United States Civil War 1861 to 1865, Part 2
- 1 General Reference Sources
- 2 Union and Confederate Records
- 3 Union Records
- 4 Confederate Records
- 4.1 Confederate Sources
- 4.2 Confederate Amnesty Records
- 4.3 Confederate Casualty Records
- 4.4 Confederate Cemetery Records
- 4.5 Confederate Census Records
- 4.6 Confederate Citizens File
- 4.7 Confederate Pension Records
- 4.8 Confederate Prisoner of War Records
- 4.9 Confederate Service Records
- 4.10 Confederate Soldier Homes
- 4.11 Confederate Unit Histories
- 4.12 Confederate Society Records
- 4.13 Additional Confederate Sources
- 5 External Links of Interest
- 6 State Civil War Records
General Reference Sources
- U.S. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. 70 Volumes in 127 parts. 1880–1900. Reprint, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: The National Historical Society, 1985. National Archives Microfilm Publication M262. (FHL book 973 M29u; films 0845306–426.) This is an FHL filming of the original volumes. (Also available on CD #51 and #52.) The four series of this compilation, known as the Official Records (OR), contain correspondence, battle reports of officers, information on prisoners, and activities of the war departments of both governments. The Official Records are arranged chronologically within regions. An online version is available at Cornell University Library's "Making of America" site.
A supplement to the official records is also available:
- Hewitt, Janet B., et. al., editor. Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Part I Reports, Part II the Record of Events. Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot Publishing, 1994–. (FHL book 973 M29u.) Part II the Record of Events is a transcription of the National Archive Microfilm Publication M594 (Union) and M861 (Confederate) Compiled Records Showing Service of Military Units in Volunteer Organizations. For more information see the unit histories sections for Union and Confederate military units.
The following is an index to this set:
- Ainsworth, Fred C., and Joseph W. Kirkley. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. . . . General Index and Additions and Corrections. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901. (FHL book 973 M29u index; film 0430054.) Contains names of officers who submitted reports and the names of military units. The names of individual soldiers who were killed, captured, wounded, missing, drafted, and pensioned and the names of political prisoners are not found in the index. You must search the index under the names of battles, regiments, prisons, government agencies, and bureaus for such lists. References to the OR series number (a Roman numeral) are followed by the number of the volume (an Arabic number). You must then refer to the index in that volume to get the page number.
- U.S. Navy Department. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion. 30 Volumes. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1894–1922. National Archives Microfilm Publication M275. (FHL book 973 M2unr; films 1490058–88.) Similar to the official records of the armies, it is known as the ORN (Official Records . . . Navy). Its two series contain reports and correspondence on the Northern blockade of Southern ports and on matters concerning the Confederate Navy. Volume 1, series II has an index to Union and Confederate ships, statistical data, and muster rolls of confederate vessels.
The following is an index to this set:
- Knox, Dudley W. Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion . . . General Index. . . . 1927. Reprint, New York, New York: Antiquarian Press, 1961. (FHL book 973 M2unr index; film 0924604 item 2.) Alphabetically arranged with reference to series and volume number. The page number is located by searching the index in the specific volume referred to in the general index.
A reference aid to the Official Records is:
- Aimone, Alan C., and Barbara A. Aimone. User’s Guide to the Official Records of the American Civil War . Shippinsburg, Pennsylvania: White Maine Publishing, 1993. (FHL book 973 M29ua.) Provides a history of the compilation of the official records.
Other Civil War sources
- Amann, William Frayne, editor. Personnel of the Civil War . Two Volumes. New York, New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1961. (FHL book 973 M2a.) Lists the names of local militias and their Union and Confederate Army designations. It also includes geographical commands of the Confederacy and of generals in the Union Army.
- Bibliography of State Participation in the Civil War. Third Edition. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1913. (FHL film 1465569.) Lists veterans’ organizations; regimental histories; and state, county, and town histories (Northern and Southern) that have rosters of soldiers.
