Alabama in the Civil WarEdit This Page
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Alabama seceded from the United States January 11, 1861. Though Alabama did not have any major battles within its borders, it did contribute about 120,000 white men to the Confederate armed forces. Most served with others from their local areas. Unknown numbers of slaves were pressed into service to build or repair roads, railroads, and defenses, while others took care of the cooking and cleaning for the armies. About 10,000 slaves escaped and joined the Union forces as well as about 2700 white men who remained loyal to the Union.
For more information about Alabama in the Civil War, see the Wikipedia article, Alabama in the American Civil War.
Alabama Military Units
Many units were numbered, however, many were named instead. See the table below for lists of the regiments, battalions, batteries, and other units.
The information in the lists of Alabama Military Units comes from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors web site. That web site also can be searched by the name of a soldier.
Sources and Resources
Alabama soldiers served in both the Union and Confederate armies. Indexes and compiled military service records for both armies are available on microfilm.
- Jones, Ken. The Civil War in Alabama. [Internet site]. N.p., 1997. 19 November 1999. [cited 17 March 2000]. Available at www.tarleton.edu/~kjones/alabama.html. This site lists a yearly account of people, events, and battles in the Civil War and includes links to other web sites about these events.
- Alabama Department of Archives and History Civil War Service Databasemay be searched alphabetically amd lists the name, branch, regiment, company unit and unit name.
- The Compiled Service Records for Alabama soldiers ($) (Footnote.com) are now available online. In the future, these records will be made available at no charge through the National Archives web site. Service records may provide rank, unit, date of enlistment, length of service, age, residence, and death date. The service records are also available at no charge at National Archives research rooms.
- United States. Adjutant General’s Office. Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0263. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1958. (Family History Library film 880848.) This gives each soldier’s name, his rank, and the unit in which he served.
For microfilms of the actual compiled service records indexed by the source above see:
- United States. Record and Pension Office. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0276. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1959. (Family History Library films 1276611–20.) The records are arranged alphabetically.
- Civil War Pension Index Cards
An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. Other wars, of that time period, may be included.
Pension records for Union veterans are available at the National Archives. For an index see:
- United States. Veteran’s Administration. General Index to Pension Files, 1861–1934. National Archives Microfilm Publications, T0288. Washington, D.C.: Veterans Administration Publications Service, 1953. (Family History Library films beginning with 540757–1300.)
- Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Confederate Service Record, 1861–1865. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1986–1987. (On 67 Family History Library films beginning with 1462785.) These index cards provide name, rank, company, regiment, promotions, enlistment date and place, re-enlistments, engagements, wounds and hospital records, date of capture or discharge, prison records, if a substitute was furnished, remarks, and the source of the information. They also may contain death date, soldier’s pension number, physical description, age, widow’s name, her pension number, her county of residence, and sometimes letters to relatives.
- United States. Adjutant General’s Office. Index to Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0374. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1962. (Family History Library films 821949–97.) This index is also available online at the Alabama Department of History and Archives This is an index to the compiled service records listed below.
- United States. Record and Pension Office. Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Alabama. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M0311. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1961–1962. (Family History Library films 880330–837.) For the index, see the source above. These films include muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, hospital records, and Union prison registers. The records are arranged by unit, then alphabetically.
- The Compiled Service Records for Alabama soldiers ($) (Footnote.com) are now available online. In the future, these records will be made available at no charge through the National Archives web site. The compiled service records consist of an envelope containing card abstracts taken from muster rolls, returns, pay vouchers, and other records. Service records may provide rank, unit, date of enlistment, length of service, age, residence, and death date. The service records are also available at no charge at National Archives research rooms.
- Alabama Pension Commission (Alabama). Confederate Pension Applications, ca. 1880–1930s. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1987. (On 276 Family History Library films beginning with 1502476.) The soldiers’ or sailors’ applications are in alphabetical order and contain: name, rank, company, regiment, date and place wounded, post office address, occupation, taxable property, affidavits of witnesses, a schedule of property (number of acres), and a list of personal property (items and value).
After 23 September 1919, a more detailed form called for the soldier’s exact age; how long he had lived in the state; when he had married; names, ages, and occupations of living children; and where the veteran was last registered to vote.
A veteran’s widow who applied for a pension after 1914 used a reclassification form that asked for her exact birth date. Beginning in 1920, the pension applications contain more information such as the widow’s name, post office, number on pension roll, with whom she was living, where and when she was born (month, day, year), the name of her father, his address, and when and where he died. She also had to give the name of her husband, when he moved to Alabama, when he enlisted, a list of his property and yearly income, and when and where they married. She also had to state whether she was living with the veteran, divorced, or widowed. If applicable she provided information about when and where he died or if he lived in another state.
