The War Department appointed Lt. Col. William Hoffman to be Commissary General of Prisoners in October 1861. Col. Hoffman was responsible for overseeing the handling and treatment of Confederate prisoners of war. In July 1862, the War Department established the Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners, an independent agency within the Department, which was responsible for the supervision of Confederate prisoners of war and political prisoners confined in Union prisons. The Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners was abolished and the Confederate records eventually became part of the Collection of Confederate Records in the War Department. That collection now comprises National Archives Record Group 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records.
NARA Microfilm Records Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War
M598 – Selected Records of the War Department Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865
This publication reproduced 427 bound volumes of records relating to Confederate prisoners of war confined in Federal camps and prisons from 1861-1865. The records are arranged into two sections: 1) records relating to Confederate prisoners of war and political prisoners without regard to specific prison or place of confinement, arranged alphabetically by prisoner’s last name; and 2) records of individual military prisons or stations, arranged alphabetically. Records in the first section comprise registers of the Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners, and generally provide name of prisoner, rank, regiment and company or place of residence, date and place of capture or arrest, and often their disposition. Separate registers were also kept for deaths of prisoners, applications for release, and prisoners released. Records in the second section include general prison registers showing arrivals, confinements, and dispositions.
M918 – Register of Confederate Soldiers, Sailors, and Citizens who Died in Federal Prisons and Military Hospitals in the North, 1861-1865
This publication reproduces a death register compiled in 1912 by the Office of the Commissioner for Marking the Graves of Confederate Dead (now part of Record Group 92, Office of the Quartermaster General). It contains individual burial lists generally arranged alphabetically by name of prison camp or other location where the deaths of Confederate prisoners occurred, and then alphabetically by name of deceased. The lists provide name, rank, company, regiment, date of death, and number and location of grave for each individual interred. Some information is incomplete.
M1781 – Muster Rolls and Lists of Confederate Troops Paroled in North Carolina
This publication includes parole lists of individuals who served in units from every Southern state as well as military and civilian employees in such organizations as naval and ordnance works, hospitals, and supply trains. Also included are soldiers who surrendered with Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, but who received their paroles in North Carolina. The parole lists are arranged alphabetically by name of town where the parole took place, and then by list number assigned by the War Department when it collected and organized captured Confederate military records of war. Some lists are unnumbered and others are duplicates. Unit names and dates of surrender are also identified.
Note: Similar muster rolls and lists exist for Confederate troops paroled in other states, but have not been microfilmed. They may be found in Record Group 109.
M2072 – Lists of Confederates Captured at Vicksburg, Mississippi, July 4, 1863
These records are arranged alphabetically by state, then by type of unit (cavalry, artillery, infantry), and then by regiment number and sometimes company. The lists provide the following information about each prisoner: name, rank, regiment, company, date and place of capture and remarks.
NARA Confederate Prisoner of War Records - Textual Records
There are several collections of Confederate Prisoner of War records in Record Group 109 that have not been microfilmed. These include, but are not limited to, the following collections:
Register of Confederate Prisoners and Deserters Released on Taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States. 1863-1865 – Entry 204
Record of the Effects of Deceased Confederate Prisoners. 1862-1865 – Entry 207
Notes Relating to Confederate Prisoners. 1861-1865 – Entry 209
Papers Relating to Confederates in Union Hospitals. 1861-1865 – Entry 211
Parole Rolls of Confederates. 1862-1865 – Entry 212
Consult the Preliminary Inventories Number 101, War Department Collection of Confederate Records for more information on these and other available records.
Ordering information for National Archives preliminary inventories
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