Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Researching Confederate Records of the Civil War.

If you have family who was in the United States during the Civil War Period(1861-1865) you need to at least find out if they served on either side.  Even if you do not have a direct line who served you may be able to find out more about your lines by researching a sibling of your direct line who did serve.  With southern research finding pension records may be the only way which you will find some of your ancestors maiden names and date of birth or date of death recorded.  During the war between the states many courthouses were burned and/or records destroyed.  Confederate Soldiers Pension applications were handled on a state level and were filed in the state of residence at the time of application.  While your ancestor may have enlisted and fought in an AL unit however, if he was living in the state of Texas when that state began processing confederate pension applications then his application will be found in Texas states records. There is not ONE exact date in which all states board of pension began processing the applications.  The dates and eligibility requirements varied from state to state.   NARA's Confederate Pension Applications site.  has more info on that.  The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia had pension boards which processed these Confederate Pension Applications.

The Confederate Soldier's Pension Applications tend to contain information about the soldiers unit:
  • When and where he enlisted
  • Did he sustain any injuries?
  • Was he injured during service?
  • Family size & dependents
  • His means of support

If he preceded his wife in death, be sure to check to see if she applied for a Widow's pension. Widow's pension files normally contain copies of information pertaining to the marriage of the soldier.  You may find a copy of their marriage certificate or sworn statements from person(s) who witnessed their marriage.   To get an idea of what can be found you might want to check out my confederate pensions page which contains information abstracted from some of the Confederate Pension Applications of persons who are in my family(direct or indirect) or who lived in the same area as my direct lines.

FamilySearch has a great deal of Confederate info scanned and on line.  Most of it is not indexed.
Below is a list of what I have noticed was available.  Mainly Pension Applications and POW/Prison records from the different Civil War camps that housed captured Confederates.  While there is no index for the Pension Applications many of the southern states who paid out Confederate pensions have an index online and you can consult the index and then find the application by navigating to the appropriate section and number at the FamilySearch site.

To find the Confederate Pension Applications you will need to look for the applicants state of residence. You can find the US Military  files that are available at this part of FamilySearch
Be aware that this will include files from any of the wars that are available thru FamilySearch.  To narrow it down to confederate records you will need to use CONFEDERATE  as your search term in the Filter By Collection section located in the upper left panel of the page.

United States Records of Confederate Prisoners of War 1861-1865
Below is a basic outline of what is available at the above link at FamilySearch

  • AIDE: Index to Volumes
  • AK, Little Rock, Military Prison
  • DC, Washington, Old Capitol Prison
  • DE, Ft. Delaware, Military Prison
  • Department of Missouri
  • Department of the Gulf
  • Department of the Ohio
  • District of West Tennessee, Provost Marshal's Office
  • Division of West Mississippi
  • IL, Alton, Military Prison
  • IL, Camp Butler, Military Prison
  • IL, Camp Douglas, Military Prison
  • IL, Rock Island Barracks, Military Prison
  • IN, Camp Morton, Military Prison
  • KY, Louisville, Military Prison
  • LA, New Orleans
  • MA, Ft. Warren, Military Prison
  • MD, Ft. McHenry, Military Prison
  • MD, Point Lookout, Military Prison
  • MO, St. Louis, Gratiot & Myrtle Streets Prisons
  • MS, Ship Island
  • NY, Elmira, Military Prison
  • NY, Ft. Columbus, Military Prison
  • NY, Ft. Lafayette, Military Prison
  • NY, Hart Island, Prison Camp
  • OH, Camp Chase, Military Prison
  • OH, Cincinnati, McLean Barracks
  • OH, Johnson's Island, Military Prison
  • SC, Hilton Head, Prison Camp
  • TN, Knoxville
  • TN, Memphis, Military Prison
  • TN, Nashville, Department of the Cumberland
  • VA, Bowling Green, Provost Marshal's Office
  • VA, Newport News, Military Prison
  • VA, Richmond

Records Relating to All Prisoners

  • Applications for release & decisions, 1863-1865, v. 7-9
  • Confederate prisoners and deserters released, 1861-1865, v. 10-13
  • Prisoner deaths, 1862-1865, v. 5
  • Prisoner deaths, 1862-1865, v. 6
  • Prisoner deaths in AL, GA, SC, 1862-1865, v. 21
  • Prisoner deaths in AR, MS, TN, 1862-1865, v. 17-18
  • Prisoner deaths in FL, KY, LA, MD, MO, NC, TX, VA, 1862-1865, v. 19-20
  • Prisoner financial records, prisoner lists, supplies, 1862-1865, v. 14-16
  • Prisoner registers, 1863-1865, v. 1
  • Prisoner registers, 1863-1865, v. 2
  • Prisoner registers, 1863-1865, v. 3
  • Prisoner registers, 1863-1865, v. 4

Prisoner registers of various locations
DE, Ft. Delaware,  MD, Ft. McHenry, NY, Ft. Lafayette, 1863-1864, v. 424
Prisoner registers of various locations in DE, FL, IL, IN, KY, MD, MO, NY & OH, 1861-1865, v. 425-427

Your ancestor may have lived in the south....but did he fight in the Confederate Army or the Union Army?  Be sure to check both.  Occassionally I have found where a soldier has fought on both sides.  Cyndi Howell has a page with info on how to go about ordering Military & Pension Records for the Union Civil War Veterans from the National Archives

Hope this has given you some new ideas for your research.

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