Monday, July 10, 2006

Civil War Records

I talked to a researcher at the library this morning who was trying to find Civil War military records for her ancestors.

I recommended Joe Beine's Military Indexes site at The Civil War page is here and neatly summarizes the records available online.

The National Park Service web site here provides basic Union soldier information, but not Confederate information or compiled service records. The search function is limited - hopefully it will be improved. (paid subscription required) has Union and Confederate compiled service records for soldiers in abstract form. They also have a list of the Union Pension applications and some other databases.

The Military Indexes site has a great list of state-by-state resources that can be useful. For instance, in the Massachusetts list I found that Isaac Seaver III had been in the 4th Regiment Heavy Artillery. Unfortunately, the service history for that regiment has not been added to their site yet.

You can go to a National Archives center and see the compiled service records of your Civil War ancestor on microfilm. The Civil War records page at the Archives is here.

The Civil War Pension File for my great-great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver, was full of family information and is the only source I have for information about his third wife and her family. My dear uncle, Edward R. Seaver, wrote for the file about 15 years ago and excitedly sent it to me - he was so happy to find that he was descended from a Civil War soldier and be able to help compile the family history.

UPDATE 9:10 PM PDT, from Joe Beine (in Comments): The Confederate records have been added to the NPS Civil War site. And Joe also wrote about Civil War Pension records yesterday on his blog --

1 comment:

Joe said...

Hey Randy,
Thanks for mentioning my military indexes website. Coincidentally I happened to write about Civil War records in my blog yesterday: Civil War Pension & Service Records - Tips for Finding Them

Also, the National Parks Civil War database now includes Confederate listngs. Happy blogging! -Joe