Monday, November 12, 2012

Military Monday: A Civil War Research Problem

  In the spirit of Veterans Day, I thought I would share a research problem (even though it does not involve a Connecticut ancestor). While I do a fair amount of Civil War research, I have an ancestor who continues to avoid my searching. That ancestor lived in a region of Maryland bordering North and South, although his home was technically in the North. When the war came, he went South. And that's all I know.
   I've tried a few things. My first step was searching the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database. The only person of that name from Maryland fought for the Union Army and lived in a different region than my ancestor did. I've also tried to find his death information. My ancestor supposedly died in Petersburg, VA soon after the battle. I've checked Find A Grave without success.
  So what would be your next step?

1 comment:

  1. I feel your frustration, mine is finding diaries and letters of my civil war ancestors. However, you might want to email the archivist in the states that seceded. The first one I would email would be Virginia. See if they have a pension for your relative, or a Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR). The Confederate Government turned over their records to the Union at the close of hostilities; however not all of the records made it out of Richmond. The individual southern states issued pension to confederate veterans. So the most likely place to start would be state veteran pension records.
    The next place I would try searching is the Union P.O.W. list. Your ancestor may have been captured at Petersburg and died in a Union prison. NARA micro film roll 598 Selected Records of the War Department Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865.
    NARA issued a booklet Reference Information Paper 109 Military Service Records at the National Archives. It is very informative and helpful.
    I hope this is of some help.