In remembrance of the commencement of the Civil War in April 1861, and to commemorate Confederate History Month, Fold3 is offering free access to our Civil War Collection from April 1st–15th.
Popular titles in our Civil War Collection include:
- Civil War “Widows’ Pensions” Files
- Civil War Pensions Index
- Soldier Service Records
- Southern Claims Commission
Not sure if you have Civil War ancestors? Use these questions to help identify ancestors who may have served:
- Were any of my male ancestors born between 1820 and 1845? (Men who served during the Civil War may have been born outside these dates, but many fell within these years.)
- Do I have any family memorabilia or artifacts (such as letters, weapons, medals, or photos) that hint at possible Civil War service? What about their tombstone? Does it have any insignia or other military symbols on it?
- Do any of the records or documents (such as obituaries) I’ve already found for an individual mention Civil War service?
- Have I checked the 1910 Census entry for my ancestor? (Column 30 of the census identified if an individual was “a survivor of the Union or Confederate Army or Navy.”)
Can’t find your Civil War ancestor on Fold3? You can still use Fold3 to learn about what your ancestor’s military service may have been like. Here are a few ideas, though the possible uses of the Civil War Collection are endless!
- Use the Brady and Civil War photo collections, as well as the Civil War Horse Soldier Artifacts Collection, to learn what life was like for soldiers during the war, including what uniforms and firearms were common, what military camps and headquarters were like, what battlefields and forts looked like, etc.
- Look through the Service Records and “Widows’ Pensions” of men who were in the same company, regiment, etc., as your ancestor to learn more about what battles he may have been involved in and the movements of his unit.
- If you have Confederate ancestors, explore the Confederate Casualty Reports for your ancestor’s unit to learn about casualty rates and even read narrative reports of actions your ancestor may have been involved in.