Confederate Ancestor Research
A common question that we receive is:
How can I find out if an ancestor fought in the war and how do I find out about his service?
The SCV has resources and help available at www.scv.org/genealogy.php. On this page have come up with a generalized outline to help get you started with your research.
Contact their home county to see if there is a local historical society. Many counties have historical societies that have already documented their local-county men who fought for the Confederacy. Many have "County History" books which contain their mens involvement with the War. They'll have at least the local companies raised, and sometimes the roster and pension recipient list. Occasionally the battles their local soldiers participated in, their letters home, and more may be found in these books.
Confederate regiments were frequently referred to by the commander's name even when in fact they had a numerical designation. You will find that many states have some sort of indexed listings of a soldiers. The National Archives has published a "Consolidated Index to Compiled Confederate Service Records" on microfilm which is available in many large historical libraries. The service records themselves are also frequently on microfilm at the library.
All Southern states have archived records of men who fought in the War Between the States and records of men and/or widows of veterans who applied for pensions based on service to the CSA. Once you have a name or list of names you can visit or contact the state archives to view and/or obtain copies of service and/or pension records. Remember that not all records survived the war and the amount and quality of information can vary greatly from state to state.
When you have gathered the basic information, you can also obtain copies of your ancestor's service records from the National Archives. Here is a sample of what National Archive Confederate Records look like. You can order your ancestors records on line at https://eservices.archives.gov/orderonline/start.swe?SWECmd=Start The cost is now $25.00 per individual and takes 60-120 days to receive information. Contact Information for the National Archives:
Another source are the LDS Family History Centers. Most communities will have a Family History Center (genealogy library) within easy driving distance. Check your yellow pages. You can rent an entire roll of microfilm that covers your ancestor's regiment and records. You may view and copy the records at your local FHC. You may find other ancestors on this same roll of film as it was common for family and friends in the same county to join the same regiment. The cost to rent the microfilm is $3.45 for the initial period (6 weeks) and $3.45 for each of the renewals. A second renewal puts the roll in permanent loan status to your local FHC, so for $10.35 up front you can have the entire roll available for your own use (and anyone else who may be interested now or in the future). To look for a FHC in your state go to www.genhomepage.com/FHC/
Washington Genealogy Library, Macon, GA: The library has graciously agreed to provide a Georgia CSA soldier service. Please follow the guidelines. Submit only 2 Soldier's names at one time, include the soldiers name, the unit he served in and the county he would have received a pension from if known. The name and unit are required in order to do the research.
They will copy the files they have, mail them to you along with a bill for the copies. Usually the cost is less than ten dollars. Please be punctual with paying the library, we would hate to loose this privilege. We would suggest that the day you receive your records that you send payment. GEORGIA RECORDS ONLY!
Also check out these sites:
Compendium of the Confederate Armies by Stewart Sifakis, (New York: Facts on File, 1991-1994), 11 vols. (The volumes in this series are for VA; TN; AL; FL and AR; NC; LA; MS; TX; SC and GA; KY, MD, MO and Indian units; and a volume of Tables of Organizations).
Units of the Confederate States Army by Joseph H. Crute Jr., (Midlothian, VA: Derwent Books, 1987), (Crute's work is not quite as comprehensive as Sifakis', but it has the advantage of having everything in one volume).
Military Bibliography of the Civil War by C.E. Dornbusch, 4 Vols. (bibliography of regimental histories, both North and South).Vol. II, contains listings of publications, i.e. books, as well as articles, concerning Confederate units.
Confederate Military History, 1899 by the Confederate Publishing Company 19 volumes by state, 6,100 Biographical Sketches, Edited by Gen. Clement A. Evans of Georgia; (This set was written by distinguished men of the South, producing a work which truly portrays the times and issues of the Confederacy. Each state being treated in a separate history allows space for details concerning its peculiar story, its own devotion, its own heroes, and its, battlefields with information about regiments that formed from that state. The military history of each Confederate state with eye-witness battle accounts, first-hand narratives, maps, military organizational charts and thousands of detailed biographical sketches. These volumes contain information on each unit; where, when, and by whom the unit was formed. There are some Rosters. There are two General Subject volumes, Maryland & West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama & Mississippi, Kentucky & Missouri, Louisiana & Arkansas, and Texas & Florida volumes. It is now also available on CD-ROM.
