Fold3 HQ

Compiled Military Service Records of the Civil War

Gardner Pasho Civil War Muster Roll
The Compiled Military Service Records (CMSRs) are one of the best places to look for information on the military careers of your Civil War ancestors. Compiled by the Record and Pension Division of the War Department starting in the 1890s, the Civil War CMSRs contain basic military service information for soldiers in the volunteer armies (and in a few cases for women attached to the armies, often via hospital service as matrons, laundresses, etc.).

The information in a soldier’s CMSR was originally consolidated from a variety of sources and summarized on card abstracts, which were then filed using a system of envelopes, with one envelope per soldier per regiment. The sources for the card abstracts included muster rolls, regimental returns, pay vouchers, hospital rolls, and other such records. In addition to the cards, some CMSRs also contain personal papers such as casualty sheets, discharge certificates, enlistment papers, inventories of personal effects, medical records, or even photos, newspaper articles, and letters.

Gardner Paho Enlistment PapersAlthough Fold3 already has many of these CMSRs, our collection is still growing! Whereas previously for some states, Fold3 had index cards rather than the full CMSRs, we’re now adding (or planning to add) the complete documents for Union soldiers from California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Washington DC. We’ve also already added full CMSRs for the U.S. Colored Troops.

The new CMSRs are being scanned directly from the original papers at the National Archives (rather than from microfilm), which means that this the first time these records will be available digitally. However, it also means that the process may be lengthy, since the records have to be carefully scanned page by page.

Gardner Pasho Hospital Stay Record

Just to give you an idea of the type of information you can find in CMSRs, let’s look at the service record of Gardner Pasho, who served in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry. From a card abstract of his company’s muster roll we learn that he enlisted as a private at age 18 on 9 December 1863 for a period of 3 years and that he had black eyes and dark hair and was 5’7″. From subsequent card abstracts, we find out that Pasho was absent from his company from May to August 1864 because he was in a dismounted camp and was absent from September to December due to illness. In January 1865, Pasho was back on duty until his company was mustered out in June. In addition to the card abstracts, Pasho’s CMSR also contains some personal documents, like his enlistment papers and records from his hospital stay (which include a photograph of him).

Interested in taking a look at the Civil War CMSRs? Begin searching or browsing them here.


  1. Bill Speck says:

    When do you expect to have Confederate pension applications/records for the state of Tennessee on the site?

  2. (Bruce) Hal Miner says:

    I’m still waiting for you to show the records of gggrandpas and gguncles.
    I have an 1879 publication of the history of Hillsdale co., Michigan, in which we find: 1st Sharpshooters and 1st Engineers and Mechanics: Charles Nichols-must out 8/14/65 > Wm Howe Co G must out 6/21/65 > Charles Miner 8th & 11th Cavalry, Co D must out ’65 > Henry M. NIchols – 5th light Calvr.out ’65 >Dorris Howe Battery G – died @ St. Louis 4/9/63 > Issac Howe Jr. and Joseph Howe-both 9th calvary -both lived, must out ’65—> ALL IN BLUE! Do you have more for me? B.H.Miner

  3. Tom Ledoux says:

    Thanks for putting up all of Vermont’s records. These will save me thousands of dollars and 5 years work!

    The 1892 Revised Roster for Vermont does not include ages, place of birth, place of casualty, separate duty, names of hospitals, etc., etc., which are contained in the Compiled records!


    Tom Ledoux
    Vermont in the Civil War

  4. andrew m johnson says:

    No need to hurry with records of enemy forces. Lets get all the US Army records scanned.

    • Nicole says:

      You appear to be quite a simpleton. Maybe your tree doesn’t branch quite enough.

    • Lori says:

      Very well put, S. Vinson. That was a very ignorant remark to make. It’s about genealogical history and preservation, NOT politics!

    • Terry says:

      The Southern states had every right to succeed from the Union. If you don’t agree with that, then the American colonies had no right to succeed from England. I had a 19 year old cousin die fighting for the confederacy and a 24 year old grandfather die fighting for the Union. I am equally proud of them.

    • danny clayton says:

      to the idiot that just want union records done. I had family on both sides that fought, but of course you must be an ally of the democratic party that is in Washington right now. the south had every right to succeed from the union as well as America did from England. I am proud of my southern heritage as well as my American heritage. the south as most people don’t know did not succeed from the north because of slavery it was because of the federal government as it is now doing dictating states rights. this is suppose to be about history not your political issues.

  5. Tom Ledoux says:

    Now if you could just get the remainder of the Pension Record Index Cards properly indexed for Vermont, I’d be in seventh heaven!

