Union soldiers in camp. Library of Congress photo LC-B811-2604B.

What kind of facts should you record when you research your Civil War ancestor? Here are a few thing to look for:

  • Name
  • Place of birth and date
  • Enlisted, place and date
  • Union or Confederate
  • Function: infantry, cavalry, sharpshooters, artillery engineers
  • Company name or designation
  • Regiment name
  • Battles and dates
  • Any illnesses
  • Any wounds, battle and date received
  • Description of wounds
  • Hospital stay, place and date
  • Killed in action, place and date
  • Died of disease, place and date
  • Promotion, rank and date
  • Captured, place and date
  • Prisoner of war camp, where held and how long
  • Transfer, to what unit and date
  • Discharge, place, date and reason
  • Physical description
  • Pension record data
  • Occupation
  • Death date and place of burial

In a short time you will have compiled a great deal of information about the soldier in your family history. The story of your Civil War ancestor will begin almost to write itself.

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