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Records in the New York State Archives
The New York State Archives' records relating to the Civil War total more than 184 cubic feet of unbound paper and 2,155 bound volumes. They offer one of the most complete and detailed pictures available of the state's contribution to the war effort.
A complete listing of all records relating to the war is available in The Union Preserved: A Guide to Civil War Records in the New York State Archives or by searching Excelsior, the online catalog of the New York State Archives and State Library. Records identified in the guide or found through Excelsior are available to researchers at the New York State Archives research facility in Albany.
The New York State Archives offers limited search services for records which are accessible by name and comprehensive in their coverage. Learn how to obtain copies of service records.
Identified below are record series that will be particularly helpful for researchers seeking information on individual soldiers.
For most researchers the information they will obtain from the Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts will satisfy their needs. It contains largest number of individual soldier records and usually provides the most data on a particular soldier. Archives staff will search the muster roll abstracts for war service of a particular name. In instances where multiple enteries exist for the same name, staff cannot confirm that the record provided is the record for individual requested. The more information provided by the researcher on an individual solder (e.g. date of birth, age, company) the greater the accuracy of the search result.
13375. Civil War muster roll abstracts of New York State Volunteers, United States Sharpshooters, and United States Colored Troops, [ca. 1861-1900], Quantity: 615.5 cu. ft. (1231 volumes). Copies: 1182 microfilm reels (24.6 cu. ft.); 35 mm.
B0803. Abstracts of muster rolls for men who served in the United States Navy during the Civil War, 1861-1865. Quantity: 48 cu. ft. (96 volumes)
B0804. Abstracts of muster rolls for men who served in the United States Marine Corps during the Civil War, 1861-1865. Quantity: 1.3 cu. ft. (4 volumes)
B0806. Abstracts of muster rolls of Veteran Reserve Corps troops from New York State, 1863-1865. Quantity: .5 cu. ft.
B0800. Abstracts of muster rolls of National Guard units mustered into federal service during the Civil War, 1861-1865. Quantity: 39 cu. ft. (92 volumes)
Two additional record series held by the State Archives may be especially helpful in locating information on soldiers. Staff will not search these records but both are available on microfilm. The microfilm can be purchased or requested through interlibrary loan.
Researchers beware! Information contained in these records:
- Ranges from being very complete to scant and incomplete.
- Does not contain information on all men who served during the Civil War from New York State.
13774. Town and City Registers of Officers, Soldiers, and Seamen, [ca. 1865-1867]. Quantity: 42.9 cu.ft. Copies: 37 microfilm reels; 35mm.
A0389. Registers of Officers and Enlisted Men Mustered into Federal Military or Naval Service During the Civil War, 1861-1865.Quantity: 7.33 cu. ft. (6 volumes). Copies: 7 microfilm reels; 35mm.
The volumes are arranged into three categories:
- New York Volunteers in service
- New York Volunteers formerly in service
- New York Volunteers deceased
Records in the National Archives
Researchers may also obtain copies of military service records and pension files for all New Yorkers who served during the Civil War from the National Archives. The pension files are especially illuminating and frequently contain much genealogical information. Descriptions of these records and procedures for obtaining copies can be found at the National Archives' web site.
For additional information concerning New York State and the Civil War, researchers may find the following links of some interest:
- New York State and the Civil War
- NY State's Civil War 'U.S. Colored Troops' Oraganized, Trained on RIkers & Hart Islands
- United States Colored Troops Institute for Local History and Family Research
Researchers interested in obtaining images of New Yorkers who served during the Civil War may want to refer to the following: