Posted by Ancestry Team on February 12, 2009 in Collections, News

In commemoration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday, has added five new databases to its Civil War Collection. One of the databases includes the Abraham Lincoln Papers from the Library of Congress containing more than 20,000 documents such as drafts of speeches, incoming and outgoing correspondence with the president, and printed material. The Abraham Lincoln Papers are searchable for free on

One of the treasures in the collection is a letter written by Ellie B. Reno, a woman who had disguised herself as a male to fight in the Union Army, asking Lincoln, “…iff [sic] I can remain in your Service…”

Letter to Lincoln From Female Soldier

Letter Written by Ellie Reno, dated May 11, 1863 

Other new Civil War era databases include:

  • New Orleans Slave Manifests, 1807-1860 – includes images of ship manifests transporting more than 30,000 slaves en route to New Orleans from the upper Southern states, who were likely being moved to provide labor for the booming cotton industry.
  • Confederate Pension Applications from Georgia, 1879-1960 – these 60,000 applications were filed by Civil War veterans and their widows. Pension files can include applications, correspondence regarding the pensioner, affidavits, receipts, transfer of assignment of pension funds, and military records.
  • Confederate Applications for Presidential Pardons, 1865-1867 – a collection containing more than 15,000 records of former Confederate soldiers and government officials requesting Presidential pardons. At the end of the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson granted general amnesty, with a few exceptions. Former Confederates not covered by general amnesty had to request a pardon and amnesty, and was given on a case-by-case basis.
  • Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles – contains more than 4.2 million records and profiles about nearly every officer and soldier who fought in the Civil War. While the database has been on for awhile, this update includes more than 18,000 photographs of soldiers, as well as biographies and signatures, none of which was on previously.

Over the next two years, we will add millions more historical records from the Civil War period to our site, as the country approaches the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of that historic conflict.

Search’s Civil War Collection at


  1. Sharon Meeker

    Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles database will NOT find soldier if ANY enlistment state is entered and EXACT search is used. I reported as a technical issue via e-mail and got a response from Kimberly at “Member Solutions” with links to hints on how to search for my ancestors!

    Please have someone with technical expertise test this example:

    Last Name: Meeker, Enlisted state: New Jersey, Search: exact.

    No results. Leave out state enlisted and you will see there are Meekers from New Jersey in this database.

    Thank you.

  2. David Watkin

    A completely botched database.

    As an example, take the record of John Judson of Albia, Iowa.

    It shows him with an enlistment date of 8 October 1861, when the true date is 10 August 1861. (10/8/1861 vs. 8/10/1861).

    Scanning down to the service record shows him as enlisting on 12 Sep 1861 (this was the muster in date, he enlisted 10 Aug), which clearly contradicts their own 8 October date.

    Finally, it shows him as mustering out on 20 Nov 1861 at St Louis when in reality, this is the date that he died, he did not “muster out”

  3. Valerie


    Thanks for posting this! I was having trouble finding Quattlebaum soldiers in SC and couldn’t understand why. But when I leave off SC I find 35 ~Quattlebaum soldiers in SC. I might actually be able to use this database now.

    But maybe we can get this problem fixed?

  4. Pat Morgan

    I have two ancestors who died while on active duty yet their record indicates they were “mustered out”. The record correctly answers the question “Survived the War?” with a No. There needs to be a way to reconcile this information.

    Thank you

  5. Reed


    Take a look at the Lincoln papers. The search engine appears to work fine, but when you click on the “view image” icons, no document images appear.

    example: Search > Abraham Lincoln Papers > Abraham Lincoln Papers > Series 1 General Correspondence 1833-1916 > (178) 05 Oct 1864 – 11 Oct 1864 > John Perkins Jr To Abraham Lincoln [no image appears]

    Please fix.

  6. Patricia Donohoe

    Thank you for your efforts to find Civil War records. I found my grea-great grandfather and Uncle in the new data base and learned exactly which battles they fought in. Looking forward to further research helps on the Civil War.

  7. Jo

    I was unable to find a record of a soldier’s CT service in this database that I had found in other databases on Ancestry and other sites like Footnote and the National Park Service’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System. CT is one of the states listed as being finished so I sent an email to the address provided for Historical Data Systems and found out that my soldier had been accidently skipped over at data-entry. They indicated they will add his CT service and link it to his NJ service. I really like this database and the relational links and that the company is open to corrections and additions but I just don’t know when it will get done or how long it will take for the correction to be updated to Ancestry’s version of the database. I have another soldier I couldn’t find and sent another email but haven’y heard anything about him yet.

  8. Jo

    I just realized I didn’t give the name of the particular database. It’s Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles.

  9. Jo

    Update: According to Historical Data Systems the Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles database will be updated annually on and every other month at and they welcome additions and corrections sent to them at .

  10. Jerry Tarvin

    I have downloaded the enhance viewer but cannot find anyway to open it.
    I also cannot print anything from my family tree. I have 2009 ftm. thank you Jerry Tarvin

  11. Sharon Meeker

    The problem that I reported with the Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles database on Feb. 12 appears to have been fixed. Using the same criteria listed in my Comment No. 1, the database now locates Meeker soldiers in New Jersey. It’s too bad I had to report the problem here, when Member Solutions insisted that the fault was mine. Thank you for fixing this.

  12. Mark Claussner

    Suzanne, I have a question for you that I hope you can answer. I had not looked at my great great grandfather Wyman B. Nightingale from Massachusetts,Civil war record in a long time. When I recently took another look at it I was surprised to see a picture posted with the record. Nobody I have talked to involved in our family tree that participates on Ancestry. com knew where it came from? Would you be able to find out?

Comments are closed.