Listing of Union Soldiers
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Union Army soldiers may have served in the U.S. Army, local militia units mustered into federal service, or volunteer regiments raised by the individual states. The length of service varied from 90 days to three years. Many soldiers also reenlisted, serving in more than one regiment. The Union Army and Navy enlisted over 2.3 million men, of which nearly 359,000 died in combat or from wounds and disease.
Service Records of Soldiers. There is currently no master index to the names of soldiers who served in Union volunteer regiments. Individual indexes to state volunteer regiments are available on microfilm for every Northern state and every Southern state except South Carolina. A transcription of the National Archives indexes to compiled Military Service records of Volunteer Union soldiers is:Hewett, Janet B., ed. The Roster of Union Soldiers, 1861–1865. 33 vols. Wilmington, N.C.: Broadfoot Publishing, 1997–. (FHL book 973 M29h; computer number 789330.) This series is currently in publication. Most service records have not been microfilmed and are available only at the National Archives. The following service records and indexes are available on microfilm at the National Archives. Most of the filmed records and indexes are also available at the Family History Library. See the Family History Library Catalog for complete bibliographic information:
The indexes include the soldier’s name, rank, and unit. To find specific microfilm numbers for indexes, look in the Locality search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
[STATE] - MILITARY RECORDS - CIVIL WAR, 1861-1865 - INDEXESFor service records, look under:
[STATE] - MILITARY RECORDS - CIVIL WAR, 1861-1865
Additional service indexes for Union soldiers are:
Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in the Veteran Reserve Corps. National Archives Microfilm Publication M636. (FHL films 1205358–83; computer number 328746.) Indexes the names of soldiers who were no longer able to serve combat duty but who could still perform limited duty, such as being prison guards and hospital stewards.
Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served with United States Colored Troops. National Archives Microfilm Publication M589. (FHL films 1266617–43 and 1266546–616; computer number 34182.) Covers many former slaves from the South as well as free African-Americans who served in the Union Army between 1863 and 1865.
Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations Not Raised by States and Territories. National Archives Microfilm Publication M1290. (FHL films 1604884–920; computer number 467348.) Indexes records of special units not raised by the states, such as the U.S. Sharpshooters, Indian Home Guard, and former Confederates.The following related records are available on microfilm at the National Archives:
Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Troops Who Served with the United States Colored Troops: 1st United States Colored Infantry, 1st South Carolina Volunteers (Colored) Company A, 1st United States Colored Infantry (1 Year). National Archives Microfilm Publication M1819.
Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteers Who Served with the United States Colored Troops: 55th Massachusetts Infantry. National Archives Microfilm Publication M1801.
Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served with the United States Colored Troops: 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (Colored). National Archives Microfilm Publication M1898.
Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served with the United States Colored Troops: Artillery Organizations. National Archives Microfilm Publication M1818.Listed below are the service records of former Confederates or “galvanized Yankees” who enlisted from prison camps:
Compiled Service Records of Former Confederate Soldiers Who Served in the First through Sixth U.S. Volunteer Infantry Regiments, 1864–66. National Archives Microfilm Publication M1017. (FHL films 1315687–751; computer number 122843.) To find specific microfilm numbers, look in the Locality search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
UNITED STATES - MILITARY RECORDS - CIVIL WAR, 1861-1865
Copies of compiled service records can be requested from the National Archives by using NATF Form 80. These service records were made from muster rolls, pay lists, hospital records, and record books that have not been filmed. Some of these sources, such as the hospital registers, often give detailed information, such as birthplace. If a compiled service record notes a Bookmark File number, this refers to a separate set of records that must be asked for specifically when requesting copies The records are found in Record Group 94, Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780s–1917.
