How To Search For Military Service Records From The 1950’s

How To Search For Military Service Records From The 1950’s – To request a Civil War veteran’s military records, click here: Request a Civil War Veteran’s Military Records

This article provides an overview of the records that can be used to document the military service history of individual Civil War veterans. Although there are many excellent resources available at the state level, this guide focuses primarily on Civil War military service records that can be accessed at the federal research centers of the National Archives. The Civil War military service records described in this article are essential to researching a Civil War veteran, and most cannot be found online.

How To Search For Military Service Records From The 1950’s

If you are interested in researching an ancestor who was involved in the Civil War, this is a good starting point for your research and will give you a launching pad to begin your research journey. Let’s first look at the Union War Service Archives, which offer the majority of available Civil War Research Service records, and then briefly touch on the more fragmentary Confederate service records.

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The Collected Military Records of Civil War Veterans, also called the C.M.S.R., is the first file you should access when beginning research on a Civil War veteran. Compiled Military Service Records were created at the turn of the century by the War Department as a way to document and easily reference the service of individual Civil War veterans.

Record sources for the information found in the compiled military service record include: medical reports, muster rolls, pay records, and regimental reports.

Whenever a Civil War soldier’s name appeared on one of these unit reports, the War Department generated a card corresponding to that notation. These cards were then placed inside the veterans service “jacket” (small envelope) which we call a composite military record.

A compiled Civil War military service record typically provides a basic overview of a veteran’s service, documenting important details—such as date of enlistment, date of discharge, rank, wounds received in action, illness, and hospitalization.

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In addition, compiled Civil War military service records may include additional documentation, including bounty payment records, enlistment forms, and even POW records for soldiers who were captured on the battlefield.

Because the War Department was so thorough when compiling the data found inside Civil War military service records, it is rarely necessary to consult the actual unit reports looking for mentions of individual army soldiers.

It should be noted that while compiled Civil War military records provide a good overview of a Civil War veteran’s overall service, they rarely show participation in specific battles or engagements.

Unfortunately, the sailors and marines who fought for the Union do not have the equivalent of a compiled military record.

Veterans And Military Personnel

This means that unlike Army studies of Civil War-era individuals, which have neatly compiled service files, building a complete picture of a Civil War veteran’s time in service requires a manual search of available Civil War Navy records .

Hiring information for Navy veterans of the Civil War can be ascertained from the ship’s “encounter reports.” These reports are the Navy’s counterpart to the Army’s registry and essentially provide us with a starting point for tracking down individual Marine veterans of the Civil War.

Additional information on the ship’s assignment of Civil War Navy Veterans can be found in the Navy List. Civil War Navy lists show which sailors were aboard a ship during a specific time period and record basic information about the person, such as date of birth and date of enlistment. When used in conjunction with the ship’s history of the Civil War ship to which a sailor was assigned, the muster list can allow us to see what the Navy veteran was doing and where he was during the Civil War.

Researching Civil War naval officers is much more convenient because higher-ranking personnel actually have service resumes that can provide an overview of an officer’s service history. Service summaries document important aspects of a Civil War veteran’s military service, such as ranks, ship assignments, trials in courts-martial, and injuries or death while serving. The Marine Corps was actually part of the Navy Department during the Civil War. As with Navy Civil War veteran research, it is often necessary to manually compile the Marine’s service details using the Marine Corps rosters. Marine Corps rosters can show us basic information such as Marines’ enlistment dates, ship assignments, ranks, and injuries or deaths in service.

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The Pension Index Card is an aid to locating military pension files created by the federal government. The Pension Index contains the military service pension file numbers associated with your Civil War Veteran’s pension record.

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Before the Civil War, pensions were usually granted in the form of land awards or payments to widows and severely disabled veterans. By the mid-nineteenth century, military pension laws began to develop and offer payment for time in the military.

Each subsequent change expanded the military pension system and added more (previously ineligible) veterans, widows and dependents to the rolls.

The government agencies responsible for administering military pensions also changed over time, resulting in several different sets of indexes as files were consolidated into a new government agency. These pension index cards are available online. Each type of card refers to the same Civil War pension record, but different indexes may contain different information, so each set must be researched.

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Important numbers found on pension cards include Soldier’s Original (SO) application number, Soldier’s Certificate (SC) number of approved pension, Widow’s Original (WO) and Certificate (WC) numbers.

Pensions C and XC were pensions that were still active after the First World War. Widows’ and dependents’ pensions were usually combined into an initial soldier’s pension, and a widow’s pension could hold records for more than one soldier if the widow remarried another soldier. All Civil War pension files are stored under the last number assigned, making the pension index card an important record for further research.

Civil War pension records are by far the most personal of the military service records available at the National Archives for research on individual Civil War veterans. Because Civil War pension records were created during the process of applying for government benefits and maintained during the payment of the pension, they often contain vital records, witness affidavits, medical records, correspondence, and other documentation. which makes them a treasure – a treasure for genealogists.

It is not uncommon for a Civil War pension record to provide more detail about a Civil War veteran’s military service than their actual military record.

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For example, if a veteran lived many years after the war and received benefits for wounds received in combat, there is usually a large amount of documentation covering both military service and medical treatment.

Medical disability records can span decades since documentation was needed to pay, modify, and continue payments to the Civil War veteran and their beneficiaries.

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The strict documentation requirements during the benefits application process mean that pension files are often full of handwritten correspondence, as well as documents such as marriage certificates, birth certificates and other official records that prove the eligibility of the veteran and family members them for pension payments.

In some cases, payments were made to the widows or children of a Civil War veteran for many decades after the war. These pension records and the correspondence they generate can show us what life was like in the post-conflict years for both the post-war veteran and those in their immediate family. The value of the Civil War Pension Record for military and genealogical research cannot be overstated.

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A “Record of Events” for Civil War military units was drawn from the returns and rosters of each unit after the war. These samples typically provide details of the unit’s stations and movements during the period a Civil War veteran was assigned to them.

Some units were incredibly thorough in reporting each day’s events. Other units simply provide the location of the station to the unit’s headquarters on a month-to-month basis.

The event record rarely mentions individual soldiers, but when used in conjunction with the compiled service record and pension record, the Civil War event record can help us understand where the veteran was and what he did during the war. Unit histories can also add a broad overview of unit activity for Civil War units that were active during the conflict.

Confederate military service records are the most fragmentary records of Civil War service held in the National Archives, making research on Confederate soldiers and sailors more difficult to undertake. At the turn of the century, the War Department began creating roll call military service records for Confederate veterans and a series of “event records” for Confederate units.

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Like the combined military service record series covering the military service of Union Civil War veterans, the

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