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If Your Ancestor Served in the Civil War

In April 2011, the Wisconsin Historical Society will be introducing an extensive website about Wisconsin and the Civil War which will include photographs, newspaper clippings, rosters, and excerpts from soldiers’ diaries and letters.

Barker, Brett. Exploring Civil War Wisconsin : a survival guide for research. Madison : Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2003. Spec Coll E 537 .B37 2003

Military Records and Service Rosters

Hewitt, Janet B., ed. The roster of Union soldiers, 1861-1865 : Wisconsin, M559-1 – M559-33. Wilmington, N.C.: Broadfoot Publishing, 2000.

  • Alphabetical listing of Wisconsin soldiers drawn from the microfilmed rosters in the National Archives; rank (other than private), regiment and company information are given.

Military Records (National Archives and Records Administration)

  • The Archives holds Federal level service records and the Civil War pension files.

Wisconsin volunteers : War of the Rebellion 1861-1865, arranged alphabetically, compiled under the direction of the Adjutant General during the years 1895-1899. Madison : Democrat Printing Company, 1914.

  • The state's official index to Wisconsin soldiers which was compiled to improve access to the official rosters. It is alphabetical by last name and gives rank, company, and regiment.

Roster of Wisconsin volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865. Madison : Democrat Printing Company, 1886. 2 volumes.

  • The state Adjutant General's list by regiment of Wisconsin volunteers drawn from the comprehensive rosters. It is arranged by regiment, then company. Names are alphabetical within each company, rank, residence, date of last rank, and a summary of service is given.

The previous two titles are available online on the Wisconsin Historical Society's website.

Regimental History

Love, William D. Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion : a history of all regiments and batteries the state has sent to the field. Chicago : Church and Goodman, 1866.

  • Semi-chronological regimental history of the war.

Quiner, Edwin B. The military history of Wisconsin : a record of the civil and military of the state in the War for the Union. Chicago : Clarke & Company, 1866.

  • Regimental histories.

The War of the Rebellion : a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Availalble in the Government Documents Collection W 45.5: or online

Grand Army of the Republic

McCrory, Thomas J. Grand Army of the Republic : Department of Wisconsin. Black Earth, WI : Trails Books, 2005. Spec Coll E 462.1 .W6 M38

Personal war sketches of the members of C. E. Curtice Post No. 34 of Whitewater / Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Wisconsin. Philadelphia : Louis H. Everts, 1890.

Grand Army of the Republic, Joseph Bailey Post No. 138 (Palmyra, Wis.) Records, 1884-1928. Whitewater Mss BS

Grand Army of the Republic, Post No. 159 (Fort Atkinson, Wis.) Records, 1883-1921. Whitewater Mss BR

Listing of all Wisconsin GAR posts (Wisconsin Veterans Museum)


Wisconsin census enumeration, 1895 : names of ex-soldiers and sailors residing in Wisconsin, June 20, 1895. Madison : Democrat Printing, 1896. Spec Coll E 494 .W57 1896.

Wisconsin 1890 : special census of Veterans. Salt Lake City : Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1990. Spec Coll F 580 .W572 1990

Wisconsin census enumeration, 1905 : names of ex-soldiers and sailors residing in Wisconsin, June 1, 1905. Madison : Democrat Printing, 1906. Spec Coll E 494 .W57 1906

The Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum have additional information on Wisconsin during the Civil War.

  • One source at the Society is microfilm of the General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 from the National Archives (NARA T288).
  • One source at the Museum is: Wisconsin Family Rolls: Civil War. Organized by unit, these rolls list veteran name, city and county of residence, and the name of the family member authorized to draw the soldier's pay. Other information includes the number of children the soldier is supporting and the date they entered military service.



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