Service Records of Sailors. For records of sailors who served in the Union Navy, contact the National Archives. The weekly returns of enlistments, 1855 to 1891, are the records of most value for sailors, particularly those who served between 1855 and 1865. Entries list the sailor’s name, enlistment date, birthplace, age, occupation, personal description, date of or return of enlistment, and record of previous naval service. The records have not been filmed and are available only at the National Archives in Record Group 24, Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel.See the following for more information: Baugh, Virgil E., comp. Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel. PI 123. Washington, D.C. 1960. An index to sailors who enlisted between 1861 and 1865 is listed below:
Index to Rendezvous Reports, Civil War, 1861–65. National Archives Microfilm Publication T1099. (FHL films 1570558–88; computer number 462166.) Entries contain the sailor’s name, ship or place of rendezvous, and date of enlistment.Records of Officers. For biographical sketches of officers (both Army and Navy) and other information, see the following: Adjutant General’s Office. Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force of the United States Army for the Years 1861, 62, 63, 64, 65. 8 vols. 1865–67. Reprint, Gaithersburg, Md.: Olde Soldier Books, 1987. (FHL book 973 M23ua 1987; films 1320524–27; computer number 379291.) This set lists the names of officers and contains brief organizational information for each regiment. It includes the dates and names of officers promoted, resigned, discharged, dead, missing, and dismissed. Van Sickle, Ron R. General Index to Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force of the United States, 1861–65. Gaithersburg, Md.: Ron R. Van Sickle Military Books, 1987. (FHL book 973 M23ua V.9; computer number 379291.) Alphabetically arranged by name of officer with volume and page references. Hamersly, Lewis R. The Records of Living Officers of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps; with a History of Naval Operations during the Rebellion of 1861–65, and a List of the Ships and Officers Participating in the Great Battles. 1870. Reprint, Mattituck, N.Y.: J.M. Carroll & Co., 1985. (FHL book 973 M3h; computer number 392789.) Contains brief service sketches of living officers of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps as they appeared in the Navy Register for 1870. Birth or family information is sometimes included. Also contains a history of naval operations of the different squadrons and lists names of officers and vessels involved in naval battles. Hunt, Roger D., and Jack R. Brown. Brevet Brigadier Generals in Blue. Gaithersburg, Md.: Olde Soldier Books, 1990. (FHL book 973 M2hu; computer number 550375.) Contains the name, units commanded, dates of Brevet, date and place of birth and death, education, occupation, and burial information. Includes photos. Powell, William H., ed. Officers of the Army and Navy (Volunteer) Who Served in the Civil War. Philadelphia, Pa.: L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1893. (FHL book 973 M2p; film 599644 item 1; computer number 271170.) Contains similar information as Powell’s volume on regular officers described below. Powell, William H., ed. Officers of the Army and Navy (Regular) Who Served in the Civil War. Philadelphia, Pa.: L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1892. (FHL book 973 M2po; film 599644 item 2; computer number 271176.) Contains pictures and sketches of officers. Each sketch usually cites birthplace and may give complete birth date. Appointment, tours of duty, battles, and skirmishes are briefly detailed. Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge, La.: Louisiana State University Press, 1964. (FHL book 973 M2war; computer number 271257.) Contains many pictures, brief sketches of generals’ military service, and birth and death information.
The pension law governing claims based on death or disability from military service was passed 14 July 1862. Later pension laws were based on length of service and disability not necessarily incurred in the service. Beginning in 1892 women who were employed as nurses by the government were also eligible for pensions. An index to pension claims is listed below:General Index to Pension Files, 1861–1934. National Archives Microfilm Publication T288. (FHL films 540757–1300; computer number 245945.) The index is arranged by the veteran’s or widow’s name and his unit, rank, date and application number, certificate number if accepted, and state of filing. To find specific microfilm numbers, look in the Locality search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
UNITED STATES - MILITARY RECORDS - PENSIONS - INDEXES
The pension files have not been filmed and are only available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. You can obtain photocopies of pension files by using NATF Form 80, available from the National Archives. The archives staff will copy only selected documents unless you request copies of all the documents in a file.
Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933. National Archives Microfilm Publication M850. (FHL films 1634036–6574; computer number 500541.) This index is useful for veterans who were on the pension rolls between 1907 and 1933, except World War I pensioners. About two million cards record payment to veterans and widows. The veteran’s name, unit or branch of service, certificate number, law under which pensioned, rate of pension, pension date, date of certificate, place of residence, death date, former roll number, and widow’s name may be included on the cards. To find specific microfilm numbers, look in the Locality search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
UNITED STATES - MILITARY RECORDS - PENSIONS
Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served between 1861 and 1900. National Archives Microfilm Publication T289. (FHL 765 films; computer number 462116.) This index is similar in content to the general index and the pension payment cards, but it may provide death information. The index is alphabetical by state, branch of service, regiment, company, and name of the veteran. To find specific microfilm numbers, look in the Locality search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
UNITED STATES - MILITARY RECORDS - PENSIONS - INDEXES
Prisoner of War Records
Prisoner of war records of Union prisoners are described in:Beers, Henry Putney. The Confederacy: A Guide to the Archives of the Government of the Confederate States of America, 1968. Reprint, Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Record Administration, 1986. (FHL book 973 A5mb 1986; computer number 663646.) Records of the Commissary General of Prisoners are described on pages 247–59. Prisoner of war records at the Family History Library include:
Selected Records of the War Department Commissary General of Prisoners Relating to Federal Prisoners Confined at Andersonville, Georgia, 1864–65. National Archives Microfilm Publication M1303. (FHL film 1930186–91; computer number 747575.) Contains a register of about 30,000 departures from the prison; indexes and registers of prisoners admitted to the prison hospital; registers of prisoner deaths and burials as well as monthly reports of prisoners; and so on.
