Civil War Soldier Search
A Guide to Research Resources
National Archives Resources
The following microfilm series reproduce indexes and compiled military service records of Confederate soldiers.
Indexes to Compiled Service Records
Consolidated Index to Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers
In addition to the master index, there is a series of indexes arranged by state.
General and Staff Officer Index
Index to Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served Directly in Organizations Raised Directly by the Confederate Government and of Confederate General and Staff officers and Non-Regimental Enlisted Men
This index relates specifically to the compiled service records of Confederate solders who served in military organizations raised directly by the Confederate Government as well as Officers and Non-regimental enlisted men.
Compiled Service Records
Organizations by State
These records are arranged by state, regiment, and then alphabetically by surname. There are cross-references for names that appear under more than one spelling. First names are often listed as initials, and names were frequently misspelled. I cannot stress enough the importance of checking every possible spelling.
M311 – Alabama
Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations Raised Directly by the Confederate Government,
This series contains the compiled service records of Confederate soldiers who served in military organizations raised directly or otherwise formed by the Confederate Government and therefore not identified with any one State. Two or three of these organizations seems to have been originally considered units of the Confederate Regular Army. Several others were raised among residents of Indian Territory: one was made up of foreigners recruited among Union Prisoners of War.
Compiled Service Records of Confederate General and Staff Officers, and Non-Regimental Enlisted Men
This microfilm publication contains the compiled service records of Confederate officers and enlisted men who did not belong to any particular regiment, separate company or comparable unit, or special corps. This class of military personnel included general officers; officers and enlisted men of the staff departments; members of army corps, division, and brigade staffs, and various appointees with special status such as aides-de-camp, military judges, chaplains, agents and drillmasters.
The staff departments were those of the Adjutant and Inspector General, the Quartermaster General, the Commissary General, the Medical Department, and the Ordnance Department.
Unfiled Papers and Slips
Unfiled Papers and Slips Belonging to Confederate Compiled Service Records
Little known and often overlooked, this extensive series of papers often contains important documentation that never made its way into the compiled service records. These records were supposed to be interfiled with the regular series of service records, but that never happened. The records are arranged alphabetically by surname with cross-references for names that appear under more than one spelling. Often names that sound alike are grouped together, so it is important to check for names under every possible spelling.
All of the above microfilm publications can be rented or purchased from the National Archives and can be viewed in the DC Branch of the NARA as well as at many regional branches. Also, most state archives have copies of military records for service in their state.
If you can’t find a service record in the NARA microfilm publications, and know that he served in the military during the Civil War, try the state archives. Some of the local militias and home guard units were never mustered into Confederate service. You may find these records at the appropriate state archives facility.