Search Civil War (1861–1865) Military Records

Ringgold, Ga., battery at drill

American Civil War (1861–1865)

Mounting tensions over slavery came to a head with the election of anti-slavery President Abraham Lincoln in 1860. By February 1861, even before Lincoln had taken office, seven states had seceded from the Union; 6 more would follow by the end of the year. On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces attacked South Carolina’s Fort Sumter igniting war.

In total, more than 3.5 million Americans would fight in the Civil War; more than 2 million for the Union, some 1.5 million for the Confederate States. The Union side suffered more than 350,000 deaths, both battle and
non-battle related. The Confederate forces saw some 160,000 battle and non-battle deaths.

Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan and his generals in front of Sheridan's tent, 1864

The Ancestry.com American Civil War Collection

Discover your Civil War ancestors in our online collection of American Civil War military records, spanning
1860–1865. Featuring more than 18 million names, both Union and Confederate, from service records, pension files — some created as late as the 1930s — to photographs and more. Because of the various record types included, some soldiers will have more than one record in the collection.

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Featured Collections

Collection of military service records, containing more than 6 million names of servicemen — Union and Confederate — who fought in the U.S. Civil War.

A historic effort to compile and interlink all available records of soldiers who participated in the American Civil War.

Records of more than 2 million Union Army soldiers who filed for pensions after the Civil War.

Collection of more than 1.5 million names from the Union and Confederate prisoner of war records.

Records featuring details about 178,000 African-American troops who served the Union during the Civil War.

Find ancestors who were part of Confederate military units formed in Alabama during the Civil War.

Card abstracts and documents about Confederate soldiers who served in military organizations formed by the Confederate Government.

Collection of 14,000 pardon applications featuring background information and service details for former Confederates soldiers.

Almost 7,000 photographs depicting the Civil War Era.

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