By 1863 it became necessary for the federal government to enroll and draft men into the Army. The Conscription Act declared that men between the ages of 20 and 45 were eligible for duty. Aliens who had filed their declaration of intention to become citizens were also eligible. Records relating to the draft are at the National Archives in Record Group 110, Records of the Provost Marshal General’s Bureau, and have not yet been microfilmed. They include the following:
Consolidated Lists. These are arranged by state, then by congressional district, and then alphabetically by the first letter of the surname. The lists give name; place of residence; age as of 1 July 1863; occupation; marital status; state, territory, or country of birth; and military service (if any).
Descriptive Rolls. These are arranged the same as the
Consolidated Lists and include a physical description of the enrollee,
birthplace, and whether accepted or rejected for service.
To find a name in the records, you must first determine the congressional district in which your ancestor lived. Congressional district numbers are listed in the following:United States Congress. Congressional Directory for the Second Session of the Thirty-eighth Congress of the United States of America. Washington, D.C.: Philip & Solomons, 1865. (FHL book 973 E4uc 1865; film 1425543 item 6; computer number 234670.) This is arranged alphabetically by state, then by Congressional district. The counties are included in each district. There are also some case files on drafted aliens in National Archives Record Group 59, General Records of the Department of State. These are arranged alphabetically and include name, age, district from which drafted, country of citizenship, and length of residence in the United States. Civil War draft or enrollment records arediscussed in: Meier, Michael T. “Civil War Draft Records: Exemptions and Enrollments.” Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives 26. (Winter 1994): 282–86. (FHL book 973 B2p; computer number 73342.)
Many state volunteer regiments had published histories. The histories have biographical data on officers and unit rosters of members, and they often provide clues to the town or county where the soldiers were living when they enlisted.The following sources contain organizational unit names and brief service histories of Union Army regiments: Dyer, Frederic. Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, 2 vols. 1908. Reprint, Dayton, Ohio: The Press of Morningside Bookshop, 1978. (FHL book 973 M2df; computer number 467773.)
Compiled Records Showing Service of Military Units in Volunteer Union Organizations. National Archives Microfilm Publication M594. (FHL films 1488453–677; computer number 437590.) Transcribed as Part II Record of Events to Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. For additional information, look under “General Reference Sources” in this section.Fallon, John T. List of Synonyms of Organizations in the Volunteer Service of the United States during the Years 1861, ‘62, ‘63, ‘64, and ‘65. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1885. (FHL film 195490; computer number 283860.) Arranged by state, then alphabetical by synonym, with references to its regular or final designation. An additional arrangement of the synonyms alphabetically is included.
The Union Army, a History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861–1865; Records of the Regiments in the Union Army, Encyclopedia of Battles, Memoirs of Commanders and Soldiers. 9 vols. 1908. Reprint, Wilmington, N.C.: Broadfoot Publishing, 1998. (FHL book 973 M2ua; computer number 817687.) The first four volumes contain regimental sketches. Volumes five and six are an encyclopedia of battles. Volume seven contains naval information, and Volume eight has biographical sketches of Union generals.The Family History Library has a large collection of regimental histories. To find specific microfilm numbers look in the Author/Title search of the Family History Library Catalog on microfiche under the name of the author. The library is also in the process of acquiring Civil War Unit Histories: Regimental Histories and Personal Narratives on microfiche from University Publications of America. This collection will include the state adjutant general’s office reports and the unit histories and personal narratives published from 1861 to 1920 that are listed in Charles E. Dornbusch’s previously mentioned Military Bibliography of the Civil War.
The collection is divided into five parts: the Union is covered in parts 2–5; Part 2, New England; Part 3, Mid-Atlantic; Part 4, Midwest and West; Part 5, higher and independent commands and naval forces. A published inventory for each part is available in:Lester, Robert E., project ed., and Blair D. Hydrick, comp. A Guide to the Microfiche Edition of Civil War Unit Histories: Regimental Histories and Personal Narratives. Bethesda, Md.: University of America, 1993. (FHL book 973 M2cwu; Part 2 computer number 660208, Part 3 computer number 656418, Part 4 computer number 715369.) For additional information look under “General Reference Sources” in the “Civil War" section of this outline.
