Thursday, July 31

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System

Very neat handwriting, back in the day!

I love family history databases with millions of names in them. They make research so rewarding! 

One such data source is CWSS -- the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, maintained by the National Park Service. With more than six million names in the system, CWSS gives you an immediate sense of the vast scope of the Civil War. The entire population of the US at the time (North and South) only came to about 32 million or so.

CWSS shows the information on the General Index information source prepared from unit and regiment musters as a soldier or sailors service record.

The cards were also used after the war to figure pensions for Union Soldiers. Once you identify the microfilm role with a record of interest, an actual copy of the General Index Card can be ordered from the National Park Service.


Don't forget to also check for your family history at NewspaperArchive and These are subscription databases, but they are among the most powerful research tools available for looking into family roots. And visit the main page of Free Genealogy Tools for more, umm, free genealogical tools.


André Andrade Silva said...

fantastic blog:
acesse meu blog:

Anonymous said...

What has happened to Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System --- unable to reach it in the past 6 weeks or so --- Old Codger

Anonymous said...

@Old Codger...CWSS is working fine for me. You might want to clear your cookies, try a different computer, or something like that.

Anonymous said...

The CWSS database doesn't seem to be very complete. I just searched for three of my ancestors who I know were all in the Civil War, and it didn't find any of them.

Anonymous said...

This is a joke

August 7,2011

LDS said...

What a waste of time and effort this site is.

Crutch Williams said...

The few negative comments suprised me, but then again they are only a few. I for one wish to give the Park Service a Compliment. I have used the site for several years now and watched it grow.

A KEY is in knowing how to search and using more than the one name (spelling) you are fmailiar with. Many soldiers had alternate spellings of their names. Last name look up with only first letter of given name works if you know State for sure. Sometimes your family is known to you from a specific state but your ancestor may have joined the service in a state different from where he lived after the War.

Most states have a data base as well and this site does not hold the Local Troop rolls. It is only the Regular Army and PACS (Provisional Army Confederate States)

I think they did a Great Job but there are spelling errors in transcribing from the original document to their database. I have found a few and I have given them proof and they have on several occassions acknowledged the information I sent them.

I highly recommend this site!
Crutch Williams founder CSA Trainmen

Anonymous said...

The old CWSSS worked -- since it worked what should we do? CHANGE IT, of course, to a system that does not work -- sorry, sorry site !!

Anonymous said...

I am totally frustrated because I cannot find the old soldiers and sailors site...that was so easy to use...the NPS site is SICK...sorry...but it is very SICK. Make it the other site was...I keep looking for it...surely it is still around and I am just not able to find it... there is no way they would do away with that site. grrr.

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