Tennesseans in the Civil War is a two volume set which has essentially a Tennessee State Index to Complied Service Records for both Confederate and Union veterans. Vol. 1 has unit histories.
The Confederate Research Center located at Harold B.Simpson Texas History Museum at Hill College maintains files that includes regimental histories. You can contact the center at (254)-582-2555 or write PO Box 619, Hillsboro, TX 76645.
In addition many "County History Books" contains their men's involvement with the WBTS. They'll have at least the local companies raised, sometimes the roster and pension recipient list. Occasionally the battles their local soldiers participated in, their letters home, etc. Contact the county of origin. Ask for contacts for the county historical society or local library or local UDC or SCV organizations.
Finally many books on individual regiments, brigades, divisions, and corps have been written. A search on the internet or in your local library or local book store may turn up works that will cover the history of the specific regiments of interest.
Regimental Research Sites by CSA state:
You can also try the "OR’s" Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. It is suggested that you use the index or obtain the CD-ROM that allows searches. This may be your only alternative for particularly obscure units. The index lists the regiments by state. It is a good idea to check the index for the name of the regiment's commander and perhaps for the brigade commander.
At some point it will be helpful to learn of the regiment's place in the army structure. In other words which brigade, division, corps it was attached to. Knowing other regiments in the same brigade can give you a picture of what the regiment may have experienced. Histories of battles or campaigns may not mention every regiment, but they may mention the brigade or division the regiment is in.
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While it is not possible to answer every specific question that you might have here on this web page, it is hoped that we have helped you to get started in this exciting, honorable, and worthy cause. Please feel free to contact us for further clarification and assistance.
- "Warriors of the Wiregrass"
Would you like to learn more about Georgia regiments and also help support the cause of Southern Heritage?
Order your copy of "Warriors of the Wiregrass" a soft-bound, 8-1/2 x 11 publication, consisting 500 pages, covering the history of 14 Regiments Georgia Regiments:
1st Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 4th Cavalry (Clinch), 10th Battalion Infantry, 11th Cavalry-State Guards, 20th Battalion Cavalry, 20th Volunteer Infantry, 29th Volunteer Infantry, 49th Volunteer Infantry, 50th Volunteer Infantry, 54th Volunteer Infantry, 61st Volunteer Infantry, 63rd Volunteer Infantry. 64th Volunteer Infantry, and Coffee County Revengers Local Defense Unit.....plus information on researching Confederate ancestors, obtaining Veterans Administration grave markers for Confederate veterans, SCV Iron Crosses and more.
The author has donated all profits from the sale of this book directly to the Moultrie SCV Camp to support Confederate History and Heritage preservation programs and the continuing fight to save our Southern Heritage. The retail price is $50.00 plus $5.00 shipping. Not a bad price when compared to single abbreviated regimental histories sold by others "up North" at $8-$15 each or cost of $112-$210 if purchased separately and having much less detail! Discounts for current SCV & UDC members (20% off) and for bulk orders, schools, libraries, and teachers. Please contact the camp for discount information.
If you are interested send a check or money order made payable to the Moultrie SCV Camp #674 to: P.O. Box 1213 Moultrie, GA 31776. Please include your name, address, and phone number.
Inquiries about the book, discounts, ordering, or content can be sent via email to Mr. Jack Bridwell, Moultrie SCV Camp or calling (229) 985-8409
Please pass along to others as every book sold goes to preserve our Southern Heritage.
CSA-Southern History Curriculum: A Southern View of History: The War for Southern Independence-The Other Side of the Coin: For students, teachers, parents, administrators, school boards. Any citizen interested in learning the truth about Southern History and "The War for Southern Independence". This site has a "textbook" with references and illustrations.
© John K. McNeill SCV Camp #674, Moultrie, GA