United States, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States, United States
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Location of United States
Record Description
Collection years
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
  • Ancestry ($) Searchable Civil War service records



What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of Confederate service records of soldiers who served in organizations raised by the Confederate Government for the years 1861 to 1865. 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 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M258. Index courtesy of www.fold3.com (previously known as Footnote.com).

Collection 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, Union prison registers and rolls, parole rolls, and inspection reports
  • The originals of any papers relating only to the particular soldier

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

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 Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search you need to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The age of your ancestor.
  • The military unit in which your ancestor served.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals 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 look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • 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.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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 other relatives.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.
  • Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"United States, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing "Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations Raised Directly by the Confederate Government." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for United States, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865.



How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.