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

Dr. Eamonn T. Gardiner, is a Consulting Historian. He has previously conducted research into links between wartime traumatic-neurosis and evidence of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst veterans of the First World War serving as Auxiliary Policemen, during the Anglo-Irish War 1919-1921. He has written extensively on British central and colonial administrative responses to popular insurgencies. In 2009 he published 'Counterinsurgency and Conflict: Dublin Castle and the Anglo-Irish War (CSP, 2009).' Published papers include; 'The training of the Irish Volunteers, 1913-1916' (The Irish Sword, 2017); 'Scattered, Ambushed and Laid Out: War and Counterinsurgency in the greater Tuam area, 1919-1921' (JOTS, 2015). Research interests include De-Colonialisation/Post-Colonialism; Insurgency, Police/Military Histories; Institutional Histories; Modern Irish/World History; History of Conflict, Protectorates and Peace-Keeping; Hegemony; Old and New Terrorism.
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