Pennsylvania in the Civil War

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Military  Gotoarrow.png  U.S. Civil War  Gotoarrow.png  Pennsylvania  Gotoarrow.png  Military Records  Gotoarrow.png  Pennsylvania in the Civil War

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


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

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
48th- 107th
108th- 169th
170th- 215th
A to Z

Pennsylvania Units by Type of Unit
Union Units
Unassign- ed
Colored Troops

Records and Resources


  • 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); Family History Library book 974.8 M2b; on 5 Family History Library films beginning with 824366.
  • Indexed in Civil War Veterans Card File, 1861-1866. The card file originally indexed the 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 at the Pennsylvania State Archives (on 80 Family History Library films beginning with 1205205).
  • The same rosters, which contain 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 with60253|item|disp=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 1018582, the index is on 1018581); and Pennsylvania, Auditor General's Office, Military Claims not Settled, 1862-1905, (on 5 Family History Library films beginning with 1021415).

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

Veterans' Card File

  • 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

  • United States, Adjutant General's Office, Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Pennsylvania (Family History Library films 882336-471). The index lists names that are not in some of the above sources.

Some libraries have indexes to service and pension records, but the service and pension records are available only at the National Archives. See United States Military Records for more information about these records.

Pension Records

Civil War Pension Index Cards - A free Internet index to pension applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch Record Search. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. Other wars, of that time period, may be included.

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 1993). An index is Janet Hewett, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861-5, 4 vols. (Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot Pub. Co., 1994; Family History Library book 974.8 M2b index).

Conscientious Objectors

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.

Civil War Orphan Records

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, and legislative enactments relating thereto ; with brief sketches and engravings of the several institutions with names of pupils subjoined.   by James Laughery Paul ; illustrated by Frederick Faas (FHL film 1697867 Item 1)  This book also gives birth dates of pupils along with their Post Office when at home.

Other Sources

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 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 not at the Family History Library, such as Descriptive Books of the G.A.R. [Grand Army of the Republic], 1866-1933. Here entries are arranged by post and may contain the soldier's name, age, birthplace, residence, and details of his Civil War military service.

Video, Gettysburg - Civil War Veterans, (accessed 22 March 2011), reunions between 1913 and 1938.


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