Research

New York State Adjutant General's Office Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts of New York State Volunteers, United States Sharpshooters, and United States Colored Troops

Held by the New York State Archives


Overview of the Records

Repository:

New York State Archives

New York State Education Department

Cultural Education Center

Albany, NY 12230

Summary:
This series consists of abstracts compiled from original muster rolls of New York State units that fought in the Civil War, including the 20th and 31st U.S. Colored Troops. For individual members, the data includes: date of enlistment; age (in years); place of enlistment and for how long; date mustered in; grade; company; regiment; date left organization; reason for leaving (killed, discharged, deserted, etc.); in what grade; explanation; and remarks.
Creator:
Title:
Quantity:
615.5 cubic feet (1231 volumes); Copies: 1182 microfilm reels (24.6 cubic feet); 35 mm.
Inclusive Dates:
circa 1861-1900
Series Number:
13775

Arrangement

Numerical by regiment, then alphabetical by last name.

Administrative History

A law of 1863 required the Bureau of Military Statistics to collect and preserve "an authentic sketch of every person from this State who has volunteered into the service of the general government" since April 15, 1861, but no mention was made of muster roll abstracts. A law of 1876 authorized the appropriation of funds for clerks to copy "muster-out" rolls, but no citation can be located mandating their duplication.

The abstracts seem to have been compiled by several people since similar types of handwriting appear throughout the series which would indicate that these may be the records for which funds were appropriated in 1876.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of abstracts compiled from original muster rolls of New York State units that fought in the Civil War, including the 20th and 31st U.S. Colored Troops. The abstracts provide information on the history and engagements of the units and on the enlistment and military service of individual members.

The abstracts are printed forms which were completed by hand. The fore of the abstracts for each regiment provides a list of the unit's commanding officers as well as their company and promotion or muster out dates. In a few of the abstracts a detailed history of the unit may appear. This history includes: dates of organization; areas from which each company was recruited; the unit's nickname; larger units to which the company was attached, including dates and location; list of engagements; number of men killed, wounded or missing for each engagement (further broken down by officers and enlisted men); and aggregate totals of losses suffered during war, including those inflicted by disease. The individual abstracts for each enlisted man provide the following data: date of enlistment; age (in years); place of enlistment and for how long; date mustered in; grade; company; regiment; date left organization; reason for leaving (killed, discharged, deserted, etc.); in what grade; explanation; and remarks.

The remarks usually provide information pertaining to: promotions; attendance at roll calls; participation in engagements; wounds received; physical appearance (eyes, hair, complexion and height); and circumstances surrounding dismissal from service.

Some of the abstracts differ slightly in that spaces are provided for place of birth, age, occupation, eyes, hair, complexion, height, and Congressional district. Attached to some of the individual abstracts are original volunteer enlistment papers, discharge papers, duplicate special and general orders, or correspondence regarding amendment of military records. These attachments are an exception rather than the rule. Few abstracts contain these attachments.

Items Online

Digital Collection

Please note that only a portion of this series has been included in this digital collection. Other items exist that are not available online.

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Use of Records

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions regarding access to or use of the material.

Alternate Formats Available

This series has been microfilmed on 1182 rolls (35mm film) and is available for use onsite.

Related Information

Related Materials

Series B0807 Abstracts of Muster Rolls of the 26th Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops from New York State, contains records of the other black regiment in which New Yorkers served

Series A0389 Registers of Officers and Enlisted Men Mustered into Federal Military or Naval Service During the Civil War, contains related records

Other finding aids

An alphabetical name index that lists regiment number(s) is available at the repository. Index includes New Yorkers who served in the 20th, 26th, and 31st U.S. Colored Troops, in New York State Volunteer units, and in the U.S. Sharpshooters.

Volume list is available at the repository.

Microfilm roll list available at the repository.

This series is partially indexed by Series B1832, Name index to Civil War muster roll abstracts.

Access Terms

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