"The Basics" Full Civil War Pension File and Compiled Service Records
The two most commonly requested records for Civil War soldiers are the full pension file and the compiled service records.
These are typically the two best files to get. The pensions usually tell information about his service in the war, his life after the war, and details about his family. They are usually between 50-100 pages long.
The compiled service records will tell if a soldier was transferred, promoted, deserted, killed, taken prisoner, etc. If his enlistment papers still exist, they’d be in this file as well.
Please note: Service records for the following states are on Fold3.com and the National Archives online catalog, so they are not available to be ordered here. If the state you are looking for is on this list, please DO NOT order this set. You'll need to order the pensionhere, without the service records.
Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Dakota Territory, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and all of the US Colored Troops
Details & Terms
You will receive full color images of the records, delivered electronically via DropBox.
Please allow eight weeks for delivery, but in many cases it will be shorter than that.
These are only available for Union soldiers.
Please be sure you submit the correct details. We're not responsible if you order the wrong soldier. If you have a Civil War ancestor, but you're not sure what's available to order, click here and we can help you start the process.
Pension files larger than 250 pages may be subject to an additional charge
If the pension file is one that is in St. Louis instead of DC, there may be a small fee added in order to retrieve the file from there. (Most files are in DC, but we won't know until we request the file if it's in DC or St. Louis.)
Please input the pension file numbers (from the pension index card) OR upload a copy of the pension index card when ordering. These are searchable on Ancestry.com's Civil War Pension Index.
Note: Please do not order a pension file unless you know for sure that there is a pension on file. Not every soldier received a pension. If you're not sure if there is a pension file available, contact us first and we'll help you find out. Thanks!