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     A Guide to Research Resources

Union Prisoner Records

National Archives Records

Record Group 249
Records of the Office of the Commissary General

With the exception of one collection of records, Union prisoner records have not been microfilmed.  For information on available records, researchers should consult Record Group 249, which contains all the existing records of the Commissary General of Prisoners.   This office was responsible for supervision of Confederate Prisoners of War and political prisoners in Federal prisons, for correspondence and other matters relating to Union Prisoners of War in the South, and for some material relating to the exchange and parole of Union Soldiers by Federal authorities. 

These collections include:

Records of Exchanged Federal Prisoners of War U.S.A., 1862-1865.

Records of Deaths of Union Prisoners of War in South Prisons and Hospitals, 1862-1865.

Registers of Union Prisoners who Died at Andersonville, and Other Southern Prisons, 1861-1865.

There are also detailed records 1862-1865 of the arrival and disposition of exchanged or paroled Union prisoners at Alexandria, VA; Annapolis, MD; Benton Barracks, MO; Camp Chase, OH; City Point, VA; College Green Barracks, MD; Cox’s Wharf, VA; Fort Delaware, DE; Jacksonville, FL; Fort Jefferson, FL; Johnson’s Island, OH; Northeast Ferry, NC, and Camp Parole, MD.

Microfilmed Records

M1303 - Selected Records Relating to Federal Prisoners of War Confined at Andersonville, Georgia, 1864-1865.

NARA Publications

Andrews, Patricia, comp. Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners (Record Group 249). Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1966.

Other Publications

Casstevens, Frances H. Out of the Mouth of Hell: Civil War Prisons and EscapesJefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., Inc., 2005.

Sanders, Charles W. While In The Hands Of The Enemy: Military Prisons Of The Civil War (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War Series)   Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Press, 2005

Savage, Douglas J. Prison Camps in the Civil War (Untold History of the Civil War)Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2005.

Speer, Lonnie Portals to Hell: Military Prisons of the Civil War.   Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.


Andersonville National Historic Site
Andersonville National Historic Site is the only park in the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war throughout the nation's history.
Civil War Prisons (and Prisoner) Links
Civil War Prisons and Prisoner Links
Civil War Prisons and Prisoner Links – Cyndi’s List
Images of The Civil War – Prisoners and Prisons

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