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New Civil War Records: National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers

We are pleased to announce the addition of records for soldiers who resided in National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938. This free collection contains records for twelve National Homes where disabled soldiers and sailors could live following the Civil War.

During the Civil War, many benevolent and philanthropical groups ran soldiers’ homes where disabled soldiers could live and receive care on a short-term basis. In 1865, Congress approved the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. Later, the name was changed to the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

National Soldiers Home in Togus Springs, Maine – The New England magazine

The first Soldiers’ Home opened in 1866 in Togus Springs, Maine. This collection contains records for that home in Maine and others in New York, Illinois, Ohio, Virginia, South Dakota, Tennessee, Kansas, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oregon, and California.

National Soldiers Home in Wisconsin

Admission to Soldiers’ Homes was voluntary, and soldiers and sailors could request which home they wanted to live in. Once admitted, veterans were issued uniforms, assigned companies, and followed military-like rules. Soldiers were free to leave when they wanted, but residents had to request permission for temporary leave. Violators were subjected to extra work duty as punishment. Over time, National Homes became less bureaucratic and offered recreation, entertainment, games, and libraries.

If you have an ancestor that resided in a Soldiers’ Home, this collection contains home registers. The register contained four sections: Military History, Domestic History, Home History, and General Remarks. These sections can provide valuable genealogical information such as which company and regiment a soldier served in, time and place of discharge, cause of disability, the soldier’s physical description, occupation, residence, the name and address of the nearest relative, and more. 

The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers was absorbed into the Veterans Administration when the VA was established in 1930.

Start exploring the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers collection today on Fold3®.


  1. Paul Chatelier says:

    My great-grandfather, Stephen Weaver, how do you pension due to injuries in the Civil War. Would I be able to gain access to the data related to him? I know he was transferred to the Invalids Corp. in Washington DC. To my knowledge, he never resided soldier’s home however, I would like to check it out. Please advise me on how to access the files.

  2. Jenny Ashcraft says:

    Paul, you can search this free collection for your ancestor. There are also other collections like pension records that can shed some light on his service. Do you know which state or regiment he served in? The more information you have, the easier it is to narrow your results (there are 125 Stephen Weavers who served in the Civil War).

  3. Linda Oconnell Guzzi says:

    My great great grandfather died an invalid at the Old Soldier’s Home in Chelsea Mass in 1867. How do I locate his place of burial?

    • Jenny Ashcraft says:

      Hi Linda,

      We have records for 12 homes, but the Chelsea home is not one of them. I would search for death records and check Find a Grave.

    • Jean Pikett says:

      Hi Linda
      Check the records at the Royal hospital Chelsea in England they may be able to help you. There is a old grave yard in the Grounds
      They also have a museum.
      Please update us.

  4. Laurie Hunt says:

    My husband and I were in Biloxi gambling at the original Beau Rivage casino years ago. We took a walk and found one of these homes nearby. A hurricane destroyed the area which has been rebuilt, but the home I assume is no more.

  5. Norma Carter says:

    There was a Confederate soldiers home in Hermitage, TN across from Andrew Jackson’s home. My grandmother worked there.

  6. Sherri Grace says:

    I don’t know enough about my family to know if any were in the Civil War or resided in one of these homes. Thank you for posting though. The history of it all is so important to keep alive.

  7. Pam G says:

    Were any of the homes open to non-white soldiers at any time? If so, which ones?

    • Jenny Ashcraft says:

      Hi Pam, yes Black soldiers were welcomed at Soldiers’ Homes though they lived in segregated quarters and ate their meals at separate tables.

  8. Kathy Hall says:

    is there anything on the Confederate home in Pee Wee Valley KY?

  9. Sandra Ristow says:

    My 2 X great grandfather, William H Marden (Mardin), a Civil War Veteran, supposedly lived in a Soldiers home in Bellingham, Washington. Was this home one of the new ones?

  10. Chris Fitzpatrick says:

    Is this exclusively union soldiers? Or, are Confederates included?

    • Jenny Ashcraft says:

      Confederate soldiers were not allowed in Union Soldiers’ Homes but several southern states opened their own soldiers’ homes.

  11. Ken Smith says:

    Are the records from Sandusky Soldiers and Sailors Home part of these?

  12. Barbara Engel says:

    Are these records sharable also? Too many negative comments about WWII not being able to share on Ancestry. You say you can but all posts I’ve seen can’t and this is stopping me from subscribing. Please answer.