A common question that we receive
How can I find
out if an ancestor fought in the war and how do I find out about
The SCV has resources and help
available at www.scv.org/genealogy.php. On this page
have come up with a generalized outline to help get you
started with your research.
- Making a connection to an
Confederate ancestor is an exciting way to bring history alive
for you and your family. So the first step has got to be learn
your familys genealogy.
- The basic facts that you will need
to know in order to research on an ancestor are: name, state,
regiment, and if possible, the company. Knowing what county your
ancestor resided in during the 1860's would be helpful.
- Start your
search by talking with your oldest living relatives.
See how much information they can give for building a family tree.
Develop a family tree
that extends back to the mid 1800s. Southern males aged 16-40 on the
1860 census are prime candidates for CSA service. Begin your
search with these men. Later you can check on older or younger
men that may have also served.
- It is important now to determine
the state and county of residence so that Census records from
1860 may be located and reviewed for information. Census records
can be found in local libraries, historical and genealogy
societies, government archives and at LDS Family History Centers.
Some are in books, but more common are microfilms. Paper copies
of census records can usually be made. Develop a list of men whom
you suspect may have served.
home county to see if there is a local historical society. Many counties have historical
societies that have already documented their local-county men who
fought for the Confederacy. Many have "County History" books which contain their mens involvement with the
War. They'll have at least the local companies raised, and
sometimes the roster and pension recipient list. Occasionally the
battles their local soldiers participated in, their letters home,
and more may be found in these books.
Confederate regiments were
frequently referred to by the commander's name even when in fact
they had a numerical designation. You will find that many states
have some sort of indexed listings of a soldiers. The National
Archives has published a "Consolidated Index to Compiled
Confederate Service Records" on microfilm which is available
in many large historical libraries. The service records
themselves are also frequently on microfilm at the library.
states have archived records of men who fought in
the War Between the States and records of men and/or
widows of veterans who
applied for pensions based on service to the CSA. Once you have a
name or list of names you can visit or contact the state archives
to view and/or obtain copies of service and/or pension records.
Remember that not all records survived the war and the amount and
quality of information can vary greatly from state to state.
- The National Archives and Records
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
toll free 1-866-272-6272
- When you have the forms, fill
one out as completely as possible and check
"Military Service". It is recommended that you
write in red ink next to the veteran's name "Please
send complete contents of files".
- The information from compiled
service records from the National Archives may be the same,
similar or different that the information from the state archives
on the same soldier. The National Archives will not have pension
records for Confederate veterans. Only the former Confederate
state did awarded the pensions and their archives will have such
- Another option is to order copies of
individual Confederate records from Soldier Search at Broadfoot Publishing Company. This information is from
Soldier Search Service __ can quickly and accurately
check the thousands of soldiers recorded in our Confederate and Union
rosters, which are the official indices to compiled service records,
now available from Broadfoot's. Our index transcriptions are the
most accurate and are the key to finding your soldier's Civil War
records. Other rosters may have corrected or altered spellings,
which do not match soldiers' original files, making it difficult to
find correlated records.
The basic SOLDIER SERVICE SERVICE checks our roster database, finds
your soldier, and provides you with copies of your choice of:
Service Records, Unit Records, Service Certificates, Name Lists, or
Complete Research Package:
Includes our basic Soldier
Search Service plus an extensive search in our massive library
(microfilm, books, references, documents, and rosters) to provide
copies of every mention of your soldier. THIS INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS,
WHEN AVAILABLE. We have hundreds of Civil War books, documents and
references not readily available to most researchers or genealogists
a collection of Civil War reference materials, most of which we
reprinted, supplemented with new material, and indexed ourselves.
We have information on thousands of soldiers. We will look for YOUR
SOLDIER and send you all of the information we find. This may
include obituaries, pictures, hospital injury or illness reports,
veteran service accomplishments, and mentions in official reports
that were not published in the original Official Records. We have
the long-forgotten soldiers' accounts of heroic incidents and
every-day camp life
- do we have YOUR SOLDIER?
