U.S. Civil War History & Genealogy
YOUR CIVIL WAR ANCESTORS...
Where to Begin.
So... you've found you have a "Civil War" ancestor... what now?
First you will want to order 6 sets of NATF (National Archives Trust Fund) Form 86 so you can send for his military and pension records.
You can do so at: http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/tools.htm
(There is a link on the right side of the page to click on that will bring up an
email form, fill it out and send it)
or you may write to (again requesting 6 copies):
Textual Reference Branch (NWDT1)
National Archives and Records Administration
7th and Pennsylvania Av NW
Washington, DC 20408
When you receive the forms, you will need to provide
the last name of your soldier or sailor. You should
include his first initial or better yet his full name.
You must also provide his military unit, ie:
4th Delaware, Twenty-sixth Mississippi Infantry,
USS Monitor, CSS Alabama or whatever it may be.
Take two complete sets of forms and fill out the first
one checking that you want Pension Records.
On the second one, check that you want Military Records.
If your soldier was an enlisted volunteer, the chances are
that not more than 10 pages of records exist. If however,
your soldier was an officer, there is a much better
chance that there are extensive records.
If you have reason to believe from the rank and position of
responsibility that there may be more than 10 pages of records,
the best thing to do here is to staple a note or write across the top
of your NATF forms, "Copy complete File" .
If records show your ggrandfather was given a court-martial,
(probably a big family secret) pull out another NATF form,
fill it out and either staple or write a note across the top
"Please copy all court-martial records"
Also, if records show that your soldier was sick, wounded
or disabled in anyway--pull out yet another NATF form,
fill it out and this time write "Please copy complete medical records".
Unless you ask specifically for the court-martial or medical records,
you will never even know they exist.
If you don't know the Regiment your ancestor was in,
you may want to check some of the following references.
If your soldier was Union, you can write to the
appropriate State Archives, giving his name and any
other pertinent info you may have.
You can visit your Regional Branch of the National Archives
and check the name and all the various spellings yourself in their indexes.
Of course the very best thing to do is to go to
the National Archives in Washington, DC.
If you can't get to your Regional Branch of the National Archives
or to the National Archives in Wash. D.C., your local
FHC (Family History Center of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints) is a
wonderful place to look for military information. They have much
of the same info that is available in the Archives branches
Original records, however, are only available in the National Archives
Another option is:
The Roster of Union Soldiers; 1861 - 1865;
Edited by Janet B. Hewett; Published by Broadfoot
Wilmington, North Carolina. As an update (10/21/02),
this is complete now - 33 Volumes - 3,000,000+ names
- Maine & New Hampshire
- Vermont & Massachusetts (Aaron, Otis F. - Grutter,
- Massachusetts (Guared, Thomas - Zydoe, Albert)
- Missouri (A-P)
- Missouri (P-Z); Kansas; Arkansas; Louisana; North
Carolina; Texas; Alabama; Florida; Georgia; Mississippi
- New Jersey & Deleware
- New York (Aab, Geroge - Culyler, James)
- New York (Cumber, John - Hemtson, Robinson A.)
- New York (Hen, Baker - McKuman, James)
- New York (McLachlon, Archibald - Scoville, Winslow L.)
- New York (Scrace, Samuel - Zyraggen, Joseph)
- Ohio (A-F)
- Ohio (F-M)
- Ohio (M-S)
- Ohio (S-Z)
- Pennsylvania (Aaler, Martin - Fory, John)
- Pennsylvania (Fosbemier, Levi - Mazy, Joseph)
- Pennsylvania (McAalccher, Levi - Smythes, Samuel A.)
- Rhode Island - Connecticut
- US Colored Troops (Aanderson, Henry - Jente, Peter)
- U.S. Colored Troups (Joost, John J.H. - Zumwalt, Levi)
- Other states completed are: Maryland; District of Columbia; West Virginia; Virginia; Illinois; Indiana; Minnesota; Iowa; Kentucky; Tennessee; Wisconsin; Arizona; California; Colorado; Dakota: Nebraska; Nevada: New Mexico: Oregon; Utah; Washington; and Regular Army (enlisted and officers). But the volume numbers are unknown at this time.
