United States, Civil War Unfiled Papers of Confederate Soldiers (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.
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Collection Time Period

These records date from the beginning to the end of the Civil War 1861–1865.

Record Description

The collection consists of unfiled papers and slips of Confederate service records of soldiers that were not interfiled in the compiled service records. The card abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, Union prison registers and rolls, parole rolls, inspection reports; and the originals of any papers relating solely to the particular soldier. The collection is alphabetically arranged by surname. This collection is a part of RG 109 War Department Collection of Confederate Records and is National Archives Microfilm Publication M347. The index courtesy of Fold3 (formerly Footnote.com).

Record Content

The key genealogical facts of this record usually includes:

  • Full name of Confederate Soldier
  • Where the soldier was born
  • Date of Death
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Place of Death
  • The certificate number
  • When the record was reported and when it was returned

How to Use the Record

To begin your search you will need to know the following:

  • Full name
  • Other identifying information such as birth date or residence

If you are having difficulty finding your ancestor, look for variations in the spelling of the name. If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.

Compare the information in the record 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.

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 that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. This information will often lead you to other records.

For example:

  • Death dates may lead to death certificates, mortuary, or burial records.
  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records.

You may also find these search tips helpful:

  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been seeking the pension.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Record History

When the Confederate government evacuated Richmond, many Confederate records were sent away, destroyed, or left behind. Some of the records found their way into the hands of the Union Army and were forwarded to the War Department. In July 1865, the Adjutant General established a bureau for the “collection, safekeeping, and publication of Rebel Archives.” In 1903 the Secretary of War persuaded the Governors of most Southern States to lend Confederate military personnel records to the War Department for copying.

Why the Record Was Created

This record was created because the War Department wanted to keep records of who served during the Civil War and who/how many soldiers have died during that time.

Record Reliability

These records are generally reliable

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

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 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 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, Civil War Unfiled Papers of Confederate Soldiers." FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org). Record Group 109, M0347. War Department Collection of Confederate Records. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. FHL Microfilm, 422 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.