United States, Civil War Service Records of Union Colored Troops (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.  
 
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.  
  
{{Collection citation| text =<!--bibdescbegin-->"Confederate African Americans. Civil War and Union Compiled Military Service Records-Colored Troops." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : 2012. <!--bibdescend-->}}  
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{{Collection citation | text= "United States, Civil War Service Records of Union Colored Troops, 1863-1865." Index.. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing "Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served with the United States Colored Troops: 1st through 5th United States Colored Cavalry, 5th Massachusetts Cavalry (Colored), 6th United States Colored Cavalry." <i>Fold3.com</i>. http://www.fold3.com : n.d.}}  
  
 
[[United States, Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Served in the United States Colored Troops (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]  
 
[[United States, Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Served in the United States Colored Troops (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]  

Revision as of 23:44, 25 February 2013

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists or Union service records of soldiers who served in the United States Colored Troops. The records include abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in the following original records:

  • Muster rolls
  • Returns
  • Rosters
  • Payrolls
  • Appointment books
  • Hospital registers
  • Union prison registers and rolls
  • Parole rolls
  • Inspection reports

For each military unit, the service records are arranged alphabetically by the soldier's surname. The Military Unit field may also display the surname range (A-G) as found on the microfilm.

This collection is a part of RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office 1780s - 1917 and includes NARA microfilm publications pertaining to the compiled service records of the United States Colored Troops. Index is courtesy of www.fold3.com (Previously called Footnote.com).

Service records were kept for each Confederate soldier. Those records, or their abstracts, were compiled into individual files. Each envelope/jacket contains information and cross references to original records relating to the soldier. 

The records cover the years 1863 to 1865.


This index was created to provide quick access to compiled service records.

The information in this index is quite reliable. However, keep in mind that even though this index is very accurate it still may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"United States, Civil War Service Records of Union Colored Troops, 1863-1865." Index.. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing "Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served with the United States Colored Troops: 1st through 5th United States Colored Cavalry, 5th Massachusetts Cavalry (Colored), 6th United States Colored Cavalry." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The records are in individual files and usually include the following:

  • A jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, rank, and the unit in which he served
  • A card (or cards) with abstracts of entries from original muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, parole rolls, and inspection reports
  • The originals of any papers relating only to the particular soldier

The index to these records contains the following:

  • Jacket name
  • Soldier’s full name
  • Year
  • Age (often estimated)
  • Military unit served in
  • Type of records in file
  • NARA publication number, title, and roll number

How to Use the Record

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

Use the locator information found in the index (such as roll number and the unit served in) to locate your ancestors in the service records. If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names. Keep in mind that even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

When you have located your ancestor’s service record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

For example:

  • Use the estimated age to calculate a birth date.
  • Use the age and location of the military unit to find the soldier’s family in census, church, and land records.
  • Continue to search the index and records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have served in the same unit or a nearby unit.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the surnames.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"United States, Civil War Service Records of Union Colored Troops, 1863-1865"   database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org. accessed 15 September 2011). Benjamin Franklin, age 18; citing Civil War Records, NARA publication M1817, NARA roll number 5; Records of the Adjutant General's Office, Orem, Utah, United States.