Civil War Subversion Investigations

During the American Civil War (1861-1865), various Executive Orders and acts of Congress conferred the power to investigate suspected secessionists and suspected disloyal/treasonable activities. Nearly 63,000 case files were compiled first by Associate Judge Advocate Major Levi C. Turner and later by the War Department (under General Lafayette C. Baker). The Turner files mostly relate to the arrest, parole, and release of suspects, while the Baker files include reports submitted by private individuals and government officials relating to suspicious persons and alleged subversive activity. A case file may contain one document or several hundred.

Oath of Allegiance (LVA.Virginia.gov photo)
Oath of Allegiance (LVA.Virginia.gov photo)

This record collection is included in Fold3.com. Persons with a valid SLPL library card and PIN can use Fold3.com from home; you may also use it at Central Library or any of our branch libraries.

Here’s a complete list of SLPL reference databases.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of St. Louis Public Library