Civil War Records

Because many men with the same name served in the Civil War, we do not recommend starting your research by checking the Civil War records. It is very easy to find information on the wrong man and assume it is your ancestor. Begin your search with family records, vital records and census records to be sure you know the name and place of residence of your veteran ancestor. Once you have identified him, then you can check the Civil War records for more information.

One excellent source of information is the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers & Sailors Database which is a searchable online database of both Union and Confederate veterans from every state. Using this database may help you identify the dates your veteran served, and the unit in which he served. Use the Regimental lists on this website to verify that the Company and Regiment you've located were raised in an area near where your ancestor lived. Once you have confirmed the unit you think your ancestor served in, you can then send away to the National Archives in Washington for his paperwork. Note, this database includes information for African American sailors, but not for any of the other sailors who served in the Civil War.

There are also a number of Civil War websites dedicated to research of a single state, or to the United States Colored Troops (USCT), and Navy personnel. The most useful state websites, shown below, include searchable databases, or lists of holdings in State Archives and/or State Libraries.

Connecticut | Delaware | Idaho | Illinois | Kentucky | Maryland | Massachusetts | Maine

Michigan | Minnesota | New Jersey | New York | Ohio-1 | Ohio-2 | Pennsylvania | Vermont | Wisconsin