Resource on New York CW Soldiers
Composite images of the camp of the 2nd New York and 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiments at Belle Plain, Virginia, May 16, 1864. Via the New York State Military Museum.
One of the unfortunate things about the compiled service records (CSRs) available at NARA is that, while the extant Confederate records are all digitized and available online through sources like Fold3 (thanks, UDC!), Union records are not. Records for USCTs and some states are complete, some states are partially available, and others have only index cards available, that give the man’s name, “rank in,” “rank out” and unit. Some of the largest Northern states, including Pennsylvania and New York, are in this latter category. It’s a challenge, because those two states alone contributed a sizable proportion of the Union’s troops during the conflict.
Many of my readers will know about this, but the New York State Military Museum maintains an extensive website that includes a ton of information about that state’s units in multiple conflicts, including the Civil War. I haven’t been through the whole thing, but it looks to be huge. As one example, I’ll take the New York counterpart to my local regiment, the 1st Texas Heavy Artillery, the 2nd New York Heavy Artillery. For this unit, the museum’s website includes a brief summary of the unit’s history, including alternate names, a list of known images of the unit and its members, and a bibliography; a table of casualties; transcripts of news clippings and official correspondence, and images and descriptions of both the regiment’s national flag and one of the battery guidons.
But wait, there’s more.
For at least some of the units, including the 2nd Heavy Artillery, the museum has PDFs of State Adjutant General’s report (22MB PDF) that gives summaries of the service records of individual soldiers, like Frank McGuire:
I’m sure not all regiments have as extensive records online as this one, but still. . . . It seems like a tremendous resource, one that I wish every state had. It’s easy to navigate, fast to load, and free. Here’s the main index for the museum’s Civil War files. Happy researching!______________