-1921, entitled 'Dublin Castle and the Anglo-Irish War: Counter Insurgency and Conflict.' I have also published papers on various aspects of that war and also on other insurgencies. I write a regular blog on those and other related matters, which can be read at My research interests include Feminism and De-Colonialisation/Post-Colonialism, Insurgency, Police and Military Histories, Institutional Histories. Subaltern Studies, International History of the 20th Century, Modern Irish History, Historiography, History of Conflict, Peace Keeping/Enforcement/Protectorates, Spheres of Influence, Hegemonic Theories, Old and New Terrorism.
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