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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Official records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.
Original data: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1861-1865; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M262, 128 rolls); National Archives, Washington, D.C.

About Official records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1861-1865

This database contains a printed collection of official records of the Union and Confederate Armies from the American Civil War. Examples of record topics covered in this collection includes:

  • Formal reports

  • Operations

  • Correspondence

  • Orders

  • Returns

The original documents published in this collection primarily come from the following National Archive Record Groups:

  • Record Group 94, Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917

  • Record Group 107, Records of the Office of the Secretary of War

  • Record Group 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records

Note: Most of the time there will be two pages of the book on one image. It maybe be necessary to scroll the image all the way to the right (or to the left) in order to see both pages.

How to Search This Database:

Searching on Fielded Names

One way to search this database is to search by name using the search template above. Only the General Index book, or serial, is searchable on fielded names (names identified as being given names and surnames). Entering names in the name fields in the search template above will return results of entries in the General Index. On the Index image, a string of numbers will be listed following the name. Roman numerals designate series numbers and Arabic figures designate volume numbers. This collection includes:

  • Series I, Volumes 1-53

  • Series II, Volumes 1-8

  • Series III, Volumes 1-5

  • Series IV, Volumes 1-3, plus the General Index

Some of the volumes have multiple parts to them (for example, Volume 10 of Series I has two parts – Parts 1 and 2). Each part was published as a separate book. A reference to an individual in the General Index will not tell you which part of a multi-part volume the individual is found in.

A link to the serial(s) in which a name is found is also provided as part of the search results (unless the individual is in a multi-part volume, then the link will only take you to Part 1 of the volume, which may or may not be the serial in which the individual is listed). Clicking on that link will take you to the first image of that serial. You will then need to page through the images of the book until you get to the correct page on which the person is listed. If you do not want to use the link provided in the search results, you can also get to the appropriate book by backing out to the front page of the database and then using the browse table to navigate yourself to the correct Series and Volume.

Each individual book or serial also contains an index. In a normal printed version of the book, this index is located at the end. However, in the NARA microfilmed version, a copy of the index is located at both the beginning and the end of the book. Therefore, as you begin to click through the pages of the book, the index will be located on some of the first images you come across. This index is important because it lists page numbers as well as names and will be helpful in pinpointing a person’s exact location in the book. For multi-part volumes, where all you previously know about the location of an individual in a book is what Series and Volume he’s found in, it may be necessary to look through the indexes of each Part. Pagination starts over in each new book and does not carry over, even among multiple parts of the same volume. This is why each new book has its own index.

Searching on OCR Text

All of the other serials (besides the General Index) are searchable by keyword through Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This will return results, albeit generally not as precise as results returned on a fielded name search. To search on words other than names, this is the only search method in which that may be done.

Searching by Browsing Images

A final search option is to browse the images using the browse table below. This is done by first selecting a Series, followed by a Volume, or a Volume and Part together, as the case may be. Once you do this you can look through the images page by page, just as if you were looking through a physical book.

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