Sunday, July 09, 2006

Civil War Pension & Service Records - Tips for Finding Them

This article was updated on 9 September 2018.

Civil War Service Records

For a guide to finding these records see:
Civil War Service Records Research Guide

To find a Civil War service record it is helpful to know the soldier's allegiance (Union or Confederate), and the regiment and state (example: 10th Missouri Infantry). You can usually find this information in the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System Online Database.

Civil War Pension Records

Most (but not all) Union soldiers or their widows (or other dependents) applied for and received a pension. Civil War pension records for Union soldiers are held by the National Archives, and can be ordered from them for a fee.

Confederate soldiers or their widows usually were only able to apply for a pension if the soldier was disabled or indigent (poverty-stricken). This varied by state. These records are usually held by a state archives (where the soldier was living at the time he applied for the pension) or similar repository.

For more information see: How to Find Civil War Pension Records & Indexes - Union & Confederate

Civil War Records and Indexes on the Internet

For online indexes to some Civil War service records, pension records, veterans census schedules, rosters of soldiers, and prisoners of war see: Online Civil War Indexes, Records & Rosters


Jude said...

Hi Joe. I'm enjoying your blog. I'm looking for a tricky Civil War soldier--not a relative. He has a service record, but not a pension record. He also has a lot of variation in the spelling of his name. Anyway, if you want to read more about him, I threw together a web page so I could keep track of my research. It's at

Joe said...

Hi Jude,
Thanks for the comment. Your website summarizing the research you've done is very cool. I notice you mention Rifle, Colorado on that webpage. I often drive through Rifle on my way to or from Salt Lake City to do research. It's often a gas stop. Happy searching...