  6. s vinson says:

    Very tacky remark calling Confederate soldiers the enemy.They all thought their cause just.Many of us have ancesters on both sides.Dig deep enough you may find you do too.That was long ago.Many were brothers on two opposing sides. Dont deal will silly ideas with genealogy and history.You will run into surprises.I have done genealogy over 40 yrs and still learning. No room for opinions in history.

  7. Do you have anyone who would like to write a paragraph summarizing the military service of Capt. Mayo Carrington (1753-1803) during the Revolutionary War. How much would he/she charge?
    Jim Carrington

  8. Joe Burdick says:

    Still waiting for the Indiana Compiled Service Records…but I am a little curious at to why the Index Cards were chosen as a temporary listing when the Muster Roll Cards are already on Microfilm and contain most of the events in each soldiers military history.

  9. linda says:

    Hope you have volunteers records for pa

  10. Kathy Calder says:

    I am happy to hear this news, but disappointed that Pennsylvania volunteers’ records aren’t yet included. I’ve been waiting for several years–I hope that soon there will be something other than index cards available. My g-g-grandfather, William Lewis, served in the 97th PA volunteers, but there was more than one man with his name. I need the information on the complete service records to determine which man was him. It’s not cheap to order the records from NARA ($25 a pop, as I recall from when I checked it out a few years ago). I hope that PA and all states will eventually be digitally available; it’s great that the original records are being scanned, even though it takes longer. Who knows, the microfilms might be missing some information that we’ll have access to once this new process is completed.

  11. Tennant says:


  12. There are several I would like to see if there is more information then when I got it earlier !

  13. Elaine M Ray says:

    PLEASE…………..discontinue membership, or anything associated with this person. She cannot use it or need it anymore.Finished…

  14. John Gadd says:

    A reminder to all, Pres Lincoln admitted several days before his death. The south had a legal right to peacefully succeed. The Union had 5 times as many soldiers as the south militia. I had about both extended family on BOTH sides of the conflict !

  15. DB says:

    But if I go to Ferguson, MO with my Confederate flag of heritage. That would be considered racist?

  16. Amy J says:

    I would love to see complete CMSRs from Illinois!!

  17. Nancy says:

    The word is SECEDE, not succeed.

  18. Taztang68 says:

    The fun thing about history is that you can’t change it, only learn from it……. That said, I would love to see the Iowa records done. i’m still searching for some soldiers’ information. As well as a confederate ancestor. Thanks for digitizing the records. (must scan faster :-)…….)

  19. cheryl says:

    Please remove my name and address from your web sight

    . thank you

  20. Rissa says:

    Please remove my name and email address from your contact list, mailing list, and Web contact list. Thank you very much. I am just not interested.

    • olaf says:

      Please remove my name and email address from your contact list, mailing list, and Web contact list. Thank you very much. I am just not interested.

  21. Barbara Knode says:

    Please remove me from your e-mail list

  22. sally blanton says:

    please delete me from this blathering by uneducated people who know nothing about American history, including that the South did not, as a matter of Constitutional Law, have the right to secede or to own human beings. The South LOST. They were traitors and Lee should have been hanged.

    • Charles Hammett says:

      Why stop with Lee ? Maybe we should have hung EVERY SURVIVING Confederate veteran, politician, and civilian supporter of LIBERTY and CONSTITUTIONAL government in the South !

      One can only hope that one of those “Traitorous Rebels” you would have hung was an ancestor of YOURS, whose elimination at the end of a Hangman’s noose would have terminated YOUR SORRY FAMILY TREE BRANCH BEFORE YOU SPROUTED FROM IT !

      Your ignorance of American history in general and the Constitution as it existed
      in 1861 is abominable.

  23. Knut Øvreberg says:

    The conflict of the Civil War was politics at that time, a Heritage from Europe, but today it is a matter of respect and consideration . European history reveals lack of insight of the diversity of this planet and a very narrow opinion about what is natural or important.
    How would this aspect look like if we put it into the USA today?
    Luckily we have moved on a bit since the Civil War. But the question is: Was it too early or too late?

  24. K. D. Lewis says:

    I appreciate the information you put out occasionally of what is available. I no longer do personal genealogy, but I enjoy history and I also assist people who want to learn how to do family history research.mi because of the collection of military documents you have and are adding to Fold3 I include it in my teaching sessions. I also edit a newsletter for our lock genealogical society and your little history note opens up ideas for research on various military records. Although I am not African-American many of my students are. Your records for United States Colored Troops along with other records are great in tieing together the complete American history. Thanks for the work you are doing gathering the records into one website linked to and