This collection contains abstracts compiled from original muster rolls for New York State infantry units involved in the Civil War. The records have personal enlistment information and military service, as well as regiment engagements. The personal record and unit information makes the collection valuable to anyone with New York ancestors in the Civil War era.
A New York state law passed in 1863 required a record be made and preserved with pertinent information of every New Yorker who had volunteered for service. In 1876, New York authorized funds to copy the muster-out rolls, which is where this collection came from. It consists of 395 volumes and contains 550,000 records, which are contained on microfilm housed in the New York State Archives.
The beginning of each regiment record has information on the regiment including the commanding officers. In a few of the abstracts, a detailed history of the unit also appears. The abstracts are printed forms, which were completed by hand, so the regiment’s information will have to be browsed for or searched by regiment. Records may contain:
- Date of enlistment
- Place of enlistment
- Reason for leaving
- Participation in engagements
- Physical appearance
The New York State Archives was established in 1971 and opened its doors to the public in 1978. It is a program of the State Education Department, with its main facility located in the Cultural Education Center on Madison Avenue in Albany. There it cares for and provides access to more than 200 million documents that tell the story of New York from the seventeenth century to the present. From its main facility, it also administers statewide programs that reach out to state agencies, local governments and community organizations. Archives staff are located in nine regional offices around the State to address the archives and records management concerns of every area of the State.