The opposing side in the American Civil War, 1861 – 1865, was the Confederate States of America. If you have determined you had an ancestor who might have joined the Confederate side, you will want to investigate the Compiled Service Records files done in 1903 by the Record and Pension Office of the War Department.
The original Confederate Records were borrowed from the former Confederate states to produce abstracts of those soldiers who served during the American Civil War. Many of the records had not only military details of service, but also personal information on a soldier. The files that were produced covered soldiers in the Confederacy from 15 different states and territories.
The Compiled Service Records available through the National Archives and Records Department in Washington, D. C. has some 2 million files on Confederate soldiers. Each file is not one document of everything on a soldier. Rather, each time a change of a regiment, placement in a hospital, a muster roll, a leave of absence, etc., a new file was done on that soldier. Making the files in digital format for placement with the Ancestry.com site came about through the World Archive Project with volunteers converting the documents to digital.
Another good source to check and verify on Confederate soldiers is with the National Parks Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System.
Use the search box to place the name and state the ancestor may have served with. If you find a match with any names on the Compiled Service Records you can be on the right track.
Those that have the Ancestry.com subscription can use their database, Confederate Service Records, 1861-1865, which is similar to the Compiled Service Records.
Once you have determined for sure which state and the regiment that a Confederate ancestor served with, you can contact that state to obtain copies of the military and pension records they possess. Each former Confederate state maintains their own records, rather than totally held at the National Archives. Several state archives have also placed those Confederate military records in digital form and are online.
This site of military indexes lists all the states involved with the American Civil War and what records are available, some free and others require a fee.
Make sure you learn more about the Confederate regiment your ancestor served with to discover the battles and locations that regiment, and your ancestor, participated in between 1861 and 1865.< Return To Blog This web site won't show up correctly on my droid - you might want to try and repair that