Resources for Researching Civil War Veterans from New York
Corporal George Houston, U.S.M.C.
A primary goal in Civil War research is obtaining the service or pension records of a person. When doing so, a researcher usually needs to provide the name of the regiment in which the subject served. The following is a listing of some of the sources of information that might be useful in such a search. Some additional sources for information can be found by looking inThe Family History Center (Latter Day Saints) locality file under the subject heading: New York-Military Records-Civil War, 1861-1865.
The Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of New York: This gives the regiment and company in which a person served. The index is arranged alphabetically by surname and is easy to use. It is available through The Family History Center or The National Archives.
Civil War Soldiers System website. The Federation of Genealogical Services, The National Park Service and The Genealogical Society of Utah (to name a few) are converting millions of service index cards onto a computer database, which will be accessible through the internet. The project should be completed sometime in 1999.
1865 New York State Census: This is a valuable census for Civil War researching. Unfortunately it is not indexed and is not available for Manhattan. There are various sections to this census that will provide information on a veteran.
1890 Special Schedule – Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines and Widows, etc.: The 1890 Special Schedule will usually provide a researcher with the following information: rank; company; name of regiment or vessel; date of enlistment; date of discharge; length of service; post office address; disability. If a soldier or sailor was killed in the war, it is usually stated in the remarks column. There is an index to this census. It is available at The National Archives and The Family History Center.
New York Adjutant General's Office: A Record of the Commissioned Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates of the Regiments Which Were Organized in the State of New York.. This is arranged by regiment and then by company. A muster roll, it can be used to obtain information concerning when and where a person enlisted, and his age at enlistment. Because it lists all the individuals in a regiment and company, it can also aid in determining if the person being researched had relatives or neighbors in the same regiment and company.
United States Pension Bureau: Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883; giving the name of each pensioner, the cause for which pensioned, the post office address, the rate of pension per month, and the date of original allowances. The title of this book describes what information can be obtained from it.
Phisterer, Frederick, New York in the War of the Rebellion 1861 to 1865: The book gives a brief history of each regiment, the battles the regiment was engaged in, along with the mortality and causality statistics for each of the battles. It also includes brief military biographies of the Officers. An abstracted version of the book is available on the internet through the New York State and the Civil War site.
The National Archives: The form needed to order the service or pension records can be requested through the National Archives website.