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Civil War Records

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Civil War Records Tip
Have you found several Civil War soldiers with the same name as your ancestor and can't determine which one is yours?  I have run across this problem many times.  I find several men with the same name who served in the Civil War.  How do I determine which one is mine??  There are a few things that might help.  
#1 Look for siblings and the father of your guy.  Often times, you will find that family members served in the same unit.  If you find a couple of family member names in the same regiment,  they will most likely be your family.  
Example: (these are fictitious names and units)
I am searching for James Roberts in Tennessee Civil War indexes.  I find 4 of them in the indexes.  
1. James Roberts - Co A, 12th TN Infantry.
2. James - Co B, 3rd TN Cavalry
3. James - Co C, 4th TN Infantry
4. James - Co G, 8th TN Infantry
NOW, I know that James has several brothers who were old enough to be in the Civil War also:  Nathan, John, Greenberry, Matthew.  I search for these names and compare the companies and regiments they are in to the companies and regiments the James Roberts listed above are in.  AHA!  I find a Nathan and a Greenberry who are in Co C, 4th TN Infantry.  The Roberts men who are in Co C, 4th TN Infantry are most likely my family members.  At this point, I will order a military record for one of them to determine if this is my family member.  Most of the time, this works!  Of course, it gets much more difficult when you are looking for a name like SMITH etc..
#2 If you know the county where your ancestor lived during the Civil War, try to locate some information about the Civil War in that area.  The majority of Civil War regiments were formed mostly with men from a particular area.  Many times, the genealogy society or historical society in the place where your ancestor lived will know which regiments were comprised of men from that area.  NOW, remember, I have 4 James Roberts who served in different Tennessee units and I am trying to determine which one is mine.  I will also go to a good search engine (preferably one that will search many search engines at the same time) and put in the unit like this:  "3rd Tennessee Infantry".  Many times, this has led me to a web site where I will find information on that regiment, such as where most of the soldiers were from or sometimes even a roster!    Of course, you could order all 4 records but that would be quite expensive so do a little research before giving up or spending that much money.  Civil War records can contain a lot of good information.  They are well worth the money spent to acquire them.

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