In 1907, 1921, and 1927, the state prepared lists of Confederate veteran pensioners. Additional Confederate pension records are:
- Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Administrators of Confederate Soldiers, 1862–1864. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. (Family History Library film 1653243 item 2.) These claims were filed by family members after the death of their husband or son during the war. The claims were usually filed six months to one year after the death of the soldier. The claims are at the National Archives.
- Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Applications for Relief by Maimed Confederate Soldiers. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. (Family History Library films 1653552–53.) These records mention the soldier’s company and regiment, date and place when wounded, and often the soldier’s occupation.
- Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Parents of Confederate Soldiers, 1862–1864. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. Family History Library film 1653242. These records contain an alphabetical listing with name, service, rank, company, county, father’s or mother’s name, and date the claim was filed.
- Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Widows of Confederate Soldiers, 1862–1864. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. (Family History Library film 1653242 item 2, surnames A–S; film 1653243 surnames T–Z.) The cards list the widow’s name; the soldier’s name; his rank, company, and regiment; the place and date the claim was filed (1862–1864); and the source of information.
- Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Miscellaneous Family Relationships of Confederate Soldiers, 1862–1864. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. (Family History Library film 1653243 item 3.) This gives the name of the soldier; his rank, company, and unit number of Alabama infantry; the county in Alabama; the date the claim was filed; the name of the relative; and the degree of family relationship.
Presidential Pardons of Former Confederates, 1863–1868
From 1863 to 1868, former Confederates could apply for pardon from the federal government. The voting rights and citizenship of former Confederates were restored when they applied for pardon and signed an Amnesty Oath. In August 1865, stations were appointed in each county in Alabama where men and a few women could sign the Amnesty Oath. The oaths list only the names of the persons who signed and are often found in county records. On 6 June 1868, general amnesty became universal. The 1865–1867 records are available on microfilms:
- United States. Adjutant General’s Office. Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons ("Amnesty Papers"). National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1003. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1976. (Family History Library films 1578739–50 for Alabama.) Film 1578739 has a name index. These handwritten applications from 1865 to 1867 contain names of persons applying for pardon, the county of residence, date of application, a list of property owned and its value, and often their age and occupation. Sometimes the applications include their state of birth and whether they were married ( spouse’s name not given). A few African-Americans in Alabama took this loyalty oath. The Alabama pardon applications are in alphabetical order.
Some of these records have been published and are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under: ALABAMA, [COUNTY]- MILITARY RECORDS
Histories of Alabama Military Units
An important inventory for finding Civil War military histories is:
- A Guide to the Microfiche Edition of Civil War Unit Histories: Regimental Histories and Personal Narratives. Part 1, Confederate States of America and Border States. Bethesda, Maryland: University Publications of America, 1992. (Family History Library book 973 M2cwu pt. 1.) Alabama units are listed on pages 15–19. The library has the large microfiche collection described in this guide. Use the library catalog to find individual items. This may include correspondence, diaries, memoirs, and regimental histories published before 1920. The guide shows the unit name, counties where it was raised, author, title, publication information, number of pages, and source repository. This guide includes an author index and a major engagements index.
Brief histories of Confederate units can be found in:
- Brewer, Willis. Alabama: Her History, Resources, War Record, and Public Men from 1540 to 1872. Civil War Unit Histories; Alabama: 5–12. Montgomery, Alabama: Barrett & Brown, 1872. (Family History Library book 976.1 H2b; film 934818 item 3.) This book provides the county the captain is from for most regiments.
- Confederate Military History: A Library of Confederate States History, in Seventeen Volumes, Written by Distinguished Men of the South, and Edited by Gen. Clement A. Evans of Georgia. Extended ed. Wilmington, North Carolina: Broadfoot Publishing, 1987–1988. (Family History Library book 975 M2e 1978.) Volume eight contains information on the Alabama units. This is a reprint of the 1899 volume published by the Confederate Publishing Company, with additional material.
- Sifakis, Stewart. Compendium of the Confederate Armies. Ten Volumes. New York, New York: Facts of File, 1992–1995. (Family History Library book 975 M2ss.) Volume one has information on Alabama units.
Southern Claims Commission
If a Union sympathizer in Alabama claimed a loss during the Civil War due to Union military confiscation, he could apply to the Southern Claims Commission for reimbursement. Only a few applied per county, but their neighbors were called as witnesses and asked dozens of questions. Hundreds of the residents of all kinds in a county may be mentioned in answers to Commission questions, and their wartime activities described. To learn how to find records mentioning these neighbors in Alabama counties during the Civil War see the Southern Claims Commission.
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