Do you have an ancestor that fought in the Civil War? We are beyond excited to launch the first phase of our new Civil War Stories, an ambitious project that ultimately hopes to create a comprehensive list of every soldier that fought in the Civil War, the company and regiment he belonged to, the battles he fought in, and finally what happened to each soldier following the war.
How can we possibly do this? We have created new technology allowing us to gather data from Ancestry®, Fold3®, Newspapers.com™, Find a Grave®, and other sources. Next, we are teaming up with the American Battlefield Trust and their Civil War experts to integrate their amazing collections of stories, videos, and photographs into our new experience. Stitching all of these collections together, we have created the first of its kind searchable database of Civil War soldiers, regiments and battles. The human cost of the Civil War was astounding. The proportion of deaths to the population was greater than any other conflict in American history. Nearly 3% of the population died – roughly comparable to 6-10 million Americans today.
This was the last war where companies enlisted from home communities. Soldiers were often related to others in the company, and all shared a sense of connection. If a company endured losses in a battle, there was a dramatic impact back in their hometown. This will also help tell the story of the families left behind. We want to help you paint a picture of how the Civil War impacted your family tree!
How will this rollout? We will begin with the major Civil War battles. Starting today, you can head to our Civil War Stories page and learn details about some of the major Civil War battles, including what regiments fought in each battle.
And then starting with North Carolina Regiments, you will be able to see regiment timelines. When did they muster in? Where did they fight? Who were the officers? Eventually, we will add the ability to refine down to company. By the time this project is complete, you’ll be able to map out your soldier’s movements throughout the war.
Finally, we’ll add individual soldiers state by state beginning with North Carolina, followed by New York. We realize that you may know details about your Civil War soldier that nobody else does. Do you have family records, photographs or journals that have been passed down? We’re going to provide a way for you to contribute to this Civil War Stories collection. Maybe your journal mentions other soldiers in the same company. Now their ancestors will be able to share your data.
You can see why we’re so excited about Civil War Stories. Watch for updates throughout the year. If you would like to contribute any research/photographs/letters to be included in this project, visit https://www.ancestry.com/civil-war-stories/add-photo. Together, we will make this a powerful research tool! To learn more about this, head to our Civil War Stories page today!