United States Civil War Soldiers Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Collection Time Period
This is an index of soldiers who served in the Civil War, 1861 to 1865.
This index was culled from 6.3 million soldier records in the General Index Cards to the Compiled Military Service Records in the National Archives. This index was a joint project of the U.S. National Park Service, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU).
Each record provides the following:
- Full name
- Whether Union or Confederate
- Soldier's rank
- Sometimes alternate names
- NARA publication and roll numbers
How to Use the Record
To search for your ancestors in the index you will need to know your ancestors full name. If you are having difficulty finding your ancestor, look for variations in the spelling of the name. If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
When you have located your ancestor’s 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. This information will often lead you to other records.
- If your ancestor was a union soldier, he may have service or pension records at the National Archives.
- If your ancestor was a confederate soldier, he may have service or pension records in the state archives.
You may also find these search tips helpful:
- Compile the entries for other individuals who have the same surname. This is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been also belonged to the National Guard.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
This in an index to the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) which is a computerized database containing very basic facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War. The initial focus of the CWSS is the Names Index Project, a project to enter names and other basic information from 6.3 million soldier records in the National Archives. The facts about the soldiers were entered from records that are indexed to many millions of other documents about Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is a cooperative effort by the National Park Service (NPS) and several other public and private partners, to computerize information about the Civil War.
Why the Record Was Created
The goal of the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is to increase public understanding of this era in American history. The index was created to enable the public to make a personal link between themselves and their ancestors.
The information in the index is accurate regarding the locator information. However, any index may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
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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.
Example of a Source Citations for a Record Found in This Collection
"United States, Civil War Soldiers Index." FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 8 June 2011). entry for Andrew L. Madison, Condederate Private; Citing Civil War Records, FHL microfilm 821,975; United Stated Federal Archives and Records Center, Washington D.C. United States
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
United States. U.S. National Park Service, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU). United States Civil War Soldiers Index. United States Federal Archives and Records Center, Washington D.C.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.