Begin a search for confederate records
If you have a male ancestor who was born in the 1830s or 1840s and who lived in a southern state or the border states of Kentucky, Maryland, or Missouri, he may have served in the Confederate forces in the Civil War. Most who served were in their late teens or early twenties but could have been older or younger. It is helpful to know at least the state where your ancestor lived when the war started in 1861.
1. Search online indexes for possible service or pension records.
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System is sponsored by the National Park Service, the Genealogical Society of Utah, and the Federation of Genealogical Societies. This database is based on the National Archives General Index Cards to Union and Confederate soldier's service records. It includes the records of 6.3 million soldiers.
Online indexes and some digital records exist for the following southern states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.