United States, Records of Confederate Prisoners of War (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

These records are for the years 1861 to 1866.

Record Description

This collection consist of 429 volumes of Confederate Prisoners of War records, most of which are from the War Department's Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners. Others are from the Surgeon General's Office, a few Army commands, and individual prison camps. This collection consists of the following lists and registers:

  • Prisoners
  • Prisoners Deaths and Burials
  • Applications for Release and Released Prisoners
  • Prisoners Paroled, Transferred, Escaped, Sentenced, and Exchanged
  • Confederate Deserters
  • Political prisoners
  • Passes issued to visitors
  • Prisoners released for employment on public works
  • Prisoners enlisting in United States Service
  • Clothing issued
  • Prisoners' Possessions, Accounts, Articles and money received
  • Account of checks and packages received for prisoners
  • Letters sent and received
  • Receipts for letters containing money
  • Morning Reports of Patients and Attendants in the Prison Hospital
  • Oaths of Allegience
  • Roll Call books
  • Statistical Reports
  • Miscellaneous Reports
  • Correspondence of the Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners
=== Record Content  ===

How to Use the Record

Record History

"The War Department appointed Lt. Col. William Hoffman to be Commissary General of Prisoners in October 1861. Col. Hoffman was responsible for overseeing the handling and treatment of Confederate prisoners of war. In July 1862, the War Department established the Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners, an independent agency within the Department, which was responsible for the supervision of Confederate prisoners of war and political prisoners confined in Union prisons. The Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners was abolished and the Confederate records eventually became part of the Collection of Confederate Records in the War Department. That collection now comprises National Archives Record Group 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records."

Confederate Prisoner Records

Why this Record Was Created

Opposing armies kept an account of war prisoners so as to effectively trade them for their own soldiers. Prisoners were exchanged on the following basis:

  • 1 general = 46 privates
  • 1 major general = 40 privates
  • 1 brigadier general = 20 privates
  • 1 colonel = 15 privates
  • 1 lieutenant colonel = 10 privates
  • 1 major = 8 privates
  • 1 captain = 6 privates
  • 1 lieutenant = 4 privates
  • 1 noncommissioned officer = 2 privates

Union and Confederate Prisoner of War Camps

Record Reliability

Record accuracy depends largely on the accuracy of the document authors and may be subject to inacurracies.

Related Websites

Confederate Prisoner Records

Union and Confederate Prisoner of War Camps

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 

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A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023

Sources of Information for This Collection

United States. War Department's Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners; Surgeon General's Office. Selected Records to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865. Record Group 109, NARA publication M598. Federal Archives and Records Center. Washington D.C.