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               December, 2011

      Charles Hansen, Editor

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  Confederate Civil War Records
  — by Charles Hansen

       Well I think everyone knows the South lost the Civil War, but in terms of records the South is way ahead of the North in getting records online. Every Confederate state except South Carolina fielded at least one Northern regiment, and Tennessee fielded more Northern regiments than any other southern state.

       A basic infantry unit was a company of 100 men with a captain in command, first and second lieutenants, sergeants and corporals. Companies were labeled A, B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,K. There was no company J as it was too close in sound to company A. Ten companies of 100 men made up a Regiment with a Colonel in command a lieutenant colonel and major assisting. Several regiments made up a brigade, several brigades made up a division, several divisions made up a corps, and several corps made up an army, all led by a general. The North and South had several armies.

       Records, types and locations, the war has been well documented, volumes of records. Service records; rolls, rosters, lists of wounded, dead, deserter, casualty, missing, hospital, prisoners, burials, exchanges, court martial, and promotions available at the National Archives.

       Pensions: payments to veterans and widows after the war, available in state archives or libraries for confederates.

       Regimental histories; day to day records of the regiment, details of actions, lists of soldiers, in a large set of books available in a lot of genealogical libraries, and also available on CDs.

       Internet research: Civil war Soldiers and Sailors System is the place to start, they have 6.3 million names listed in their database. Interesting that the north only had about 1.5 million soldiers and sailors, the South 1.1 million, so how did they find 6.3 million names?? Well not every name was that easy to read so a lot of names are duplicated, which makes searching for your soldier easier.

       The next two places to check are both pay sites, Ancestry and Fold3, both have records of the confederates, including many state records, and pension records.

       Next check the various Confederate State Archives, found on this web site. You might then "Google" Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

       Check this web site (GHLL) and Cyndislist.com for US Military: Civil War, African Americans in the war, Battles, Battlefields, and Cemeteries, American Civil War Research, General resources by States, Prisons and Prisoners, Pensions and Records, and Regimental Histories. The 1910 census listed listed Confederate veterans, so check that. There is an 1890 Federal Civil War Census and it was supposed to be for northern soldiers, but a few confederates do appear in it, some with a line through the name to indicate not a Union soldier.

       The Family History library has copies of the confederate pension records, and there are records of confederate veterans homes. Is this all the records? No, but these are a good start to find information on your Confederate ancestor.


Please Note:  Bill West's Civil War Blog, will also give you some information. click here. There are also links in GHLL for all of the State Archives and many other links, as well as Battles of the American Civil War.



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