Broadfoot's also offers
multiple soldier records at a reduced price (as low as $25!).
Multiple records are a great way to enhance research for families
with several soldiers, regimental histories, prisons, cemeteries, or
any group of soldiers, such as brigade band members or chaplains.
Publishing Company has been in the Civil War book and research
business for over 30 years. We are very knowledgeable about Civil
War books and records. Our Confederate records research is
lightning-fast (same day for most records!) and our Union records
research is much quicker than the National Archives' service (4
weeks vs. 6 months).
- Costs start at $25.00, but again they usually get
the records in the mail within a day or two of the order. Contact
- Wilmington, NC 28411-4452
- Order Line (910) 686-9591 Fax Line (910)
General Information (910) 686-4816
The LDS Family History
Centers are another low cost and possibly local resource. Most communities will have a Family History Center
(genealogy library) within easy driving distance. Check your
yellow pages. You can rent an entire roll of microfilm that
covers your ancestor's regiment and records. You may view and
copy the records at your local FHC. You may find other ancestors
on this same roll of film as it was common for family and friends
in the same county to join the same regiment. The cost to rent
the microfilm is $3.45 for the initial period (6 weeks)
and $3.45 for each of the renewals. A second renewal puts the
roll in permanent loan status to your local FHC, so for $10.35 up
front you can have the entire roll available for your own use
(and anyone else who may be interested now or in the future). To
look for a FHC in your state go to www.genhomepage.com/FHC/
Genealogy Library, Macon, GA:
library has graciously agreed to provide a Georgia CSA soldier service.
Please follow the guidelines. Submit only 2 Soldier's names at one time,
the soldiers name, the unit he served in and the county he would have
received a pension from if known.
name and unit are required in order to do the research.
They will copy the files they have, mail
them to you along with a bill for the copies. Usually the cost is less than
ten dollars. Please be punctual with paying the library, we would hate to
loose this privilege. We would suggest that the day you receive your
records that you send payment.
Send E-mail to:
or written requests sent to:
- Washington Memorial
- Macon, GA 31201-1790
The Bell Research Center: a 501 (c)3 non-profit
organization, serves the Forsyth County and North
Georgia area. The library has several thousand volumes
of books, films, periodicals, reference materials, and
artifacts. While the collection focuses on migration
trail genealogy , it also includes a diverse range of
materials on local history. The Research Center
augments the print collection with computer databases,
several of which are privately compiled and not
otherwise available, and other facilities. The Research
Center is open without charge as a community service to
the public for historical and genealogical research.
Confederate research is available Contact for
further information by phone at 678-455-7216 or email
The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library was made
possible by a bequest from Ellen Ashby Payne Odom. Mrs.
Odom was a trustee of the Moultrie Colquitt County
Library and very interested in genealogy. She was an
accomplished musician as well as an active leader in the
4-H Program and the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
staff can answer your basic questions. All requests
receive the same consideration and are answered in the
order received. Requests are handled in as timely a
manner as is possible. If you are advised that
your question requires more extensive research, you may
come to the library or engage the services of a
professional researcher. Questions involving extensive
research cannot be answered due to time and staff
constraints. Call us at (229) 985-6540. You may ask to
speak with a Genealogist or email your questions to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Answers will be sent in as
timely manner as possible. Please read the guidelines
for questions listed below.
Also check out these
In Search of Confederate Ancestors by J.H.
Civil War Genealogy by G.K. Schweitzer,
In the Footsteps of the Blue and Gray:
A Civil War Research Handbook" by Brian A. Brown (1996)
Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor by B.H.
