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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Minnesota, Civil War Records, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com, Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: Minnesota Civil War Muster Rolls. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society.

About Minnesota, Civil War Records, 1861-1865

This database contains muster rolls and other documents related to soldiers enlisted into or discharged from Minnesota units during the Civil War.

What’s in the Records

Some 24,000 Minnesotans served in the Civil War, and the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry was the first unit offered in answer to President Abraham Lincoln’s request for troops in April 1861. This database contains various military personnel records from Minnesota units active during the Civil War. Most are muster rolls, listing men who joined or were being discharged from a unit. However, the documents also include returns (typically listing officers, absent enlisted men, and changes in a unit), rosters created at reunions, records of deaths and discharges, letters reporting discharges, enlistment papers, lists of volunteers, and other items.

Details in the documents vary, with some providing little more than a name and a date. However, muster rolls typically include the following:

  • name
  • age
  • birth year
  • date and place of enlistment
  • regiment

They may also list these facts:

  • birthplace
  • occupation
  • rank
  • physical description (eyes, hair, complexion, height)
  • residence
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