This database contains an index to compiled service records (CSRs) for soldiers who served with units in the Confederate army. Most of the men whose names appear in this index served with units from 15 different states or territories; others were soldiers raised directly by the Confederate government, generals and staff officers, and other enlisted men not associated with a regiment.
Compiled service records are files of cards that abstract original military records relating to an individual soldier. A typical CSR will include an envelope that lists a soldier’s name, rank, unit, and card numbers, followed by cards with details extracted from muster rolls, rosters, hospital rolls, Union prison records, payrolls, and other records, with a new card being created each time a soldier’s name appeared on a new document. The CSRs may also include original documents pertaining to the soldier. The CSRs do not constitute an exhaustive list of all men who served in the Confederate army.
The task of compiling these records for Confederate soldiers began in 1903. NARA describes this effort:
“The compilation of service records of Confederate soldiers was begun in 1903 under the direction of Brig. Gen. Fred C. Ainsworth, head of the Record and Pension Office of the War Department. Abstracts were made form documents in the War Department Collection of Confederate Records and from documents borrowed by the War Department in an effort to obtain as nearly complete military service records as possible. The abstracts made from the original records were carefully checked to ensure that the abstracts were accurate.”
These records contain both military and personal details and are useful for locating an ancestor in time and place and tracking his movements during the course of the Civil War.