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Confederate Service Records

Military Service Records of Confederate Solders who Served During the Civil War 

Confederate service records are typically less complete than those relating to Union soldiers since many Confederate records did not survive the war.

When the Confederate government evacuated Richmond, many Confederate records were sent away, destroyed, or left behind. Some of the records found their way into the hands of the Union Army and were forwarded to the War Department. In July 1865, the Adjutant General established a bureau for the “collection, safekeeping, and publication of Rebel Archives.”  In 1903 the Secretary of War persuaded the Governors of most Southern States to lend Confederate military personnel records to the War Department for copying.

These captured and copied Confederate records, as well as Union prison and parole records, were abstracted by the War Department between 1903 and 1927 to compile military service records of Confederate officers, noncommissioned officers, and enlisted men. 

The Compiled service records consist of a card or cards containing information abstracted from such original records as muster rolls, regimental returns, and medical and prison registers. The records may list his age, place of enlistment, birthplace, residence and occupation as well as a physical description. However, you tend to find more information of this kind with early enlistments. These records are valuable for proving military service, but keep in mind that a compiled military service record is only as complete as the records of an individual soldier or his unit.

NOTE: When checking the indexes, be sure to consider alternative spellings. Names were frequently misspelled for a variety of reasons. Even more frustrating, many records list initials rather than full names. Note in the record below, one record used initials, but the other record used first name and middle initial.

John Weaver CSR


Many service records can be accessed online!

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National Archives Resources

The following microfilm series reproduce indexes and compiled military service records of Confederate soldiers.

Indexes to Compiled Service Records

Master Index

Consolidated Index to Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers
M253 – 535 Rolls
This microfilm publication contains an alphabetical card index to the compiled service records of Confederate soldiers.  This master index contains all the names of Confederate soldiers found in the records, regardless of whether the service was a unit furnished by a particular State, with a unit raised directly the by Confederate Government, or as a staff officer.

State Index

In addition to the master index, there is a series of indexes arranged by state.
M374 – Alabama
M375 – Territory of Arizona
M376 – Arkansas
M225 – Florida
M226 – Georgia
M377 – Kentucky
M378 – Louisiana
M379 – Maryland
M232 – Mississippi
M380 – Missouri
M230 – North Carolina
M381 – South Carolina
M231 – Tennessee
M227 – Texas
M382 – Virginia

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
M218 – 26 Rolls

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
M318 – Arizona
M317 – Arkansas
M251 – Florida
M266 – Georgia
M319 – Kentucky
M320 – Louisiana
M321 – Maryland
M269 – Mississippi
M322 – Missouri
M270 – North Carolina
M267 – South Carolina
M268 – Tennessee
M323 – Texas
M324 – Virginia

Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations Raised Directly by the Confederate Government,
M258 - 123 Rolls

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
M331 275 Rolls

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
M347 -  442 Rolls

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.

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Special Tip

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.

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