I'm making some progress in my Confederate widows project. Here's what I've done so far.
First I looked at women who were heads of households in the 1870 Dallas County, Arkansas census. I only looked at Chester Township where my ancestors are from at first because I wanted to keep the group small. After that I went to a website I know that lists Arkansas Confederate Civil War veterans. The Original Arkansas Genealogy Project, Civil War From this website I pulled down all the men from units who enlisted in Dallas County or who were listed as being from Dallas County. I tried comparing the surnames of the women to this list with not a lot of success and so I tried a different approach.
I went to the Family History Library in Salt Lake on Friday and looked at Probate records from Dallas County, Arkansas. I started in the year 1861 and went through page by page until about 1865 and recorded all the names of men. If widows were listed, I recorded their names. I then took this list and compared it to the names of the enlisted men and hooray, I came up with some matches.
My next steps will be to track down their families in the 1860 census. Try to determine their ages and if they were married when they died and then what happened to their wives. I am hoping that I will be able to find at least a few families I can trace from which to write my paper on.
Wish me luck. I'll keep you posted!