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About the Virginia Confederate Rosters (Unofficial) Collection

Agencies Responsible for Compilation
 Format of Collection | Related Resources | Search Tips

About the Collection

Virginia Confederate Rosters (Unofficial)

The volumes in this collection constitute an unofficial roster of soldiers from Virginia who served in the army of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. These rosters represent the work of the Department of Confederate Military Records and its predecessor, the Office of the Secretary of Virginia Military Records, from 1904 until 1918. The rosters are organized by regiment, and the soldiers are listed alphabetically according to rank. The rosters provide the name of the soldier, rank at time of enlistment, date of enlistment or commission, and sometimes remarks such as killed in battle, captured, etc. Please note that individual entries give minimal to no personal information or information about military service. See the National Archives Compiled Service Records for more detailed service record information.

Agencies Responsible for Compilation

Interest in memorializing Confederate veterans prompted the General Assembly to pass an act on March 13, 1884, directing the adjutant general to compile a roster of all those who served from Virginia in the Confederate armed forces. It was not until 1904, however, that the project began. In 1903 the United States Congress passed an act providing for the assembling of muster rolls for all the Confederate states. In response to this legislation the Virginia General Assembly created the Office of the Secretary of Virginia Military Records on March 7, 1904. The office was charged with gathering material for the federal project. The office was abolished in 1912 when the General Assembly passed an act on March 12 establishing the Department of Confederate Military Records within the Office of the Adjutant General to continue the work of assembling muster rolls and other documents related to Virginians in the Civil War.

Major Robert W. Hunter served as Secretary of Virginia Military Records from 1904 until 1910. Hunter was replaced by Colonel Joseph V. Bidgood who served as Secretary of Virginia Military Records and later Secretary of the Department of Confederate Military Records. In 1918, the General Assembly passed an act abolishing the Department of Confederate Military Records and transferring the department's records to the Virginia State Library.

Format of Collection

Available on microfilm.

Related Resources

Search Tips

Punctuation and capitalization are disregarded. Entries in this database are arranged in letter-by-letter alphabetical order. In addition to the regular searches, you may click on any highlighted element of a database record (such as a name) to initiate a search on that element. Each record in the Virginia Confederate Rosters database consists of:

Names
Personal names in the database are in the form of last name followed by first name. A Browse search in the Name index retrieves records in an alphabetical listing by name, beginning with the word or words used in the search.

Please note that given names may be abbreviated.

Example: A Browse search on the name "morgan, aaron" retrieves an alphabetical listing beginning with the names:

A Basic (keyword) search, or an Advanced search, retrieves only the records that contain the exact word or words specified in the search argument.

Notes
There are several types of notes related to rank and service unit:

There are also notes indicating the source of the indexed information, microfilm reel number, and background information on the collection. All notes are keyword searchable using Basic or Advanced searches.

Most notes have captions which can be used as a keyword to narrow searches, using the option "Words Anywhere."

The available captions are:

Examples: Examples of some typical notes are:

Subject Headings
In addition to the personal name of the soldier, each record contains several subject headings. In this database each record contains the same subject headings--therefore, searching by subject heading (other than personal name) is not recommended.

For more detailed help with searching, click on the "Help" link on the main search screen and scroll down to "Search Functions" and "Search Tips."