West Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Access the records: West Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 .
Union service records of soldiers who served in organizations from West Virginia. The records include abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in the following original records:
- Name, rank, company and regiment in which served.
- Muster rolls showing when soldier was mustered-in, discharged
- 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 is National Archive Microfilm Publication M508. Index courtesy of www.fold3.com (previously Footnote.com).
Service records were kept for each 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 1861 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.
- "West Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing "Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of West Virginia." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d.
The records are in individual files which usually include the following:
- A jacket-envelope for each soldier, labeled with his name, his 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
- Age (often estimated)
- Military unit served in
- Type of records in file
- NARA publication number, title, and roll number
How to Use the Record
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. Compare the information in the records 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. 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.
- 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.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Related Wiki Articles
- Union Service Records
- United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865
- United States Civil War, 1861 to1865, Part 2
- West Virginia Military Records
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