Union Draft Records

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United States
Civil War, 1861-1865
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United States Gotoarrow.png U.S. Military Gotoarrow.png U.S. Civil War Gotoarrow.png Draft Records

Union Draft Records[edit | edit source]

By 1863 it became necessary for the federal government to enroll and draft men into the Army. The Conscription Act declared that men between the ages of 20 and 45 were eligible for duty. Aliens who had filed their declaration of intention to become citizens were also eligible. The draft lasted until 1865, when the war ended. The records are part of Record Group 110 Records of the Provost Marshal General's Bureau.

Who was subject to the draft:

  • All males between 20 and 45 were subjected to the draft.

Who was exempt:

  • Men who were mentally or physically impaired
  • The only son of a widow
  • The son of infirm parents
  • A widower with dependent children

Note: A few paid a substitute to serve for them. (The going price was around $300, but quickly went to $1,100 or more.)

National Archives Catalog - Related Collections Selected

Consolidated Enrollment Lists[edit | edit source]

The "Consolidated Enrollment Lists, compiled 1863 - 1865" 620 volumes (National Archives Catalog ID: 4213514 / MLR Number NM-65 172) consist of registers of men eligible for the draft.

The consolidated lists are arranged by state, then by congressional district, and then alphabetically by the first letter of the surname. The lists give name, place of residence, age as of 1 July 1863, occupation, marital status, place of birth, and former military service.

The records were divided into three parts, or classes:

  • Class I - men 20-35 subject to military duty and unmarried men 36-44 subject to military duty.
  • Class II - married men 36-44.
  • Class III - volunteers.

Other titles for this collection:

  • "Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registrations, 1863-1865"
  • "Draft Enrollment Registers"

FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Determining Congressional District:

Determining the congressional district in which a person lived can be helpful when searching the records, especially in cases where the persons name is very common. The following lists Civil War era congressional districts outlining which counties were located in which districts:

  • "Congressional Directory for the Second Session of the Thirty‑eighth Congress of the United States of America" 1865 (FHL 973 E4uc 1865; film 1425543 item 6.) This is arranged alphabetically by state, then by Congressional district. The counties are included in each district.

Where to Find the Records[edit | edit source]


National Archives Preliminary Inventories Record Group 110[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Case Files

There are also some case files on drafted aliens in National Archives Record Group 59, General Records of the Department of State. These are arranged alphabetically and include name, age, district from which drafted, country of citizenship, and length of residence in the United States.

Descriptive Rolls

These are arranged the same as the Consolidated Lists and include a physical description of the enrollee, birthplace, and whether accepted or rejected for service.

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

Civil War draft or enrollment records are discussed in: