National Archives Sources
Letters, Manuscripts, & Diaries
Regimental Histories - Internet Sources
NATIONAL ARCHIVES SOURCES
Confederate Regimental Books
There are few regimental books for Confederate units, and most have not been carded. Click here for a list of units with one or more regimental books. For more information on available books see Beers's Confederate Guide, pages 304 - 311.
Compiled Military Service Records
See Confederate Service Records
Service records can also be a great source of information. Records for Confederate units have been microfilmed, and most are arranged by regiment, so it is easy to review the records for everyone in the unit. These often contain more original documents than their Federal counterpart, notably for officers, and especially for quartermaster, ordnance, and other officers handling supplies. Note the separate nonstate series for generals, staff of officers, and nonregimental enlisted men.
Inspection reports, 1864 - 1865 - microfilm M935
A very few miscellaneous regimental papers will occasionally be filed with the original muster rolls, RG 109, entry 18. Check with a consultant before ordering. Many of these records are not accessible to researchers.
Records of Events
Sometimes, additional information about a soldier's war activities can be deduced from the compilations of the activities of each company known colloquially as the "record of events." These records, which were compiled from information on the original muster rolls and returns, are uneven in content; some give day-by-day narratives of a company's activities, while others simply note that the company was stationed at a certain place during the reporting period (usually 2-months). Although they rarely name individual soldiers, the descriptions of the activities and movements of the company can be used, in conjunction with the soldier's CMSR to determine where the soldier was and what he was doing. Records of Confederate regiments are reproduced in microfilm publication M861, Compiled Records Showing Service of Military Units in Confederate Organizations (74 rolls). These records are arranged by state, thereunder by regiment, and thereunder by company. These records have been published as Janet B. Hewett, et al., Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 51 vols. (Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1994-97).
Records of Field Officers.
Because few Confederate records in the National Archives are arranged or indexed by unit, series indexed only by name are especially important. Consider particularly references to field of officers (colonel, lieutenant colonel, major) on microfilm M409, M410, and M347. You must first know the names you are seeking.
RG 109, entry 49, are in two subseries, "carded" and "uncarded." The little information in these is a signature (often "X") and the quantity and date an individual drew an item, e.g., one hat, one cap, two pairs of drawers, and one knapsack.
Records of the Virginia Forces, 1861, are on microfilm M998
NOTE: Onsite researchers should meet with a consultant to see what other records might be available with regard to their specific search.
LETTERS, DIARIES, & MANUSCRIPTS
Pension Records should also be consulted. These files often contain information relating to military service especially in the cases of woundings or disabilities that occurred during active service. Affidavits of the veteran’s comrades and commanding officers testifying to their recollections of specific events are often found in these records. Unlike Federal pension records, the National Archives does not hold Confederate pension files. They are held by the appropriate state archives. The veteran was eligible to apply for a pension to the state in which he lived, even if he served in a unit from a different State. Generally, an applicant was eligible for a pension only if he was indigent or disabled.
For ordering information, click here.
REGIMENTAL INTERNET SOURCES
American Civil War Database (low-cost subscription)
Regimental Histories and Unit Rosters
American Civil War Regiments
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
Library of Congress
U.S. Civil War Regimental Histories
U.S. Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, PA
American Civil War Unit Bibliographies
Beers, Henry Putney. The Confederacy: A Guide to the Archives
Confederate Veteran (now indexed)
Crute, Joseph . Jr., Units of the Confederate States Army
Dornbusch, Charles E. Military Bibliography of the Civil War
National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
(Battle reports, correspondence, and tables of organization, indexed for units by state, arm of service)
Sifakis, Stewart. Compendium of the Confederate Armies
Southern Historical Society Papers (with two-volume index)
Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
Most of these books are available for purchase at
The Little Regiment: Civil War Units and Commands
By Michael P. Musick
From Prologue, Summer 1995, Vol. 27, No. 2
This is an excellent guide to regimental records and research written by the expert on military records.
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