United States, Civil War Investigations of Disloyal Activities (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.

Collection Time Period

The records cover the years 1861 to 1866.

Record Description

The collection consists of case files of Army Judge Advocate Levi C. Turner, 1862-1866 and Provost Marshal and Special Agent Lafayett C. Baker, 1861-1865. The case files are of investigations of subversive (disloyal) activities during the Civil War. The files relate to arrest, parole, and release of suspects of both civilians and soldiers. The activities investigated concerned such things as giving aid to the Confederacy, resisting the draft, discouraging enlistments, blockade runners, and State prisoners held in Federal prisons. The records are from RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s-1917 and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M797. The index is courtesy of Fold3 (formerly Footenote).

Record Content

The index contains the following information:

  • Case File Group, Number and Rang
  • Name
  • Date
  • Place
  • Occupation
  • Fold3 (Footnote) ID
  • NARA Publication Number and Title
  • NARA Roll Number

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The name of the person
  • Any nicknames or alias names
  • The approximate date
  • The residence

Check the surname index

Name indexes make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned. Search the index for your ancestor. If you find you ancestor’s name in the index, make note of the page or image number listed.

Find the image

From the list of index pages or images, search those you have listed. Compare the information in the records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors. The following examples show ways you can use the information:

  • Use the name, date, and place or residence, to find the ancestor or family in census records.
  • Use the place or residence to locate church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Remeber to search for all known names including nicknames and aliases
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as your ancestor as they may be relatives.
  • Occupations or businesses may be leads to additional records such as bank or other military records.

Record History

The Federal government was concerned about subversive activities and began investigating them as early as 1842. Concern increased after the outbreak of the Civil War. Many persons suspected of engaging i n treasonable or disloyal activities were arrested and imprisoned. In February 1862 the authority to make such arrests was transferred to the War Department.The records in this set are of the investigations by Army Judge Advocate Levi C. Turner, 1862-66, and by Provost Marshal and Special Agent Lafayette C. Baker, 1861-65. These records relate to investigations of subversive activities during the Civil War. This series of records is also known as the "Turner-Baker papers." 

Why This Record Was Created

The records were created as a permanent records of the investigations.

Record Reliability

The records are very reliable.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

  • “Delaware Marriage Records,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 4 March 2011), entry for William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, married 23 November 1913; citing marriage certificate no. 859; FHL microfilm 2,025,063; Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
  • “El Salvador Civil Registration,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 21 March 2011), entry for Jose Maria Antonio del Carmen, born 9 April 1880; citing La Libertad, San Juan Opico, Nacimientos 1879-1893, image 50; Ministerio Archivo Civil de la Alcaldia Municipal de San Salvador.

Sources of information for This Collection

"United States,Civil War Investigations of Disloyal Activities,1861-1866." FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org). RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780s-1917. NARA M797. National Archive and Record Service, Washington D.C. Fold3 digital images. Fold3, Orem Utah.