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In 1893 the State Legislature appropriated $25,000 to transcribe and publish the military service records of New York State Volunteers who served during the Civil War. The abstracts were compiled from original military service records held by the Adjutant General's Office and the United States War Department. This task was undertaken in 1893 and completed in 1906. They were published, 1893-1905, as supplements to the annual reports issued by the Adjutant General's Office for those years. The transcriptions do not contain all of the information that is frequently provided in the original muster roll abstracts (e.g. physical description, occupation, etc). The original muster roll abstracts are now in the custody of the New York State Archives. Microfilm of all of the volumes pertaining to volunteers, sharpshooters, and colored troops is available for either purchase or inter-library loan.
During the early part of the 20th century, the New York State Adjutant General's Office produced the seventeen-volume name index to the abstracts. This index was compiled to facilitate access to the Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts of New York State Volunteers, United States Sharpshooters, and United States Colored Troops, 1861-1865. It did not include the names of those men who served in the United States Colored Troops.
The Civil War Soldiers Index
The vast majority of names populating the Civil War Soldiers Index were obtained from the seventeen-volume unpublished name index produced by the New York State Adjutant General's Office. State Archives staff added to the database the names of the men who served in the United States Colored Troops from the original Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts. Evolving the index into a database has added the capacity to search by unit as well as by name. In November 2002, a web accessible version of the Civil War Soldiers Index was made available to the public.