- Davis, George B., et al., Calvin D. Cowles, compiler. The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War, 1891–1895. Reprint, New York, New York: The Fairfax Press, 1978, 1983. (FHL book Atlas Stand 973 E7wd.) This atlas was published to accompany the Official Records.
- Dornbusch, Charles E., compiler. Military Bibliography of the Civil War . Three Volumes. New York, New York Public Library, 1975. Reprint, Volume 4. Dayton, Ohio: The Press of Morningside Bookshop, 1987. (FHL book 973 H2dn; film 1036612 items 1–3.) A bibliography of 8,241 regimental and unit histories, narratives, and biographies for both the North and the South.
- Faust, Patricia L., editor. The Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War. New York, New York: Harper & Row, 1986. (FHL book 973 H26h.) Over 2,000 entries for war related topics including battles, famous regiments, and numerous biographical sketches of military and civilian leaders.
- Katcher, Philip. The Civil War Source Book. New York, New York: Facts on File, 1992. (FHL book 973 M2ka.) Biographies of important leaders; a state‑by‑state analysis of state militias; descriptions of the Federal and Confederate forces, U.S. Veteran Volunteers, Signal Corps, Sanitary Commission, and Medical Department; a section on the life of the common soldier; and a general history of the war.
- Long, E.B., and Barbara Long. The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac 1861–65. 1971. Reprint, New York, New York: Da Capo Press, 1987. (FHL book 973 M2leb.) A chronology of important military and political actions.
- Navy Department. Naval History Division, compiler. Civil War Naval Chronology. 6 parts. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1961–65. (FHL film 1550320.) A chronological listing of the naval war and important events.
- Silverstone, Paul H. Warships of the Civil War Navies. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1989. (FHL book 973 M2sil.) Gives brief service histories of naval vessels and includes many photographs of naval ships.
- Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion (Bethesda, Maryland : University Publications of America, c1990; original published: Des Moines : Dyer Publishing Co., 1908), 1796 pages. Compiled and arranged from official records of the Federal and Confederate armies, reports of the Adjutant Generals of the several states, the Army registers and other reliable documents and sources. Part 1. Number and organization of the armies of the United States.--Part 2. Chronological record of the campaigns, battles, engagements, actions, combats, sieges, skirmishes, etc., in the United States, 1860 to 1865.--Part 3. Regimental histories. Digital copy at Google Books. Microfiche copy at FHL 6082598 Book copies at Other Libraries.
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. American Civil War Newspapers (accessed 1 June 2011). This is an index with digital images of newspapers. The newspapers will include samples of Union and Confederate, urban and small town, Eastern and Western newspapers. It is an on-going project.
Union and Confederate Records
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System of the National Park Service is a free Internet index of both Union and Confederate service records. Images and an index of these service records are also available at Fold3.com, ($) a subscription Internet site, also available at selected libraires.
This Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System index was compiled in cooperation with the National Archives, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Genealogical Society of Utah, and numerous volunteers are working together to make a computerized index to Union and Confederate soldiers. When completed, this index will be available at National Park Service Civil War sites. The database will have 5.5 million names (some names will be duplicated because of spelling variations and multiple enlistments). They will also tell whether the soldier was Union or Confederate and will give regiment and rank.
This site contains basic facts about soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, a list of regiments, identifications and descriptions of 384 significant battles, references that identify the sources of the information in the database, and suggestions for where to find additional information. It also includes a search of the 235,000 names in the “U.S. Colored Troops”.
Provost Marshals File
The Union provost marshals were the military police of the Civil War. They sought out and arrested deserters, Confederate spies, and civilians suspected of disloyalty. They also investigated the theft of Government property, controlled the passage of civilians in military zones and those using Government transportation, confined prisoners and maintained records of paroles and oaths allegiance. To learn more about the Provost Marshals' File see Union Provost Marshals File.
