Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I obtain brochures, maps, etc. about specific Civil War battlefields?
Each park/battlefield has an individual website. You may contact them by email, mail, or by phone to request specific information on their site. For a list of related parks and sites, check out http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/relatedparks.htm.
2. I am unable to find a specific soldier's name listed in the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, but I know he served.
Usually the soldier's record is in the system, but needs to be searched in a different way. All records were transcribed from original documents that are located in the National Archives and Records Administration and many contain phonetic or other spellings of a name. (We do not alter the transcription of these original documents as they are primary sources.) When searching, try entering the least amount of information (i.e. Last Name, Union/Confederate, and State) or (Regiment, State).
Sometimes looking up a regiment, then scrolling through the list of soldiers in that unit reveals a soldier unable to found in other searches.
3. I found an individual soldier record and it references a film number. Does this mean there is a photo and, if so, how do I obtain a copy?
The "film number" references microfilm in the National Archives and Records Administration where the compiled service records of the soldiers and sailors are located. They have been digitized for convenience. There are two ways to obtain copies of the specific records referenced:
You may file a request online through the NARA at www.archives.gov, OR
You may use a reputable commercial website such as Ancestry.com/Fold3.com (These sites requires a membership fee which you can elect to pay annually or monthly and cancel at any time. They offer a free trial which can be useful if you have basic information to guide your search. Fold3.com allows you to view, download and print copies of the original documents such as those on the listed microfilm. Sometimes public libraries purchase subscriptions for use in their facilities, at no charge, by patrons.)