The Adjutant General of West Virginia is hereby authorized to prepare and secure the publication in book form of a complete roster of all West Virginia soldiers, sailors and marines who entered the service of the United States in the war with Spain in eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, and in the war with the central powers in Europe between nineteen hundred and seventeen, and nineteen hundred and nineteen. The preparation and publication of such roster shall be under the direction and supervision of the Adjutant General who shall employ such assistants and incur such expenses as may be necessary, and the compensation of such assistants and such expenses shall be paid out of funds appropriated for that purpose on the warrant of the Auditor upon presentation of vouchers signed by the Adjutant General.
Such roster shall contain the principal items of the record of each soldier, sailor or marine as shown by the rolls in the office of the Adjutant General of this state and in the war and navy departments of the United States, and shall include a notation of all decorations bestowed upon any soldier, sailor or marine by the United States or any foreign governments. In the preparation of such roster all names shall be arranged in alphabetical order, if possible, or in such a manner as to render all information therein readily accessible. Preparation of the roster shall begin as soon as possible and continue until the work is completed.
The contract for the printing of the roster shall be let to the lowest and best bidder and such contract may be let for the entire roster or bids may be taken for the printing of each volume as completed. Not more than one thousand copies or sets of such roster shall be printed, and when completed shall be delivered to the Adjutant General.
The distribution of such volumes shall be under the direction of the Adjutant General and shall be as follows:
To each member of the Legislature of the year nineteen hundred and twenty-nine, two copies or sets;
To each elective state officer, to be kept as a part of the official records of his office, one copy or set;
To the department of archives and history, one hundred copies or sets for distribution or exchange;
To the Adjutant General, two copies or sets to be retained permanently;
To each public library of the state, one copy or set;
To each college or university library, one copy or set;
To the county clerk of each county of the state, to be kept by his office and transferred to his successor as other public records, one copy or set;
To the Adjutant General of each state, one copy or set;
To the state headquarters of each active, independent veterans' organization or society having two or more subordinate posts, camps or societies within the state, one copy or set.
The remainder of such copies after such distribution shall be delivered by the Adjutant General to the superintendent of public printing of the state and shall be placed on sale by the superintendent of public printing at a price not greater than the cost of publication. The superintendent of public printing shall keep a record of such sales and shall pay into the state Treasury weekly all the amounts received by him as the result of sale of such roster.