Begin Main Content Area

Civil War Records

The Pennsylvania State Archives holds many records relating to the American Civil War, 1861-1865. These materials document the commonwealth's activities during the war.


Resources with Detailed Information about Civil War Records



Please note: the information in the Bates series is incomplete, having been taken from our muster-out rolls but not necessarily the muster-in rolls or other related documents. If you do not find a soldier's name here, you should continue your research in other secondary sources, as well as the original records held by the State Archives.



Veterans from Other States

Generally, only Pennsylvania veterans are referenced in the original Civil War records held by the Pennsylvania State Archives. Even though the momentous battle of Gettysburg was fought on Pennsylvania soil, the State Archives does not have the records of non-Pennsylvanians who saw action in that battle. The State Archives does not compile individual service files or unit histories.

Civil War Pension files for soldiers from all states, including Pennsylvania, are located at the National Archives.


Searching for an Individual Pennsylvania Veteran

What you should know first

  • Veteran's full name
  • Veteran's exact or approximate birthdate
  • Veteran's county or residence or enlistment
  • (Optional) Veteran's unit of service

Records to Search for Individual Veterans

  • Civil War Veteran's Card File, 1861-1866 (Record Group 19, digitized rolls 3176-3251)
  • Civil War Pension File, 1861-1864 (part of Civil War Service and Pension Accounts, 1861-1873. {#2.47}
  • Register of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1864. {#19.65}
  • List of Sick and Wounded Soldiers, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1864 (Record Group 19)
  • Civil War Muster Rolls (Record Group 19)
  • Military Claims File (Record Group 2, digitized rolls 63-130)
  • Records of the Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home, 1864-1893 (Record Group 19) (digitized rolls 492, 6143-6151, 6153-6154)
  • Alphabetical List of Names on Pennsylvania Monuments (Record Group 19) 3870
  • Conscientious Objector Depositions, 1862 (see also digitized roll 4187 for 1862 Register of C.O.s at the National Archives) (Record Group 19) (digitized rolls 505-507)
  • Register of Aliens and Persons Having Conscientious Scruples Against Bearing Arms (National Archives) (digitized roll 4187)
  • Lists of Deserters and Substitutes, 1861-1866 (Record Group 19) (digitized roll 493)
  • List of Sick and Wounded Soldiers, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1864 (Record Group 19) (digitized rolls 493-494)
  • Miscellaneous Discharge Certificates, 1861-66 (Record Group 19) (digitized roll 493)
  • Negroes in Military Service in the United States (National Archives) (digitized roll 2040)
  • Record Books of Claims for Arrears of Pay and Bounty, 1864-1869 (Record Group 19) (digitized rolls 494-495)
  • Records of Drafted Men and Substitutes, 1862, 1864-1865 (Record Group 19) (digitized rolls 498-501)
  • Register of Sick and Wounded Soldiers, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-65 (Record Group 19) (digitized rolls 493-494)
  • Registers of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-1865 (Record Group 19) (digitized rolls 508-522)
  • Substitutes' Depositions, 1862 (Record Group 19) (digitized rolls 502-504)


Searching the Records of a Civil War Unit

The State Archives holds Civil War regimental records only for Pennsylvania units, including those regiments of U.S. Colored Troops formed in the Commonwealth. Muster rolls, descriptive rolls, deserter lists, orders and correspondence are available for most units.


Searching for Civil War Draft Records

The Pennsylvania State Archives has Civil War draft records only for 1862. Beginning in May 1863, the Provost Marshal's General Bureau administered the draft from Washington, DC, and pertinent records will be found in Record Group 110 at the National Archives. The following records are available at the State Archives:


Other Civil War Records

  • Minutes of the Board of Appraisers to Examine Damage to Property on the Southern Border, 1863-1864 (RG-2) (digitized roll 4433)
  • Minutes of the Board of Appraisers of Chambersburg War Damages, 1866 (RG-2) (digitized roll 4433)
  • Chambersburg War Damage Claim Applications, 1866-1868 (RG-2) (digitized rolls 4434-4439)
  • Record of Chambersburg War Damage Claim Final Awards Issued Under Act of Feb. 15, 1866 (RG-2) (digitized roll 4439)
  • Damage Claim Applications, 1871-1879 (RG-2) (digitized rolls 131-141)
  • Index to Damage Claim Applications, [ca. 1871-1879] (RG-2) 131 Civil War Diary, March 23, 1864 to August 8, 1865 (digitized roll 1144)
  • William Henry Egle Civil War Journal, July 14, 1863 to July 15, 1865 (MG-6) (digitized roll 2231)
  • General John F. Hartranft, April 30, 1865 to July 31, 1865 - Trial and Execution of the Assassins of President Lincoln (National Archives) (digitized roll 4429)
  • Colonel Daniel Leasure, M.D., Organizer of 100th Regiment P.V., Letters, 1861-1864 (digitized roll 4547)
  • Barnhart Metzger, 1895, n.d. (Diaries, Civil War) (digitized roll 1429)
  • Samuel Murray Civil War Diary, 1861-1862 (MG-6) (digitized roll 2231)
  • D.P.R. Neely, Captain, 149th Regiment P.V.,Co. I, Diary, 1864 (MG-7) (digitized roll 3879)
  • William Jackson Palmer, 1822-1948 (Civil War) (digitized rolls 1555-1575)
  • G.L. Preston, Co. B, 100th Regiment, P.V., Diary, 1864 (digitized roll 4552)
  • Stephen A. Wallace Civil War Diary, Sept. 18, 1862 to July 13, 1863 (MG-6) (digitized roll 4028)
  • Wheler Family Papers, 1862-1865, undated. (digitized roll 2231)
  • Grand Army of the Republic Collection, 1865-1936 (MG-60) (digitized rolls 4411-4420)
  • G.A.R. Post #134, 1879-1921 (digitized roll 1404)
  • Military Order of the Loyal Legion, 1865-1935 (digitized rolls 1437-1789)
  • RG-19 Records of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs: more records relating to the Civil War (Commissary General, Quarter Master General, Surgeon General, and Transportation and Telegraph)