Gaston County Public Library

Finding Civil War Soldiers

Beginning Your Research

In our Catalog do a Keyword search for: United States--History--Civil War or [Name of State]--History--Civil War

  • 369.17 CON NCC. The Confederate Veteran. A magazine published from 1893 to 1932. The Gastonia Main Library has a complete set with an index.
    • The Library of Virginia also provides an online index to The Confederate Veteran.
      Go to: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/opac/aboutvetmagazine.htm
  • 929 NOR NCC. Tracing Your Civil War Ancestors: The Research Resources You Need for Success! by David A. Norris.
  • 929.1 NOR NCC. North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History (2nd ed.) by Helen Leary should be consulted for information on North Carolina records.
  • The Ancestry Library Edition has over 40 specialized databases you can search related to the Civil War, including lists of soldiers, pension indexes and service records.
  • The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System contains 6.3 million soldiers [Union and Confederate] including 18,000 African-American Union sailors.
    Go to: http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm
  • FamilySearch.org's Civil War Collection includes service records for both the Confederate and the Union armies, pension records, and more.
    Go to: https://familysearch.org/civil-war

Carolina Confederates


We recommend that you start with North Carolina Troops when looking for a North Carolina Confederate:

  • 973.7025 MAN NCC. North Carolina Troops, 1861 - 1865: A Roster (18 vols + corrections volume) by the N.C. Dept. of Archives and History. Service record information for soldiers is included.

  • 362.86 WEG NCC. Phantom Pain: North Carolina's Artificial-Limbs Program for Confederate Veterans.
  • 929.2 NOR NCC. "Black North Carolina Confederate Pensioners," by Russell Scott Koonts. North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal. Vol. 21, No. 4 (Nov. 1995). Pgs. 343-352.
  • 929.3 HOL NCC. South Carolina's Confederate Pensioners in 1901.
  • 929.3 OBI NCC. Obituaries: North Carolina Civil War Soldiers and Veterans (12 vols).
  • 929.3756 NOR NCC. North Carolina Historical Roster, 1897-1997: United Daughters of the Confederacy and their Confederate Ancestors of the War Between the States.
  • 973.7 BRA NCC. North Carolina Militia and Home Guard Records (2 vols) by Dr. Stephen E. Bradley, Jr., abstractor. Confederate milita records and orders. Includes dates of orders, names of commanders and soldiers.
  • 973.7 CIV NCC. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers' and Civilians' Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865 (2 vols) by Christopher M. Watford, ed. Volume 1 includes the Piedmont.
  • 973.7 FOR NCC. Forgotten Confederates: An Anthology about Black Southerners by Charles Kelly Barrow, et al., eds.
  • 973.7 HAR NC. Remembering North Carolina's Confederates by Michael C. Hardy. Includes photographs of veterans and monuments in the Piedmont, including Gaston County.
  • 973.7 POT NCC. General Order Book, 1862-1863, 11th "Bethel" Regiment North Carolina Troops by Ellen Poteet, transcriber. Transcribed military orders; includes names of commanders, soldiers and regiments.
  • 973.7025 H NCC. Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-'65 (5 vols). Known as Clark's Regiments. Complete index available.
  • 973.7025 KIR NCC. Broken Fortunes: South Carolina Soldiers, Sailors and Citizens Who Died in the Service of Their Country and State in the War for Southern Independence, 1861-1865 by Randolph W. Kirkland, Jr.
  • 973.7025 M NCC. Roster of North Carolina Troops in the War Between the States (4 vols). Also known as "Moore's Roster." While this old set is frequently cited, see the entry above for North Carolina Troops for a more recent and complete set of rosters. There is an index to Moore's compilation on microfilm at Gastonia Main.
  • 973.74 NOR NCC. North Carolina Confederate Militia Officers Roster by Stephen E. Bradley, Jr.
  • 973.7415 HEL NCC. South Carolina's African American Confederate Pensioners, 1923-1925.
  • 973.745 SOU NCC. Confederate State Roster: South Carolina (2 vols). Gives the name and outfit for every South Carolina soldier included in the National Archives "Index to Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers".
  • 973.7456 DEA NCC. Dead or Disabled: The North Carolina Confederate Pensions, 1885 Series.
  • 973.7456 MAS NCC. State Troops and Volunteers: A Photographic Record of North Carolina's Civil War Soldiers.
  • 973.78 NOR NCC. North Carolina Petitions for Presidential Pardon: 1865-1868 (an index). Names of former Confederates.
  • North Carolina, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861 – 1865
    Go to: https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list
  • The South Carolina Archives’ Confederate Military Records describes microfilm holdings of service records and allows searching for pension records under "Veteran Benefit Records".
    Go to: http://archives.sc.gov/recordsheld/militaryrecords/Documents/Confederate%20Military%20Records.pdf

