Researching a Civil War Soldier

SLPL offers you numerous ways to explore the service of a Civil War ancestor. A good way to get started is to utilize some of the electronic resources that SLPL makes available. is available at Central Library and our branch libraries. One of the record collections in is called U.S., Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865. You can use this record collection to discover your ancestor’s regiment number and company letter, both of which you must possess in order to begin a detailed search for further information.


You can do a search in this record collection by using’s Card Catalog (a drop-down choice when you click Search). Do a search in Title for:
Civil War
One of your choices will be U.S., Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865. This record collection includes 6.3 million listings of Union and Confederate soldiers taken from the National Archives’ indexes of Compiled Military Service Records of Civil War soldiers from various states.
Listings include name; side served on; regiment number and company name; rank in and rank out; and NARA microfilm number. Listings also usually provide a link called Learn More about This Regiment. Clicking the link provides you with the regiment’s date of organization; muster date (date of entry in federal service); regiment type (infantry, artillery, etc.); number of officers killed and died of disease; number of enlisted men killed and died of disease; list of the regiment’s military engagements; and an historical sketch of the regiment.
When you explore a search result in, you are normally offered additional Suggested Records relating to the person of interest. Some of these Suggested Records may offer further info about Civil War soldiers: for example, men who spent time in POW camps, or men (or their dependents) who received a pension based on Civil War service.

A list of SLPL's electronic resources is available here.

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