National Archives and Records Administration
NOTE: The National Archives charges the following fees for Civil War service and pension records:
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent federal agency that preserves our nation's history by overseeing the management of all federal records. They have a significant amount of Civil War material related to Vermont. We have here distilled the material contained on their website down to the details on Vermont soldiers and sailors that is available.
Recently updated prices! Pension files more than 75 years old (order form NATF Form 85) - complete file $75.00
Military service files more than 75 years old (order form NATF Form 86) $25.00. You can order pension records online
See also the Vermont Military Records Project.
For Vermont soldiers, the major records in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) that provide information on military service include:
Individual service records, also known as compiled military service record (CMSR);
Navy enlistment papers, also known as Rendezvous Reports;
Unit records, or Compiled Records Showing Service of Military Units in Volunteer Union Organizations
Each volunteer soldier has one Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) for each regiment in which he served. The CMSR contains basic information about the soldier's military career, and it is the first source the researcher should consult. The CMSR is an envelope (a jacket) containing one or more cards. These cards typically indicate that the soldier was present or absent during a certain period of time. Other cards may indicate the date of enlistment and discharge, amount of bounty paid him, and other information such as wounds received during battle or hospitalization for injury or illness. The soldier's place of birth may be indicated; if foreign born, only the country of birth is stated. The CMSR may contain an internal jacket for so-called "personal papers" of various kinds. These may include a copy of the soldier's enlistment paper, papers relating to his capture and release as a prisoner of war, or a statement that he had no personal property with him when he died. NOTE: the CMSR rarely indicates battles in which a soldier fought; that information must be derived from other sources.
A CMSR is as complete as the surviving records of an individual soldier or his unit. The War Department compiled the CMSRs from the original muster rolls and other records some years after the war to permit more rapid and efficient checking of military and medical records in connection with claims for pensions and other veterans' benefits. The abstracts were so carefully prepared that it is rarely necessary to consult the original muster rolls and other records from which they were made. When the War Department created CMSRs at the turn of the century, information from company muster rolls, regimental returns, descriptive books, hospital rolls, and other records was copied verbatim onto cards. A separate card was prepared each time an individual name appeared on a document. These cards were all numbered on the back, and these numbers were entered onto the outside jacket containing the cards. The numbers on the jacket correspond with the numbers on the cards within the jacket. These numbers were used by the War Department only for control purposes while the CMSRs were being created; the numbers do not refer to other records regarding a veteran nor are they useful for reference purposes today.
Index to Compiled Service Records of
Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in
Organizations From the State of Vermont.
M557. 14 rolls. 16mm.
The following microfilm publications reproduce alphabetical name indexes to the U.S. Navy rendezvous reports (enlistments), 1846-84. The indexes were filmed by the U.S. Navy before transferring the records to the National Archives. The Navy filmed the cards for the Civil War, 1861-65, separately.
Each card shows the name of the individual; rendezvous (place of enlistment or vessel on which enlisted); date of enlistment or return (the roll on which the name first appeared); and a space for a "Record of Service." Although the amount of information varies, the entry under "Record of Service" may provide the date of reassignment or discharge, the names of vessels on which the individual served, or the date of death.
The records to which these indexes refer are not on microfilm, but they are open to researchers at the National Archives.
Index to Rendezvous Reports, Civil War, 1861--1865.
T1099. 31 rolls. 16mm.
1 Abaling, Louis--Barth, Theodore
2 Barthel, Eugene A.--Bowen, William
3 Bowen, William--Burns, Jno.
4 Burns--Champ, Samuel
5 Champion, Chris--Coveliers, Albert
6 Covell, Almeron--Day, Thos. P.
7 Day, Vandewater--Duskin, William
8 Duson, Albert--Fitzgerald, John
9 Fitzgerald, John--Girraty, John
10 Girraty, John--Hale, Sherman
11 Hale, Sherman--Hewit, Benjamin
12 Hewit, John--Ingersoll, Hiram
13 Ingersoll, Jas.--Justin, William H.
14 Kaab, William--Langen, Thomas
15 Langen, Thomas--Lowd, William
16 Lowden, Frances--McGarth, Christopher
17 McGarth, Christopher--McGuire, Peter
18 McGuire, Peter--Maney, Patrick
19 Maney, Richard--Moore, Charles W.
20 Moore, Cicero--Muller, Jno. Philip
21 Muller, Julius--O'Keefe, Patrick
22 O'Keefe, Robert--Peterson, Chas.
23 Peterson, Charles--Richards, Frank W.
24 Richards, Geo.--Ryan, Daniel
25 Ryan, Dan'l--Sloane, John
26 Sloane, John M.--Stanton, Robert
27 Stanton, Robert--Thompson, Robert
28 Thompson, Robert--Wallace, John
29 Wallace, John--William, John
30 Williams, John--Yerry, Edward
31 Yerkes, Henry--Zwicker, Frank
Most Union army soldiers or their widows or minor children later applied for a pension. In some cases, a dependent father or mother applied for a pension. The pension file will often contain more information about what the soldier did during the war than the CMSR, and it may contain much medical information if he lived for a number of years afterwards.
To obtain a widow's pension, the widow had to provide proof of marriage, such as a copy of the record kept by county officials, or by affidavit from the minister or some other person. Applications on behalf of the soldier's minor children had to supply both proof of the soldier's marriage and proof of the children's birth.
General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934.
T288. 544 rolls. 16mm.