Southern Claims Commission
In 1871 Congress authorized a commission to receive, examine, and consider the claims of citizens from Southern states that remained loyal to the U.S. government during the war for stores or supplies taken or furnished to the U.S. Army. Southerners from 12 states (West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas) filed claims before the Southern Claims Commission. To learn more about these records see Southern Claims Commission.
Union Casualty Records
The "Final Statements, 1862-1899" are records of soldiers who served in Regular Army units that were discharged by "reason of death" between the years 1862 and 1899. To learn more about the "Final Statements" see Union Casualty Records
Union Cemetery Records
Nearly 359,000 soldiers in the Union forces lost their lives during the Civil War. Records can be found on the national, state and local level. See Union Cemetery Records to begin your search on the national level. Local histories often include information about Civil War veterans. See links to individual states and localities to find more information
Union Census Records
As part of the regular enumeration of the population in 1890, a special enumeration was also done of Union veterans and widows. The 1910 Census and some state censuses also asked questions related to Civil War service. See Union Census Records for more information.
Union Draft Records
By 1863 it became necessary for the federal government to enroll and draft men into the Army. The Conscription Act declared that men between the ages of 20 and 45 were eligible for duty. Aliens who had filed their declaration of intention to become citizens were also eligible. Records relating to the draft are at the National Archives in Record Group 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau, and have not yet been microfilmed. See Union draft records for more information.
Union Pension Records
The pension law governing claims based on death or disability from military service was passed on 14 July 1862. Later pension laws were based on length of service and disability not necessarily incurred in the service. Beginning in 1892 women who were employed as nurses by the government were also eligible for pensions.
An index to all Union pension records can now be accessed at Fold3.com($). This database includes images of the original records. Fold3 is available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and family history centers worldwide as well as National Archives research rooms. This index, but without images is also available at FamilySearch in the collection Civil War Pension Index Cards. For additional information and sources see Union Pension Records.
Union Prisoner of War Records
Union Service Records
Service records generally give the time and place of enlistment, time served in a particular unit, and date of discharge. Some records also include battles fought and any exemplary service. Usually, if the soldier died in service, this will be included in the service record. For additional information see Union Service Records.
Union Soldier Homes
For information on Union Soldier Homes and soldier homes in general see US Military Old Soldiers Home Records.
Union Unit Histories
Many state volunteer regiments had published histories. The histories have biographical data on officers and unit rosters of members, and they often provide clues to the town or county where the soldiers were living when they enlisted. See Union unit histories for sources and more information..
Union Society Records
The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). This was the major veterans’ organization after the war. It reached its largest membership in the 1890s with about 400,000 members. This organization was formed on April 6, 1866 in Decatur, Illinois. Its origins was that of a benevolent society for Union Civil War veterans but it became a powerful vetrans' organization and membership was open to honorably discharged Union soldiers, sailors, or marines. By 1900 there were 6, 928 posts nationwide with almost half a million members. Read more about them at Carnegie Carnegie.
Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). This society was organized by officers of the Union Army in 1865.
For more information about each of these societies see Union Veterans' and Lineage Society Records.
Additional Union Sources
- New York Public Library, "USSC Civil War Soldiers Inquiry Database" on the U.S. Sanitary Commission collection of records of over 9,000 sick, wounded, or missing Union servicemen to answer inquiries from their relatives.
- U.S. Army Heritage Collection Online has links to resource guides, finding aids, and catalog to the manuscript, photograph, and book collections at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. Parts of these collections are digitized can be found through this link.
- Brown, J. Willard. The Signal Corps in the War of the Rebellion. 1896. Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Butternut and Blue, 1996. (FHL book 973 M2bt.) Contains a roster of soldiers in the signal corps; includes present address of each soldier and a brief service history.
- Canney, Don L. Lincoln’s Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organization, 1861–65. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1998. (FHL book 973 M3ca.)
- Gibson, Charles Dana, and E. Kay Gibson, compilers. Dictionary of Transports and Combat Vessels, Steam and Sail, Employed by the Union Army, 1861–1865. Camden, Maine: Ensign Press, 1995.
