Tips on researching an ancestor's Georgia Confederate record...


My largest amount of "e" mail comes from persons asking how they can find an ancestor's record of participation in America's greatest struggle. I have learned a few lessons that I am glad to pass on..
......The key to finding a Georgia soldier's record, (or any other state, really), is his "unit", usually a "regiment". That may have been infantry, cavalry, artillery, or the CS Navy. Once the unit is know, then finding the records are relatively simple. Establishing the unit may be extremely frustrating, as a designation as the "1st Georgia Infantry", could have several interpretations: 1st Ga. Regulars, 1st Ga. Sharpshooters, 1st Georgia Volunteers, 1st Georgia Reserves, 1st Georgia Militia, 1st Georgia State Troops, 1st Georgia Legion, and on and on. Complicating this, is the local designation given when it was formed. When formed in Americus, Ga. in June of 1861, my GGGrandfather's unit was called "The Americus Volunteer Rifles". Their official unit was Company "K", Ninth Georgia Volunteer Infantry.However, once the unit has been determined, the records will be under that unit. Also, the name may be mis-spelled, so use caution. One of my ancestors was Jacob Wilkins Cobb, Jr. The majority of his records were under J.W. Cobb, some under Jacob Cobb, and one was under Jacob Witherspoon Cobb. I have no explanation for this, except to advise that it happens frequently.

The one most comprehensive record for Georgia, is Lillian Henderson's "Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865". This was an attempt to put in one Volumn, the records of Georgia's Rebel soldiers. It is fairly extensive, but is not 100% accurate, and includes only Infantry. Don't give up if your soldier's name is not there. As in any publication, there are errors and omissions. The biggest omission is the failure to have info on the numerous "Legions" from Georgia. A "Legion" was a combination of arms-infantry, cavalry, and artillery in the same unit. This is not a criticism of the work, we are extremely fortunate that Mrs. Henderson and the State of Georgia produced this roster, it is just not complete. Most larger libraries, in the South, at least, will contain a copy of "Roster..." in the reference section, and is certainly time well spent.

Try these internet web-sites for more detailed explanations and assistance. The proliferation of sites on Georgia's sons during the war is ever-expanding, so much can be done on your home computer. The cost of receiving microfilmed copies is approx. $25.00, with a time frame of 3-6 weeks.

Try this first:
A "Google" search for your ancestor's regiment (sometime you can find your answer if you get a 'hit').

For a guide on all Civil War units on the internet, go to the "Civil War Units" file maintained by Dr. George Hoemann of the U. of Tenn., and Carol Botteron of M.I.T.. Click HERE!

S.C.V.Camp 674 has an excellent page on researching Confederate ancestors, with links to State and National resources; Click HERE!

........And, if you wish to have a marker on your ancestor's grave, check HERE!


Return to the Ninth Georgia Regiment, CSA

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