United States Civil War 1861 to 1865, Part 1

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United States
Civil War, 1861-1865
Getting Started
General Records
Personnel Types
United States Genealogy Gotoarrow.png U.S. Military Gotoarrow.png US Civil War

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The American Civil War began on 12 April 1861 when troops in South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Also called the "War between the States" and the "War of Secession", the Civil War lasted until 1865. Approximately 3.5 million soldiers fought in the war resulting in almost 600,000 deaths.

Best Sources[edit | edit source]

Getting Started with Civil War Research[edit | edit source]

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System[edit | edit source]

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System of the National Park Service is a free Internet index of both Union and Confederate service records.

The database contains approximately 6.3 million names (some names are duplicated because of spelling variations and multiple enlistments) covering 3.5 million soldiers. The database tells whether the soldier was Union or Confederate and gives regiment and rank.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System index was compiled in cooperation with the National Archives, the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the Genealogical Society of Utah. Numerous volunteers worked together to make a computerized index to Union and Confederate soldiers.

State Civil War Records[edit | edit source]

States in 1861[edit | edit source]

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Northern States (blue)

Southern States (red)
Seceded before
15 Apr 1861

Southern States (orange)
Seceded after
15 Apr 1861

Slave States which did not secede

States not yet formed or which were territories in 1861 (grey)

Research Tools[edit | edit source]

  • Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System is searchable by soldier's name and state. It contains basic facts about soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, a list of regiments, descriptions of significant battles, sources of the information, and suggestions for where to find additional information.
  • New York Public Library, "USSC Civil War Soldiers Inquiry Database" on the U.S. Sanitary Commission collection of records of over 9,000 sick, wounded, or missing Union servicemen to answer inquiries from their relatives.

Ethnic Groups[edit | edit source]

Major Sites with Digitized Records[edit | edit source]

Many Civil War records have been digitized and indexed on various Internet sites. Check the lists showing many of the digitized records on FamilySearch, Ancestry, and Fold3.

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