- Lord, Francis A. Civil War Sutlers and their Wares. New York, New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1969. (FHL book 973 H2lf.) Contains a list of sutlers’ names.
- Lord, Francis A. They Fought for the Union. New York, New York: Bonanza Books, 1960. (FHL Book 973 M2lf.) Discusses the various aspect of army life for the common soldier and organization.
- Prechtel-Kluskens, Claire. “Wagonmasters Serving the Union during the Civil War .” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 85. (Dec. 1997): 295–311. (FHL book 973 B2ng.) Contains information about wagonmasters during the war.
- Strait, Newton Allen. Roster of Regimental Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons in the U.S. Medical Department During the Civil War . 1882. Reprint, Gaithersburg, Maryland: Olde Soldier Books, 1989. (FHL book 973 M2rr; 1882 ed.) Lists name, unit, residence, and date of service for each surgeon.
- Valuska, David L. The African-American in the Union Navy: 1861–1865. New York, New York: Garland Publishing, 1993. (FHL book 973 F2vaj.) Contains a roster of African-American sailors.
- Welcher, Frank J. The Union Army 1861–1865: Organizations and Operations. Two Volumes. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1989–93. (FHL book 973 M2wf.) Provides historical background on the operations of the military divisions of the army, departments of the army, field armies, army corps, organizations, and battles and campaigns.
- Wiley, Bell Irvin. The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1980, 1983. (FHL book 973 M2wb.) Provides a historical sketch of the everyday life of a Union soldier.
- Bethel, Elizabeth, compiler. Preliminary Inventory of the War Department Collection of Confederate Records (Record Group 109). Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1957. (FHL book 973 A33npi no. 101.)
Additional Confederate records are at state archives and historical societies. For state service records, search the Wiki by state and "military records."
The following archive may also be helpful in researching your Confederate ancestor:
Confederate Research Center
P.O. Box 619
Hillsboro, TX 76645
Telephone: 817-582-2555, ext. 242
Confederate Amnesty Records
When Andrew Johnson pardoned Confederates on May 29, 1865, at the end of the Civil War, some had to apply for pardons because they were not granted amnesty in the proclamation issued. The records associated with the pardon applications are commonly referred to as the Amnesty Papers. To learn more about the Amnesty Papers see Confederate Amnesty Records.
Confederate Casualty Records
The "Confederate Casualty Reports" are lists of casualties together with narrative reports of the action submitted to the Confederate War Department by units of the Confederate Army. The reports contain information on Confederate soldiers killed, wounded, and missing. For more information see Confederate Casualty Records.
Confederate Cemetery Records
About 250,000 Confederate soldiers died in the war. Most died of disease, but others were killed during battle or died in prison camps or hospitals. For information on where these soldiers may be buried see Confederate Cemetery Records.
Confederate Census Records
Federal and state censuses recorded specific information on Confederate soldiers for more information see Confederate Census Records.
Confederate Citizens File
NARA M346 known as the "Citizens File" These original records pertain to goods furnished or services rendered to the Confederate government by private individuals or business firms. This is a useful resource for documenting ancestors who lived in the Confederate States of America or slave owners. See Confederate Citizens File for more information.
Confederate Pension Records
Pensions were granted to Confederate veterans, widows, and orphans by the former Confederate states. Many states provide an online index to Confederate service records. In addition, some have links to images of the records. The Family History Library has an excellent collection of available Confederate pension records.For further information see Confederate Pension Records.
Confederate Prisoner of War Records
There is a microfilm set of 145 Microfilm reels of 429 volumes naming Confederate-held prisoners. See Confederate Prisoner of War Records.
Confederate Service Records
The compiled service records for Confederate soldiers have been indexed and microfilmed. Service records for Confederate soldiers are organized under each state from which the soldier served. 98-100% of Confederate service records are located on Fold3 ($). In addition, other master indexes to the compiled service records of Confederate enlisted soldiers and officers are:
- Consolidated Index to Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers. National Archives Microfilm Publication M253. (FHL films 0191127–661.)
- Hewett, Janet B., editor. The Roster of Confederate Soldiers, 1861–1865. 16 volumes. Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot Publishing, 1995–96. (FHL book 975 M2rc.) A transcription of the consolidated index described above. Entries contain name, state, unit, and company.
For further information see Confederate Service Records.
Confederate Soldier Homes
Many Southern states maintained soldier homes for Confederate veterans. For more information on where to find Confederate home records see Confederate Soldiers Home Records.
Confederate Unit Histories
Some Confederate military units have published histories. These explain the unit’s role in the war, give biographical data on officers, and usually provide a unit roster of its members.
See Confederate Unit Histories for more information.
Confederate Society Records
For information on the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the United Sons of the Confederacy and other society records see Confederate Veterans and Lineage Society Records.
Additional Confederate Sources
- Brock, R.A. The Appomattox Roster: A List of the Paroles of the Army of Northern Virginia Issued at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. 1887. Reprint, New York, New York: Antiquarian Press, 1962. (FHL book 975.5 M23br; film 0896966 item 2.) This is indexed and lists the names, ranks, and units of the soldiers.
- Current, Richard N., editor. Encyclopedia of the Confederacy. Four Volumes. New York, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993. (FHL book 973 M2ec.) Contains historical sketches on campaigns and battles, social and cultural aspects of the Confederacy as well as biographical sketches of both political and military leaders. A bibliography is included at the end of each sketch.
- Nine, William G., and Ronald G. Wilson. The Appomattox Paroles April 9–15, 1865. Lynchburg, Virginia: H. E. Howard, 1989. (FHL book 975.5 M2vc, Volume 12.) Lists the name, regiment, and company of those paroled from the Army of Northern Virginia.
- Still, William N., Jr., editor. The Confederate Navy: The Ships, Men and Organization, 1861–1865. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1996. (FHL book 973 M2cfn.) This book discusses many topics of the Confederate Navy, including chapters on seamen, landsmen, firemen and coal heavers, the Marines, and shipboard life.
- Wiley, Bell Irvin. The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press, 1984. (FHL book 973 M2wl.) This book describes the army life of the Confederate soldier.
External Links of Interest
- National Archives and Records Administration This website introduces basic research sources, how to compile a soldier’s history, where to find records, war photographs and maps, and other records.
- The American Civil War Center at Tredegar (Richmond, Virginia)
- Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet This web site provides links to American Civil War genealogical sites, including: African-Americans, battles, forts, general resources, state-by-state resources, hospitals, libraries and archives, mailing lists, pension records, prisoners, publications, researchers, regimental rosters and histories, and societies. You can find valuable information about your ancestor using these records.
- http://sunsite.utk.edu/civil-war/ Includes lists of Civil War websites.
- Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System by the National Parks Service.
- The American Civil War forming a more perfect union by the National Parks Service.
- American Civil War Photographs Online Catalog The collection includes thousands of photos of soldiers, enlisted men and officers. Ordering a preview copy is no charge. High quality reproductions can be order for $15-25 each. See Dick Eastman's review dated 27 April 2006 of this web site
- Alexander Street Press provides three (3) great databases through their subscription site available in the Family History Library and at Family History Centers. They are Images of the American Civil War, The American Civil War: Letters & Diaries and The American Civil War Database.
- Foulk, Beth. Civil War Genealogical Research (46 minute online video) FamilySearch Research Classes Online, and Mid-Continent Public Library, Midwest Genealogy Center, 2010.
- Military Records: Civil War (35 minute online video) FamilySearch Research Classes Online, 2010.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) "Civil War Collection" includes searchable online images of maps and charts as well as documents, biographies, and documents.
- Center for Civil War Research has lists of Civil War cemeteries, recommended readings, and web sites.
Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:
- Texas Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Texas, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- United States Civil War Pension Index (FamilySearch History Records)
- United States, Records of Confederate Prisoners of War (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Utah, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- West Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 (FamilySearch Historical Records)