If your soldier was Confederate you will want to check the following:
The Roster of Confederate Soldiers 1861-1865
Edited by Janet B. Hewett
Published by Broadfoot Publishing Co.
Wilmington NC 1995
There are 16 Volumes of these rosters
all assembled in Surname Alphabetical order
listing their Regiment & Company
One must have book is called
"Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor"
by Bertram Hawthorne Groene
published by John F. Blair, 1973
Another is: "Portals to Hell - Military Prisons of the Civil War"
by Lonnie R. Speer
Published by Stackpole Books, 1997
This is the ONLY consolidated gathering of prison
camp information we have seen.
If your gggrandfather's Regiment fought for the Union, and you want
the history of that Regiment, you will want to check the following:
A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion
by Frederick H. Dyer
3 Volumes (Union) with a complete set of Regimental Histories in Volume III
and just recently available online
For regimental histories of Confederate Armies, see:
Compendium of the Confederate Armies
by Stewart Sifakis @ 1992
Published by the Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group
Compendium comes in 10 volumes
each featuring different states or
groups of states. They are as follows:
Florida and Arkansas
Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and Indian Units
South Carolina and Georgia
Here are some web sites you might find interesting and helpful:
U.S. Army MIlitary History Institute
23 Ashburn Drive
Carlisle, PA 17013-5008
Civil War Photos
The following site has MANY Civil War links -
Rosters, Histories, Battlefields, etc.
American Civil War Alphabetic List of Civil War Battles
Civil War Music
One stop Mall for Info about the Great American Civil War
U.S. Civil War Center at Louisiana State University
the above site gives you links to MANY Civil War sites
Dictionary of Old Diseases
Civil War Links
includes links to The Civil War Center, Civil War Mail Members websites,
Civil War Rosters, John Henderson Freeman Diary,
Dyer's Compendium, Confederate Military History: What is CMH? Oficial Records: What is the OR?
Substitures and Conscripts, Civil War List Success: Julie Bright, Smith Family Letters,
32nd TN CSA, The Civil War Homepage, Civil War Ancestory Genealogy Help Page,
Cindi Howell's Civil War Research Links, The Fenian Brotherhood, Search Texas Pensionsers List,
People interested in specific units, soc.history.war.us-civil-war, Civil War Reenactors Homepage,
Sons of Confederate Veterans, and Sons of Union Veterans
Cemetery Index - US Civil War Center
you can search burials at the following cemeteries
Barrancas National Cemetery (FL)
They are updating all the time so be sure to go back often
Bay Pines Cemetery (FL)
Camp Butler National Cemetery (IL)
Camp Chase National Cemetery (OH)
Chalmette National Cemetery (LA)
City Point National Cemetery (VA)
Cold Harbor National Cemetery (VA)
Cypress Hills (NY)
Danville National Cemetery (KY)
Fairhaven Memorial Park and Mortuary (CA)
Fayetteville National Cemetery (AR)
Finn's Point (NJ)
Fort Harrison National Cemetery (VA)
Fort Snelling National Cemetery (MN)
Glendale National Cemetery (VA)
Grafton National Cemetery (WV)
Lexington National Cemetery (KY)
Mill Springs National Cemetery (KY)
Mobile National Cemetery (AL)
Mount Olivet Cemetery (LA) (currently incomplete)
Philadelphia National Cemetery (PA)
Richmond National Cemetery (VA)
Santa Ana National Cemetery (CA)
Seven Pines National Cemetery (VA)
St. Augustine National Cemetery (FL)
Union Mound Cemetery (MD)
Sources used: "Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor"
by Bertram Hawthorne Groene
"The Source, A Guidebook of American Genealogy"
Edited by Arlene Eakle & Johni Cerny
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