This microfilm publication reproduces a general index to pension files, 1861-1934. The pension applications to which this index applies relate chiefly to Army, Navy, and Marine Corps service performed between 1861 and 1916. Most of the records relate to Civil War service; some relate to earlier service by Civil War veterans; others relate to service in the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Boxer Rebellion, and the Regular Establishment.
Each card in the general index gives a veteran's name, rank, unit, and term of service; names of dependent(s); the filing date; the application number; the certificate number; and the state from which the claim was filed. The darker cards relate to naval service. See the NARA website for details.
Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans
Who Served Between 1861 and 1900.
T289. 765 rolls. 16mm.
The index cards reproduced on this microfilm publication refer to pension applications of veterans who served in the U.S. Army between 1861 and 1917. The majority of the records pertain to Civil War veterans, but they also include veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, Indian wars, and World War I.
The information provided here is virtually the same as that in the "General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934", T288. Unlike the alphabetical "General Index", however, this index groups the applicants according to the units in which they served. The cards are arranged alphabetically by state, thereunder by arm of service (infantry, cavalry, artillery), thereunder numerically by regiment, and thereunder alphabetically by veteran's surname.
Each card gives the soldier's name, rank, unit, and terms of service; names of relationships of any dependents; the application number; the certificate number; and the state from which the claim was filed. The NARA website includes the following details for Vermont:
580 Co. A, 3 Vt. Inf.
581 Co. B, 3 Vt. Inf. -- Co. F, 5 Vt. Inf.
582 Co. G, 5 Vt. Inf. -- Co. C, 8 Vt. Inf.
583 Co. D, 8 Vt. Inf. -- Co. A, 11 Vt. Inf.
584 Co. B, 11 Vt. Inf. -- Co. B, 15 Vt. Inf.
585 Co. C, 15 Vt. Inf. -- Co. G, 1 Vt. Cav.
586 Co. H, 1 Vt. Cav. -- 3 Indep. Btry., Vt. Lt. Art.
Vermont--Veterans Reserve Corps
587 F & S, 1 Vt. Inf. (SAW) -- Co. C, 4 V.R.C.
Sometimes, additional information about a soldier's war activities can be deduced from the compilations of the activities of each company known colloquially as the "record of events." These records, which were compiled from information on the original muster rolls and returns, are uneven in content; some give day-by-day narratives of a company's activities, while others simply note that the company was stationed at a certain place during the reporting period (usually 2-months). Although they rarely name individual soldiers, the descriptions of the activities and movements of the company can be used, in conjunction with the soldier's CMSR and pension file, to determine where the soldier was and what he was doing. These records are known as "Compiled Records Showing Service of Military Units in Volunteer Union Organizations," M594 (225 rolls)
This microfilm publication reproduces the compiled records that give histories of military units in volunteer Union organizations. Most of the records are arranged alphabetically by state or territory, thereunder by type of unit (cavalry, artillery, or infantry), followed by militia, reserve, sharpshooter, and other organizations. Whenever possible, the units are arranged numerically within each type, for example, the 1st Cavalry, 1st Veteran Cavalry, 1st Mounted Rifles, and 2d Cavalry of New York.
The records for units from states and territories are followed by the records of units that were not limited to any one state or territory, such as the U.S. Colored Troops, U.S. Volunteers, and U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps. (Note: only those listed relevant to Vermont are included.)
Vermont 191 1st Cavalry
1st Heavy Artillery
1st Co., Heavy Artillery
1st-3d Battery, Light Artillery
1st Infantry, 3 months, 1861--3d Infantry
192 4th-8th Infantry 193 9th Infantry
1st Co., Drafted Men
2d Co., Drafted Men
U.S. Colored Troops 204 1st-5th Cavalry
5th Massachusetts Cavalry
1st Heavy Artillery
3d-5th Heavy Artillery
205 6th Heavy Artillery
8th-14th Heavy Artillery
1st Light Artillery
2d Light Artillery
Independent Battery, Light Artillery
1st Infantry, 1 year, 1864
206 2d Infantry
3d Tennessee Infantry
207 12th-21st Infantry 208 22d-29th Infantry
29th Connecticut Infantry
209 34th-43d Infantry 210 44th-52d Infantry 211 53d-58th Infantry 212 59th-72d Infantry 213 73d-82d Infantry 214 83d-95th Infantry 215 96th-104th Infantry
216 109th-118th Infantry 217 119th-125th Infantry
Capt. Powell's Regiment, Infantry
Co. A, Unassigned, Infantry
Co. A, Southord Infantry, Pa., 100 days, 1864
Pioneer Corps, Cavalry Division, 16 Army Corps (A.D.)
Pioneer Co., 1st Division, 16 Army Corps, Infantry (A.D.)
Brigade Band, No. 1
Brigade Band, No. 2
Brigade Band, No. 1, Corps d'Afrique
Brigade Band, No. 2, Corps d'Afrique
Quartermaster Detachment, Infantry
U.S. Volunteers: 218 1st Sharp Shooters
2d Sharp Shooters
1st Veteran Volunteers, Engineers
1st-9th Veteran Volunteers, Infantry (1 Army Corps)
U.S. Veteran Reserve Corps: 219 1st-4th 220 5th-14th 221 15th-24th 222 1st Battalion
223 50th-107th Co. 224 108th-174th Co. 225 1st-7th Independent Co.
For additional detail and further information on Vermont Civil War soldiers and sailors, including directions and forms to request information, and how to write an individual's military history, please check out the National Archives' Civil War Records page.