Pennsylvania in the Civil War

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The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1-3, 1863

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania provided more men to the Union Army, over 360,000, than any state except New York. "Pennsylvania mustered 215 infantry regiments, as well as dozens of emergency militia regiments that were raised to repel threatened invasions in 1862 and 1863 by the Confederate States Army. Twenty-two cavalry regiments were also mustered, as well as dozens of light artillery batteries." [1]

The battle of Gettysburg was fought in southeastern Pennyslyvania. Gettysburg is known as the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy." Several smaller battles were "also fought in Pennsylvania during the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign and during an 1864 cavalry raid that culminated in the burning of much of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The industrial town of York, Pennsylvania, was the largest city in the North to be occupied by the Confederate States Army during the war." [1]

Pennsylvania Military Units[edit | edit source]

Most units were numbered, however, some were named. See the table below for lists of the regiments, battalions, batteries, and unassigned companies.

The information in the lists of Pennsylvania Military Units comes from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors web site. This web site can also be searched by the name of a soldier.

Pennsylvania Units by Number or by Name
Union Units

Pennsylvania Units by Type of Unit
Union Units

Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

1890 Census Veterans Schedules[edit | edit source]

  • 1890 Census Veterans Schedules - The "Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War" (NARA M123) are available online for the state of Pennsylvania. The schedules list Union veterans and their widows living in Pennsylvania in 1890. For more information on the 1890 Veterans Schedules see Union Census Records.

Rosters[edit | edit source]

  • Koelble, Susan S. 'Military Service enrollment books, 1861-1862, Philadelphia 19th & 20th Wards.' (Southampton, Pennsylvania : Bare Roots Pub., c2000), FHL book 974.811 M22k.
  • Samuel Penniman Bates, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65, is a published roster of soldiers and regiments in 5 volumes. (Harrisburg, PA: B. Singerly, 1869-71); on 5 Family History Library films beginning with film 824366 and on 75 microfiche FHL fiche 6083878-6083882. Indexed in the Pennsylvania Civil War Veterans' Card File, 1861-1866 (see below). Individual volumes may be accessed online for free as well: Volume 1; Volume 2; Volume 3; Volume 4; and Volume 5.
  • Pennsylvania Civil War Veterans' Card File, 1861-1866 at the Pennsylvania State Archives. The card file originally indexed Bates, History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65. Later the Adjutant General's office included data found in the original documents. Information on the cards depended on the extractor, but soldier's name, unit, age, physical description, residence, birthplace, date of discharge, etc., may have been extracted. The file is also on 80 Family History Library films beginning with film 1205205.
  • A more recent edition is Samuel P. Bates, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5, 10 vols. (Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot Pub. Co., 1993-1994; Family History Library book 974.8 M2b).
  • An index is Janet Hewett, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861-5, 4 vols. (Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot Pub. Co., 1994. FHL books 974.8 M2b index.
  • The same rosters, with more information, are found in Pennsylvania, Adjutant General's Office, Register of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865. They list the age, when and where joined, when and where mustered, sometimes the residence, and remarks that may include more details than in the published versions above. Family History Library films beginning with 295744
  • For additional names, refer to Pennsylvania, Auditor General's Office, Board of Military Claims, Military Claims Settled, 1862-1905 (on 63 Family History Library films beginning with film 1018582with an index on film 1018581.)
  • Pennsylvania, Auditor General's Office, Military Claims not Settled, 1862-1905, (on 5 Family History Library films beginning with film 1021415).

Each source should be checked for names that are not in the other sources.

Veterans' Card File[edit | edit source]

  • Civil War Veterans' Card File, 1861-1866. Arranged alphabetically by surname of soldier, these 3" x 5" cards were initially prepared to serve as an index to Samuel Penniman Bates' "History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865," (see above). The Office of the Adjutant General later expanded the scope of the cards by transcribing onto them data found on the original Civil War Muster Rolls and Related Records, 1861-1866 {series #19.11}. The information generally includes the soldiers' names, military units, Bates' citations (volume and page), ages at enrollment, descriptions (complexion, height, color of hair and eyes), residences and birthplaces; the dates and places where enrolled; the dates and places where mustered in; and the dates of discharge. The listing is not inclusive.

