Another edition of Civil War Saturday

Genealogy Circle LogoWelcome back to this week’s Civil War Saturday! I’m so glad you dropped by! Here’s an important research tool for you to consider.
When you’ve exhausted most of your online research sources while tracking down your Civil War ancestor don’t forget the National Archives at www.archives.gov. Filled with valuable files dating back to our country’s birth these archives may be the key to the additional information you seek.

Look around the site. There are many free online documents and photos to browse and if you have questions on other military conflicts and other ancestor’s service your in the right place. Since we’re talking Civil War I’ll stick with the two main sources of information for our soldier, the Complied Military Service Record whether Union or Confederate as well as both volunteers and regular army. This also includes Naval service as well as Marines too.

I took this explanation about the Compiled Service Records direct from the website:
Compiled service records consist of an envelope containing card abstracts taken from muster rolls, returns, pay vouchers, and other records. They will provide you with your ancestor’s rank, unit, date mustered in and mustered out, basic biographical information, medical information, and military information.

Here are a couple records we received on my g-g-grandfather.

Muster and Descriptive Roll of a Detachment of Drafted Men and Substitutes

Muster and Descriptive Roll of a Detachment of Drafted Men and Substitutes

The Complied Military Service File (NATF 86) can be ordered online for $25 or you can download the form and mail it in. You have the choice of receiving hard copies or a cd of your files.

Then there is the Pension Applications and Pension Payment Records which I blogged about here and here.
Again I took this explanation direct from the website:
The National Archives also has pension applications and records of pension payments for veterans, their widows, and other heirs. The pension records in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. are based on service in the armed forces of the United States between 1775 and 1916. Pension application files usually provide the most genealogical information. These files often contain supporting documents such as: narratives of events during service, marriage certificates, birth records, death certificates, pages from family Bibles, family letters, depositions of witnesses, affidavits, discharge papers and other supporting papers.

Here’s a record we received on my g-g-grandfather:

NARA Pension File

NARA Pension File

The Military Pension/Bounty Land Warrant Applications (NATF Form 85) can be ordered online for $75 or you can download the form and mail it in. You have the choice of receiving hard copies or a cd of your files.

It’s worth your time to browse the National Archives website! So much info, and if it’s been awhile, it’s worth another look!

Let me know if you’ve ordered either of these files in the past. Did you hit a bonanza?

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