United States Civil War Soldiers Index - FamilySearch Historical Records
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United States Civil War Soldiers Index, 1861-1865
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of the United States of America|
|Flag of the United States at the outbreak of the civil war|
|National Archives and Records Administration Logo|
|Record Type||Index to Compiled Service Records|
|Record Group||RG 94 and 109: RG 94 Records of the Adjutant General's OfficeRG 109 War Department Collection of Confederate Records|
|National Archives Identifier||300398586957|
|National Archives and Records Administration|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This index was culled from 6.3 million soldier records in the General Index Cards to the Compiled Military Service Records in the National Archives. This index was a joint project of the U.S. National Park Service, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). This is an index of soldiers who served in the Civil War, 1861 to 1865.
This in an index to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) which is a computerized database containing very basic facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War. The initial focus of the CWSS is the Names Index Project, a project to enter names and other basic information from 6.3 million soldier records in the National Archives. The facts about the soldiers were entered from records that are indexed to many millions of other documents about Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is a cooperative effort by the National Park Service (NPS) and several other public and private partners, to computerize information about the Civil War.
The goal of the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is to increase public understanding of this era in American history. The index was created to enable the public to make a personal link between themselves and their ancestors.
The information in the index is accurate regarding the locator information. However, any index may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
Copies of compiled military service records are available from the National Archives. To request copies follow the instructions in the following link. Requesting Pre-WWI Service Records
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|This collection contains searchable content in the NARA Catalog. They can be accessed by clicking on the National Archives identifier in the Record Description. Once inside the Catalog, click on the "Search Within This Series".|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- Full name
- Whether Union or Confederate
- Soldier's rank
- Sometimes alternate names
- NARA publication and roll numbers
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample of indexed information:
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
To begin your search you need to know :
- The name of your ancestor
- The age of your ancestor
- The military unit in which your ancestor served
- The state and county where your ancestor lived
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- If your ancestor was a union soldier, he may have service or pension records at the National Archives
- If your ancestor was a confederate soldier, he may have service or pension records in the state archives
- Compile the entries for other individuals who have the same surname. This is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been also belonged to the National Guard
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.
- US Military Basic Search Strategies
- Beginning Research in United States Military Records
- Beginning United States Civil War Research
- Locating a Union Civil War Soldier (1861-1865)
- Locating a Confederate Civil War Soldier (1861–1865)
- United States Guided Research
- United States Record Finder
- Research Tips and Strategies
Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]
- AGO Carded Records of Military Organizations... Ainsworth List T817, Civil War, Rolls 44-81
- Compiled records showing service of military units in volunteer Union organizations
Related FamilySearch Historical Record Collections[edit | edit source]
- United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
- United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933
- United States National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938
Related Digital Books[edit | edit source]
- Connecticut Roster
- Massachusetts Roster 8 volumes Catalog Entry
- Minnesota Roster
- New Hampshire Roster
- Ohio Roster 12 Volumes Catalog Entry
- Pennsylvania Roster volumes Catalog Entry
- Vermont Roster
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.