Carolina Unionists

  • 973.741 ROS v.2 NCC. The Roster of Union Soldiers, 1861 – 1865 (Vol. 2). Includes North Carolina.
  • "1890 Veterans Schedules" are a special census of Union veterans and widows; in some areas, Confederate veterans were listed as well. While often used as a partial substitute for the damaged 1890 federal census, nearly all of the census for states alphabetically before Kentucky have not survived. The existing schedules are available in the Ancestry Library Edition.
  • North Carolina, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861 – 1865
    Go to: https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list
  • U.S. Colored Troops Formed in North Carolina includes name, rank, etc.
    Go to: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ncusct/usct.htm

The National Archives and State Repositories

  • The National Archives in Washington, DC remains the main depository for Civil War records. Union and Confederate pension and military records can be ordered online or through the mail.
    Go to: http://www.archives.gov
    • 929.1 NGS NCC 31. "Searching for Confederate Soldier Records at the National Archives" by Marie Varrelman Melchiori. NGS NewsMagazine. Vol. 31, No. 3 (July/August/September 2005). Pgs. 15-18. A history of Confederate soldier records and how to find them.
    • Repositories of Confederate Pension Records is a state-by-state list; includes contact information for each state repository.
      Go to: http://www.archives.gov/research/military/civil-war/confederate/pension.html
    • Requesting Copies of Older (pre-WWI) Military Service Records includes the NATF forms that must be submitted for pension and military records. There is a fee.
      Go to: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/pre-ww-1-records.html
  • The North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, NC is a secondary resource for Confederate records. This collection includes bounty payrolls, quartermaster records, regimental and unit records, and more. There is a fee for reproducing records.
    Go to: http://www.archives.ncdcr.gov

More Resources

  • 929.1 NGS NCC 31. "Tracing African Americans during the Civil War," by Christopher A. Nordmann. NGS NewsMagazine. Vol. 31, No. 3 (July/August/September 2005). Pgs. 19-23.
  • 929.1 NGS NCC 34. "Anatomy of a Union Civil War Pension File," by Prechtel-Kluskens Claire. NGS NewsMagazine. Vol. 34, No. 3 (July-November 2008). Pgs. 43-48.
  • 929.373 DOL NCC. Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era: Online and Published Military or Civilian Name Lists, 1861-1869, and Post-War Veteran Lists by William Dollarhide. Describes national and state resources, on the Internet, in print, and repositories.
  • 973 UNI NCC. The War of the Rebellion : A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies; Prepared under the Direction of the Secretary of War... (127 vols). Based on Union and Confederate records; might contain a mention of your ancestor, especially if he was an officer. Hint: The "Index" is to the volumes only. Once you get to that volume, check the volume index for individual page numbers. Also note that the "Index" is not complete so also try the online search mentioned below.
  • Library Research Guides:
    Go to: http://gastonlibrary.org/index.cfm/research/genealogy-local-history/
  • Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet – United States – U. S. Military: Civil War includes genealogy links covering everything from African-American soldiers, Civil War cemeteries, prisons, photographs, etc.
    Go to: http://www.cyndislist.com/us/civil-war

Author: Gaston County Public Library
Title: Finding Civil War Soldiers
URL: http://gastonlibrary.org/index.cfm/research/genealogy-local-history/finding-civil-war-soldiers/
Revised: 17 July 2014