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HOW TO ORDER MILITARY RECORDS FROM NARA.

Where can you find Civil War records online?

Learn about your Civil War ancestors.  The fascinating lives and  stories of our Civil War Soldiers will unfold with each small tidbit gathered by you.... the  family historian.  

 

These things which  we leave to our descendants will become priceless treasures!  Learn how to locate Civil War records with the easy tips below.


How to Order Civil War Records


  • You will need the name of the soldier along with the Company  and Regiment he served to order the military record or pension records.

  • Union and Confederate Military  Records should be ordered from Washington.  You can order the NATF 86 Form needed to order the records HERE. I suggest you order extras.

  • When requesting the records, make a note at the top of the form, asking for ALL records.

  • Give them as much information as possible.  Too much information is better than too little.  Remember, any information you give them is going to help them locate the records you need.

  • Some soldiers have records filed under different spellings of their name.  If the soldier has records listed under different spellings, I have included those in the indexes.  Be sure to put all spellings on the form.

  • Some soldiers fought in more than one regiment or company.  You must include all of them.  They will only send records on the regiment and company you ask for.  I ended up ordering twice for one of my ancestors (paid the fee twice!) because I didn't realize this.

  • Union Pension Records should be ordered from Washington using form NATF 85 (Order Form).   You cannot order the Military Record and Pension Record on one form.

  • Confederate Pension Records cannot be ordered from Washington.  These pensions were filed from the state where the soldier resided at the time they applied for the pension.   Therefore these records are filed at the state level and can often be ordered from the State Archives or State Libraries.  Finding these records requires a little more effort.  Your ancestor will have filed an application from the state where they resided when the pensions were enacted, not necessarily the state where they served.   The years when Confederate pensions were allowed vary from state to state.  For help with Confederate Pension Records, check this link at The National Archives.

NOTE:  If you don't have any information on what unit or company your ancestor was in or if they served at all, check the following sources: 
  Civil War Prison Camps with links to many Civil War soldier databases.
  Civil War Soldier Databases
  CIVIL WAR SERVICE RECORDS CD

Online Civil War Resources by State 
Ancestry databases are marked as paid meaning you must be a subscriber to access.
  Alabama Civil War Service Database at ADAH
  Arkansas History Commission - Military Records
  Florida Confederate Pension Pension Application Search
  Georgia Confederate Pensions Search at the Georgia State Archives
  Iowa Union Soldier Burial Records paid
  Kansas Civil War Soldiers paid 
  Kentucky Ancestors at the Kentucky Dept. of Archives
  Louisiana Confederate Pensions Index at Louisiana State Archives
  Louisiana Confederate Soldiers paid
  Maryland Soldiers in the Civil War, Vol. 1 paid
  Maryland Soldiers in the Civil War, Vol. 2 paid
  Minnesota Civil War Soldiers paid
  Missouri Civil War Records paid
  Missouri Confederate Death Records paid
  Missouri Confederate Volunteers paid
  Nevada Civil War Volunteers paid
  New York Civil War Records paid
  South Carolina Confederate Pensions 1919-1938
  Tennessee Civil War Regimental Histories paid
  Tennessee Civil War Veterans' Questionaires (questionnaires)
  Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications Index
  Tennessee Confederate Physicians
  Tennessee Confederate Soldiers Home Applications Index
  Texas Confederate Indigent Families 1863-1865
  Texas Confederate Pension Applications Index
  Virginia Confederate Disability Applications
  Virginia Confederate Pension Electronic Card Index
  Civil War Message Forum
  Civil War Pension Files Index at Ancestry

About Civil War Pensions
*Getting the Most Out of the Civil War Pension Index, Part I
*Getting the Most Out of the Civil War Pension Index, Part II
*Getting the Most Out of the Civil War Pension Index, Part III
Cynthia Fox and Connie Potter of the National Archives have submitted these guides to help you understand the process for requesting  Civil War Pension records from the National Archives and help you avoid some common mistakes in your requests.
 
More to see:
 Researching Military Heroes
 Veterans in Your Family
 Civil War Soldiers Database at Ancestry


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Learn how to locate your Civil War ancestor's military records.  Discover where to find Civil War records online. 

Military records can present a wealth of information for the genealogy researcher.