As part of the regular enumeration of the population in 1890, a special enumeration was also done of Union veterans and widows. The returns are available on the following microfilm:Schedules Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1890. National Archives Microfilm Publication M123. (FHL 118 films; computer number 59376.) The schedules for the states alphabetically from Kentucky through Wyoming are available. They give name, rank, company, regiment or vessel, dates of enlistment and discharge, length of service, residence, disability, and remarks. To find specific microfilm numbers, look in the Locality search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
UNITED STATES - CENSUS - 1890
State indexes to the 1890 census are listed under:
[STATE] - CENSUS - 1890
The Thirteenth Population Census of the United States, 1910. National Archives Microfilm Publication T624. (FHL 1,784 films; computer number 176588), asked whether an individual was a survivor of the Union Army (UA) or the Union Navy (UN). Some state censuses also identified Union veterans. Examples on microfilm at the Family History Library include the New York census of 1865 and the Wisconsin census of 1885.
Nearly 359,000 soldiers in the Union forces lost their lives during the war. The following is the best source to begin searching for a Union soldier’s burial place:Quartermaster General’s Office. Roll of Honor: Names of Soldiers Who Died in Defense of the American Union. 27 vols. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1865–71. Reprint in 10 vols., Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. (FHL book 973 M2roh 1994; computer number 715457.) (FHL CD #9 part 351 computer number 804125) (FHL films 1311589–91 computer number 249968) The records are arranged by the burial place Each entry generally gives the soldier’s name rank regiment company and death date
Hughes, Mark, comp.
The Unpublished Roll of Honor.
Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1996. (FHL book 973
M2roha; computer number 84268.) Contains additional names not included in the
roll of honor.
Bivouac of the Dead. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books,
1995. (FHL book 973 M24h; computer number 758871.) Contains a history of the
National Cemetery system and burial procedures of the Union army, an index to
the original burial site along with final burial site of soldiers (1860–90), and
a brief description of each cemetery.
Card Records of Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, ca. 1879–1903. National Archives Microfilm Publication M1845. Contains 166,000 records of veterans buried in private cemeteries. Cards are arranged alphabetically and contain the name of the veteran, rank, company, regiment, place of burial, name and location of cemetery, grave number, date of death, and supplier of headstones.Additional statewide burial records of Union soldiers and veterans available at the Family History Library include:
Civil War Graves Registration Index Cards, 1861–1930. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1994. (FHL 22 films, beginning with 1955405; computer number 739131.) This index for the state of Michigan includes name, county of burial, and military unit.
Civil War Veterans Buried in Nebraska. Lincoln, Neb.: State Historical Society, 1970. (FHL films 833155–56; computer number 353242.) Entries contain name, GAR post number; place of burial, including city and county; cemetery name; grave lot and section; date and place of death; place of birth; date of birth; company; regiment; rank; and enlistment and discharge dates.
Veterans’ and Lineage Society Records
The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). This was the major veterans’ organization after the war. It reached its largest membership in the 1890s with about 400,000 members. Below is a published history of the organization with biographical sketches of national and state officials:Beath, Robert B. History of the Grand Army of the Republic. New York: Bryan, Taylor & Co., 1889. (FHL book 973 M2bea; film 1320710 item 2; computer number 453959.) By 1890, about 40 percent of Union veterans were members of the Grand Army of the Republic. The descriptive books of each GAR post usually indicate each member’s name, age, birthplace, residence, occupation, and enlistment and discharge information. Records of GAR posts and of other veterans’ organizations may be found in historical societies, state archives, and state libraries. The Family History Library has records for:
To find specific microfilm numbers, look in the Locality search of the Family History Library Catalog search the Locality section under:
The following publications contain deaths of GAR members:
[STATE] - SOCIETIES
Concannon, Marie.Grand Army of the Republic, Missouri Division, Index to Death Rolls 1882–1940: Taken from the Proceedings of the Annual Encampments. Columbia, Mo.: State Historical Society of Missouri, 1995. (FHL book 977.8 M22c; computer number 811250.) Entries list name, post number and location, age at death, and the year and page numbers in which the death was reported. Myers, Jane, comp. Honor Roll of Oregon Grand Army of the Republic, 1881–1935: Deaths [sic] Reported in Oregon of Members of the GAR, Extracted from Proceedings of the Annual Encampments of the Department of Oregon, Grand Army of the Republic. Cottage Grove, Ore.: Cottage Grove Genealogical Society, 1980. (FHL book 979.5 A1 no. 53; computer number 114237.) Alphabetically arranged. Entries contain the name of the veteran, company, regiment, date of death, and GAR post number in Oregon.
Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861–65. This organization was established in 1885. The address of their library and museum is:
Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War
503 South Walnut Street
Springfield, IL 62704
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Established in 1881, this society has no permanent headquarters. The society has a grave registration committee. Check the current edition of the Encyclopedia of Associations described in the “Veterans’ and Lineage Society Records,” within the “Types of Military Records” section of this outline.The society’s Internet web site is found at: http://suvcw.org This site includes a history of the organization, membership information, coming events, a Civil War ancestor registration project, grave registration project, state department (chapter) web sites, and links to other related genealogical web sites. The society publishes the following:
The Banner: The Journal of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Dwight, Ill.: Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1897–. (FHL book 973 H25ba; computer number 531276.)For a published history of the society and a roster of some current members see:
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Paducah, Ky.: Turner Publishing, 1996. (FHL book 973 C4suv; computer number 818917.)
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. This society was organized by officers of the Union Army in 1865. Their address is:
1805 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
This web site has announcements, membership requirements, and national and state organization information.A roster of the society members are located in:
Aubin, Joshua Harris. Register of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Boston: Commandry of the State of Mass., 1906. (FHL book 973 C4a; 908066 item 4; computer number 264873.) Arranged alphabetically by name of officer, rank, unit of service, state, commandery or relationship to officer if heredity member.
Additional Union Sources
Brown, J. Willard. The Signal Corps in the War of the Rebellion. 1896. Reprint, Baltimore, Md.: Butternut and Blue, 1996. (FHL book 973 M2bt; computer number 775359.) Contains a roster of soldiers in the signal corps; includes present address of each soldier and a brief service history.
Canney, Don L. Lincoln’s Navy: The Ships, Men, and Organization, 1861–65. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1998. (FHL book 973 M3ca.)Gibson, Charles Dana, and E. Kay Gibson, comps. Dictionary of Transports and Combat Vessels, Steam and Sail, Employed by the Union Army, 1861–1865. Camden, Maine: Ensign Press, 1995. Holland, Mary A. Gardner. Our Army Nurses. Boston: Press of Lounsbery, Nichols, and Worth, 1896, 1897. (FHL book 973 M2ho; film 1698287 item 9; computer number 504259.) Provides brief biographical sketches of women and their service as nurses. Hubbell, John T., and James W. Geary, eds. Biographical Dictionary of the Union. Northern Leaders of the Civil War. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1995. (FHL book 973 D36bh; computer number 796964.) Contains short biographical sketches with birth and death information on 872 political, military, and other leaders. It also includes a bibliography. Lord, Francis A. Civil War Sutlers and their Wares. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1969. (FHL book 973 H2lf; computer number 438233.) Contains a list of sutlers’ names. Lord, Francis A. They Fought for the Union. New York: Bonanza Books, 1960. (FHL Book 973 M2lf; computer number 542212.) Discusses the various aspect of army life for the common soldier and organization.
Prechtel-Kluskens, Claire. “Wagonmasters Serving the Union during the Civil War.”National Genealogical Society Quarterly 85. (Dec. 1997): 295–311. (FHL book 973 B2ng; computer number 209748.) Contains information about wagon masters during the war. Strait, Newton Allen. Roster of Regimental Surgeons and Assistant Surgeons in the U.S. Medical Department During the Civil War. 1882. Reprint, Gaithersburg, Md.: Olde Soldier Books, 1989. (FHL book 973 M2rr; computer number 775344; 1882 ed. computer number 371694.) Lists name, unit, residence, and date of service for each surgeon.
Valuska, David L.The African-American in the Union Navy: 1861–1865. New York: Garland Publishing, 1993. (FHL book 973 F2vaj; computer number 695747.) Contains a roster of African-American sailors.
Welcher, Frank J.The Union Army 1861–1865: Organizations and Operations. 2 vols. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1989–93. (FHL book 973 M2wf; computer number 681135.) Provides historical background on the operations of the military divisions of the army, departments of the army, field armies, army corps, organizations, and battles and campaigns. Wiley, Bell Irvin. The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980, 1983. (FHL book 973 M2wb; computer number 349861.) Provides a historical sketch of the everyday life of a Union soldier.