Thursday, October 18, 2012

Preserving Texas' Civil War Records

The theme for Archives Month in Texas is about preserving Civil War records in Texas. While we do not have any Civil War records here at the Dick Smith Library we do have books in the Local History Room that can help you research the Civil War in Texas and there are several websites you can search for records. We do have in the Local History Room Index to Applications for Texas Confederate Pensions. The book is organized into three sections: 1. Index to Approved Pension Applications; 2. Index to Residents of the Confederate home and the Confederate Woman's Home; 3. Index to Rejected Pension Applications. The listings are alphabetical and give the application number and county of residence. The Local History Room also has several books on Texas units that served in the Confederate forces. The Texas Library and Archives Commission has a searchable database of Confederate Pension Applications located here: The site is searchable by name or application number and the search can be limited by county. None of the pension applications are digitized, so you would have to order copies of the application from the archives. The State Archives also has a Confederate Indigent Families List, this was aid paid to families of those serving in the Confederate forces. Instructions on using the list can be found here:

At the federal level the National Archives is working on digitizing the 1.28 million case files from the families of deceased Civil War Union soldiers. An excellent short video about the project with views of some of the records is at:
The pension records are online at
To read the interesting story of one woman's attempt to keep her widow's pension see this article written by one of the volunteers working on the project:
The National park Service has an excellent Civil War website: One of my favorite features is the "Find a Person" search box at the bottom of the page. This allows you to search the 6.3 million records in the soldiers and sailors database. The database is searchable by name, unit, state, battle, and keyword to name a few of the available search terms. This does link to digitized records. information is also given for the units such as when and where they were formed, sometimes even listing in which county they were formed. Members of the units are also listed and the battles the unit fought.

Hopefully these sources will help you get started on your own research.

No comments: