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Free Access to the Civil War Collection

Gun squad at drill
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:

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.

Start searching or browsing the Civil War Collection on Fold3. Or learn more about how to find your Civil War ancestors by watching a helpful course or tutorial on Ancestry Academy!

11 Comments

  1. When does the free access start? Even when logged in I’m showing “Premium” on all Civil War collections.

  2. yES, WHY ARE YOU LYING TO US??? I WENT TO ALL THE TROUBLE TO REACTIVATE MY PASSWORD AND YOU WON’T ALLOW ME FREE ACCESS TO CIVIL WAR RECORDS AS PROMISED. I DOUBT YOU’D HAVE ANYTHING NEW ANYWAY, BUT FREE IS FREE AND I SHOULD HAVE ACCESS.

    TERRIBLE THING TO LIE TO PEOPLE!

  3. Looks like Civil War Service Records and Southern Claims are both showing as NOT FREE at the Civil War Collection launch page. (Both of those record groups are specifically listed as available in the blog post above.)

  4. I was unable to access. I am not angry but I would like to access without too much trouble.

  5. Pingback: Announcement from Fold3: Free Access to the Civil War Collection | THE CURIOUS GENEALOGIST

  6. Pingback: Free access to Fold3 Civil War collection | Genealogy à la carte

  7. This site is such a joke. My GG-grandfather was a soldier in the 44th Illinois Infantry, was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga in 1963, captured and sent to Andersonville prison. He survived after two years. No record of him on FOLD3.
    I personally served in Vietnam from Jan 1969 until Dec of 1969. No record. Are you kidding me?

  8. I had someone send me a site for WWll veterans but lost the comment and when I tried it would not connect. Does anyone know of this site? thanks
    I also just recieved a brochure on The 10th Inernational Conference On World War ll. Nov. 16-18, 2017 if anyone is interested New Orleans. 1-877-813-3329×511.

  9. I accessed fine! I’ve found tons on one ancestor, but would like to know how to find records of men who were on the Merrimac. I don’t have military branch information past that. That much is on a monument in the center of his home town.

  10. I’m glad to have this space to complain also….I tried to use your ‘FREE’ access to British info for one wknd…..My ancestor’s name was visible but no way could I get to it.. I tried many times and decided that you all are deceitful and just want money!!! Very disappointing!! Shame on you for false advertising!
    Sue