Service Records[edit | edit source]

  • United States, Adjutant General's Office, Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Pennsylvania lists names that are not in some of the above sources.  (on 136 Family History Library films starting with film 882336).

Some libraries have indexes to service and pension records, but the service and pension records are available only at the National Archives. For more information on service records see Union Service Records.

Pension Records[edit | edit source]

  • Civil War Pension Index Cards - An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. The majority of the records are of Civil War veterans, but the collection also includes records for veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Indian Wars, and World War I. For more information see Union Pension Records.

Pennsylvania Soldiers' Orphan Schools[edit | edit source]

  • James Laughery Paul, Pennsylvania's Soldiers' Orphan schools: Giving a Brief Account of the Origin of the Late Civil War, the Rise and Progress of the Orphan System, ...With brief Sketches and Engravings of the Several Institutions with Names of Pupils Subjoined, illustrated by Frederick Faas This book also gives birth dates of pupils along with their Post Office when at home. FHL film 1697867 item l

Conscientious Objectors[edit | edit source]

Some inhabitants of Pennsylvania opted to stay out of the war for religious and other reasons. The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania has a free online database of men who were conscientious objectors in Pennsylvania for religious reasons.

National Archives Catalog[edit | edit source]

Other Sources[edit | edit source]

  • An important bibliography for this war is Dan A. Nettling, Pennsylvania Military History: A Bibliography. Part II, The Civil War (Carlisle Barracks, PA: U. S. Army Military History Institute, 1992; Family History Library book 974.8 M23p). It is organized by regiment and lists personal papers of some men in the regiment that are in the U.S. Army Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
  • From the state archives, the Family History Library has obtained copies of other manuscript sources, such as lists of wounded soldiers, substitutes, deserters, and veterans in soldiers' homes.
  • The state archives has many other sources, such as Descriptive Books of the G.A.R. [Grand Army of the Republic], 1866-1933. Here entries are arranged by GAR post and may contain the soldier's name, age, birthplace, residence, and details of his Civil War military service.
  • New York. Monuments Commission for the Battlefields of Gettsburg and Chattanooga. Final report on the battlefield of Gettysburg. (Albany, New York : J.B. Lyon, Co., 1900; LaVergne, Tennessee: General Books, 2010), FHL book 974.7 M2nm v. 1, v. 2, v. 3.
  • Sypher, Josiah Rhinehart. 'History of the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps : a complete record of the organization, and of the different companies, regiments and brigades, containing descriptions, expeditions, marches, skirmishes and battles; together with biographical sketches of officers and personal records of each man during his term of service.' (Bethesda, Maryland : University Publications of America, c1992), FHL Fiche 6083961 and (Lancaster, Pennsylvania : E. Barr & Co., 1865), FHL book 974.8 M2sy and file 844512 and (Alexandria, Virginia : Retrospect Publishing, c2004), FHL CD-ROM no. 2215.

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)[edit | edit source]

Grand Army of the Republic founded in 1866 - 1956, was the largest veteran’s organization in the country after the Civil War. It was a fraternal organization members were veterans of the Union Army, US Navy, Marines and Revenue Cutler Service who served in the American Civil War. The group supported voting rights for black veterans, and lobbied the U.S. Congress to establish veterans' pensions. In 1890 the membership was 490,000. In 1888 there were 575 posts and 43,035 members in the state of Pennsylvania

GAR Posts in the State of Pennsylvania

The FamilySearch Catalog list records of the Pennsylvania Grand Army of the Republic.

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War[edit | edit source]

With the death of the last member of the Grand Army of the Republic the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was formed.

[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1, Pennsylvania in the American Civil War, (accessed 11 April 2011]