Confederate Citizens File
Confederate "Citizens File"
The Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, 1861-1865 (NARA M346), often referred to as the "Citizens File" is a collection consisting of 650,000 vouchers and other documents relating to goods furnished or services rendered to the Confederate government by private individuals and businesses.The 650,000 documents are filed in alphabetically arranged jacket envelopes, similar to those used for the Complied Service Records.
The "Citizens File" was created by the Confederate Archives Division of the Adjutant General's Office years after the war from records created or received by the Confederate War and Treasury Departments that were in the custody of the U.S. War Department. The Citizens File was created to aid in determining the legitimacy of compensation claims Southern citizens filed for property losses allegedly inflicted by Union forces. The records were used by the Treasury and Justice Departments, Southern Claims Commission, Court of Claims, and congressional claims committees to determine whether the person was loyal to the Union or had aided the Confederate government and was therefore not eligible for compensation. 
See a description of these records with sample images at Fold3.
See the official NARA pamphlet explaining these records in detail at M346.pdf.
Where to Find the Records
The Confederate Citizens File is available online. In the future, these records will be made available at no charge through the National Archives web site. The Confederate Citizens File is also available to access at no charge at National Archives research rooms and any library that provides free access to Fold3.com.
- Confederate Citizens File (Fold3) ($)
- United States, Civil War Confederate Papers of Citizens or Businesses, 1861-1865 (FamilySearch) - index only
- Locate these records at a library using Worldcat.
- United States. National Archives and Records Service. Pamphlet Describing M346: Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, 1861-1865. Washington, D.C., National Archives And Record Service, 1982.