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Civil War Records

Service Records

Civil War Soldier Service Records

What is this collection?

Compiled service records for both Confederate and Union soldiers labeled with each soldier's name, rank, and unit, with links to revealing documents about each soldier. Collections include records for soldiers from over 50 territories and states.

What can I find?

  • Returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers
  • Union prison registers and rolls
  • Parole rolls
  • Inspection reports
  • Originals of any papers relating solely to a particular soldier
  • Military unit

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1860 US Census

About: 1860 US Federal Census sheet. See if you can find Abraham Lincoln's family on this sample 1860 census sheet.

1860 US Census

What is this collection?

Browse the 1860 US census by state, county, and civil division. This particular census is especially helpful in researching the Civil War era and the soldiers who fought in the imminent conflict. Information about each member of a household as of June 1, 1860 and includes the following items.

What can I find?

  • Name, age, and birth place
  • Race
  • Occupation
  • Real and personal estate values
  • If married within the year
  • Wether a person was deaf, dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, a pauper, or a convict

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Civil War Pension Index -James Garfield

About: Index card for James Garfield, President of the United States.

Civil War Pension Index

What is this collection?

This publication contains index cards for pension applications of veterans who served in the U.S. Army between 1861 and 1917, including wars other than the Civil War.

What can I find?

  • Name of soldiers
  • State units & regiments
  • Term of service
  • Death dates and location for veterans after the war
  • Information to request his pension record

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Confederate Amnesty Papers

About: Franklin Thompson "humbly petitions that he may be restored to his rights as an American Citizen."

Confederate Amnesty Papers

What is this collection?

These case files are organized by state, then by petitioner's last name. The majority is predictably from the south, although a few northern states are represented. Applications for pardon were submitted to President Andrew Johnson by former Confederates excluded from the provisions of his amnesty proclamation of May 29, 1865. Most case files are 3-6 handwritten pages, although some are longer.

What can I find?

  • Affidavits
  • Oaths of allegiance
  • Recommendations for executive clemency
  • Other accompanying papers
  • Information to request an applicant's pension record.

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Confederate Citizens File

About: Jack Bryson compensated for baking 726 packages of hard bread.

Confederate Citizens File

What is this collection?

The papers reproduced in this publication were created or received by the Confederate War and Treasury departments. Most are alphabetized vouchers that came into the custody of the US War Department after the Civil War. After being assembled in 1891-92, they were used to facilitate post-war claims cases filed by Southern citizens. The vouchers show goods furnished or services rendered by private citizens and firms to the Confederate government, establishing the disloyalty of Southern claimants.

What can I find?

  • Post-war claims cases filed by Southern citizens
  • Shows goods furnished or services rendered
  • Shows disloyalty of Southern claimants

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Civil War Widows’ Pensions Files

About: Poignant letter detailing the death of Corporal William Brown

Civil War "Widows’ Pensions" Files

What is this collection?

After the war ended, pension applications were submitted by widows and other dependents of Civil War veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. These records are for those pensions approved by the federal government.

What can I find?

  • Pensioner's name (typically the widows’—often giving her maiden name)
  • Where and when a man served
  • Life before the war and his family, including information about his widow, children, and sometimes his parents
  • Direct paper-to-digital (unfilmed textual records)

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Southern Claims Commission

About: Claim for Adam Hiller to be reimbursed for items including "45 large pecan trees"

Southern Claims Commission

What is this collection?

In 1871, the US government established the Southern Claims Commission to address southerners' petitions for compensation of supplies, livestock, and other items taken by the Union troops during the Civil War. More than 20,000 claims were filed.

What can I find?

  • Barred and Disallowed claims
  • Approved claims for Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, and other areas
  • First-person accounts of how civilians survived the war
  • Circumstances regarding loss of property
  • Accounts of each family's history and loyalty to the Union cause

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Navy Survivors' Certificates

About: Pension Document for Benjamin Ackard

Navy Survivors' Certificates

What is this collection?

Also known as the "Civil War and Later Navy Survivors' Certificates," this series of images consists of approximately 26,000 approved pension application files of US Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. Prior to approval, applications were termed "originals"; once approved, a new file number was issued and they were called "certificates." The term "NSCs" refers to Navy Survivors' Certificates.

What can I find?

  • Navy Survivors' Certificates
  • Pension application files

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Navy Widows’ Certificates

About: Certificate for Susan Dunbar

Navy Widows’ Certificates

What is this collection?

Within this publication, you can search approximately 20,000 approved pension applications of widows and other dependents of US Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910, originally filmed by NARA. Search for a name, ship, place, or keyword. Or, use the browse menus to locate a sailor by surname. Case files include where and when a man served, details of his service, his life before the war, and his family, including information about his widow, children, and sometimes his parents.

What can I find?

  • Navy veterans’ surname
  • Pension application of widows and other dependents
  • Ship name
  • Locations

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Civil War Subversion Investigations

About: Baker Case file against Simon Greenbaum and Robert P. Sharp

Civil War Subversion Investigations

What is this collection?

Investigations of subversive activities in the Civil War. Case files were acquired during the war by Associate Judge Advocate Major Levi C. Turner and, after early 1862, by the War Department under Lafayette C. Baker.

What can I find?

  • Suspects, arrests and releases
  • Correspondence
  • Investigating cases
  • Records for civilians and soldiers

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Board of Commissioners - Emancipation of Slaves in DC

About: Petition File for William H. Magurder

Board of Commissioners - Emancipation of Slaves in DC

What is this collection?

These records include minutes of meetings, docket books, and petitions filed under the acts of April 16 and July 12, 1862, pertaining to the emancipation of slaves in the District of Columbia.

What can I find?

  • Minutes of meetings
  • Docket books
  • Filed petitions in DC

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Court Slave Records for DC

About: Record for William Riley

Court Slave Records for DC

What is this collection?

Slavery was abolished in the District of Columbia in April 1862. In order to receive compensation, loyal owners of freed slaves were required to file slave schedules.

What can I find?

  • Emancipation papers with certificates of freedom dates
  • Manumission papers
  • Case papers relating to fugitive slaves

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