Groene, ISBN 0-345-36192-X;
Confederate Research Sources: A
Guide to Archive Collections by James C. Neagles, (ISBN
Military Bibliography of the Civil War,
(4 vols) by C.E. Dornbusch;
Broadfoots: Roster of Confederate
Soldiers 1861-1865 16 vols. (1,500,000 Names In One Cumulative Index A
cumulative index of all Confederate soldiers as transcribed
from the 535 microfilm rolls entitled Consolidated Index
to All Confederate Soldiers.
Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of
Georgia 1861-1865, 6 Volumes by Lillian Henderson, (also available on CD-ROM Names, ranks,
dates, and status of the soldiers of Georgia, organized by
How can I find
information about a particular regiment?
following are sources of information on regiments:
Compendium of the Confederate
Armies by Stewart Sifakis, (New York: Facts on File, 1991-1994),
11 vols. (The volumes in this series are for VA; TN; AL; FL and
AR; NC; LA; MS; TX; SC and GA; KY, MD, MO and Indian units; and a
volume of Tables of Organizations).
Units of the Confederate States
Army by Joseph H. Crute Jr., (Midlothian, VA: Derwent Books,
1987), (Crute's work is not quite as comprehensive as Sifakis',
but it has the advantage of having everything in one volume).
Military Bibliography of the
Civil War by C.E. Dornbusch, 4 Vols. (bibliography of
regimental histories, both North and South).Vol. II, contains listings of publications,
i.e. books, as well as articles, concerning Confederate units.
Confederate Military History, 1899
by the Confederate Publishing Company 19 volumes by state, 6,100
Biographical Sketches, Edited by Gen. Clement A. Evans of
Georgia; (This set was written by distinguished men of the South,
producing a work which truly portrays the times and issues of the
Confederacy. Each state being treated in a separate history
allows space for details concerning its peculiar story, its own
devotion, its own heroes, and its, battlefields with information
about regiments that formed from that state. The military history
of each Confederate state with eye-witness battle accounts,
first-hand narratives, maps, military organizational charts and
thousands of detailed biographical sketches. These volumes
contain information on each unit; where, when, and by whom the
unit was formed. There are some Rosters. There are two General
Subject volumes, Maryland & West Virginia, Virginia, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama &
Mississippi, Kentucky & Missouri, Louisiana & Arkansas,
and Texas & Florida volumes. It is now also available on
Tennesseans in the Civil War is a two
volume set which has essentially a Tennessee State Index
to Complied Service Records for both Confederate and
Union veterans. Vol. 1 has unit histories.
The Confederate Research Center located at
Texas History Museum at Hill College maintains files that
includes regimental histories. You can contact the center at
(254)-582-2555 or write PO Box 619, Hillsboro, TX 76645.
In addition many "County History Books" contains their
men's involvement with the WBTS. They'll have at least the local
companies raised, sometimes the roster and pension recipient
list. Occasionally the battles their local soldiers participated
in, their letters home, etc. Contact the county of origin. Ask
for contacts for the county historical society or local library
or local UDC or SCV organizations.
Finally many books on individual regiments,
brigades, divisions, and corps have been written. A search on the
internet or in your local library or local book store may turn up
works that will cover the history of the specific regiments of
On the internet:
- There are many researchers that have
posted regimental histories. Use search engines to match up with regiments
of interest. In particular here are some sites to help you in your research:
- Regimental Research Sites by
- Kentucky (CSA):
- North Carolina:
- South Carolina:
- You can also try the "OR’s"
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. It is suggested that
you use the index or obtain the CD-ROM that allows searches. This may be
your only alternative for particularly obscure units. The index lists the
regiments by state. It is a good idea to check the index for the name of the
regiment's commander and perhaps for the brigade commander.
- At some point it will be helpful to
learn of the regiment's place in the army structure. In other words which
brigade, division, corps it was attached to. Knowing other regiments in the
same brigade can give you a picture of what the regiment may have
experienced. Histories of battles or campaigns may not mention every
regiment, but they may mention the brigade or division the regiment is in.