Confederate Service Records
Confederate soldiers may have served from a military unit raised by the Confederate Government or by an individual Confederate state. Most Confederate soldiers served with a Unit raised in the community where they lived.
Compiled Service Records
The Compiled Service Records for Confederate soldiers were made by the United States Record and Pension Office in the War department, beginning in 1903. The Record and Pension Office made card abstracts from records in the War Department Collection of Confederate Records and from other borrowed documents. In addition to the cards, original documents that related only to the individual soldier were included.
The card abstracts were made from original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, Union prison registers and rolls, parole rolls, and inspection reports. Service records may provide rank, unit, date of enlistment, length of service, age, place of birth, and date of death. The Compiled Service Records were made in an effort to obtain as nearly complete record of military service as possible at the time.
See card examples and descriptions on Fold3.com.
The Compiled Service Records ($) (Fold3.com) of Confederate soldiers are available online. In the future, these records will be made available at no charge through the National Archives web site. The service records are also available to access at no charge at National Archives research rooms and any library that provides free access to Fold3.com.
Compiled Service Records of Individual States
The following three collections are not needed if searching the collection Compiled Service Records available on Fold3.com. They are include in that database. If you are using the records of the individual states, however, the following three collections should also be searched as they were not included in the compiled service records of the individual states.
- Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in Organizations Raised Directly by the Confederate Government. National Archives Microfilm Publication M258. (FHL films 0880207–329.) (also available on Fold3) ($).
Index. NARA M818.
- Compiled Service Records of Confederate General and Staff Officers and Nonregimental Enlisted Men. National Archives Microfilm Publication M331. (FHL films 0881105–379.) Include those men performing staff duties. (also available on Fold3) ($).
Index. NARA M818.
- Unfiled Papers and Slips Belonging to Confederate Compiled Service Records. National Archives Microfilm Publication M347. (FHL films 1402001–442.) (also available on Fold3) ($).
|Louisiana||Index||M320||1447604–975, 1473206–47||Fold3 ($)|
|North Carolina||Index||M270||1381001–500, 1447001–80||Fold3 ($)|
|South Carolina||Index||M267||1380691–95, 1447081–467||Fold3 ($)|
|Tennessee||Index||M268||1499671–854, 1499856–1500028, 1527065||Fold3 ($)|
For biographical sketches and other information about officers in addition to the service records, see the following:
- More Generals in Gray
- Confederate Staff Officers, 1861–1865
Includes birth,death year; rank, etc. Includes staff.
- Biographical Sketches of the Commissioned Officers of the Confederate States Marine Corps
Includes names of officer, parents, birth date, service history, marriage, and death information.
- Going South: U.S. Navy Officer Resignations and Dismissals On the Eve of the Civil War
The appendix contains information about officers and is arranged by rank.
- List of Field Officers, Regiments and Battalions in the Confederate States Army, 1861–1865
Contains name, rank, and unit.
- Lee’s Colonels: A Biographical Register of the Field Officers of the Army of Northern Virginia
The appendix contains an additional list of 3,524 field officers by name, identifying rank, and unit.
- Register of Officers of the Confederate States Navy, 1861–1865
Some entries list the state of birth, state appointed from, service history, and rank.
- Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders
Contains brief sketches of military service with some pictures and birth and death information.
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows name searching for soldiers. The result set gives the regiments for the soldiers. Then you can check the Wiki regiment pages to determine counties. Often knowing the counties that had men in a regiment will help you determine if a soldier was your ancestor.
- Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, Vol. 1, Series II (Google Books) has published muster rolls and statistical data on ships. The muster rolls list name, grade, and ship.
- Confederate Naval and Marine Personnel Records (FamilySearch) (NARA M260) has information about sailors and Marines abstracted from original documents, such as hospital, prison, and parole records.
- The Confederate States Navy Research Guide (Worldcat) contains biographical sketches of Naval and Marine officers, naval histories of Confederate naval vessels, and a subject bibliography of sources.
- Service Records of Confederate Enlisted Marines (Worldcat) lists name, company, enlistment date, and place along with brief service histories.