Research Resources

A Note about Sources

I’m cheap. I try to find free information when I’m researching a topic. I don’t use any pay sites, like Ancestry or Fold 3. I do buy books occasionally, if I can’t find them in the local library. I bought four books (plus six that I already owned) when I researched The Honor of the State.

Books

North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster, Louis H. Manarin, Weymouth T. Jordan, et. al. This 20-volume set (plus two more scheduled for the future) is essential for researching North Carolina’s Civil War units and soldiers. Most volumes are online at familysearch.org.

North Carolina Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865, Janet B. Hewett, editor. This three-volume set is useful for identifying which regiment(s) a soldier served in. These volumes are a subset of Broadfoot Publishing’s The Roster of Confederate Soldiers: 1861-1865. Broadfoot also published a complete roster of the Union army. Some (maybe all) of these volumes are on Internet Archive.

Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-’65, Walter Clark, editor. This five-volume set contains first-hand accounts of the history of almost every North Carolina unit. Interesting, and sometimes, entertaining reading. Available at Internet Archive (www.archive.org).

The Civil War in North Carolina, John G. Barrett. Comprehensive history of North Carolina in the Civil War and the Civil War in North Carolina. One of the best books written on the topic (my opinion).

Clingman’s Brigade in the Confederacy, Frances Casstevens. A history of Clingman’s Brigade. Valuable for Clingman’s order books in the appendices. Useful for anyone researching one of the four regiments that comprised the brigade (8th, 31st, 51st, and 61st North Carolina).

Newspapers

Library of Congress, Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov). Online historical collection of newspapers from all over the USA.

DigitalNC, (www.digitalnc.org). Newspapers and other publications from North Carolina’s past. The collection is still growing.

Internet Resources

Search Engines: Google seems to give me the most accurate results, but whichever search engine you use, search for as many variants on unit designations as you can think of. For example, if you’re looking for information on the 51st North Carolina, search these terms: 51st North Carolina, 51st North Carolina Infantry, 51st North Carolina Regiment, 51st Regiment North Carolina Troops, and all the previous substituting “Fifty-First” for “51st.” When searching for an individual soldier, try different spellings of the family name. And look at least ten pages into the search results; sometimes a little gem of information will show up.

North Carolina Civil War Pensions, North Carolina Department of Cultural and Natural Resources (digital.ncdcr.gov). Easily searchable database of Civil War pension applications. The applications can be downloaded. Other ex-Confederate Staes have online pension records, but only a few allow you to see the actual application. Digital NC also has lots of other documents (letters, diaries, etc., that can be downloaded.

Family Search (www.familysearch.org). Excellent resource for census, probate, marriage, and military records. Free!

Internet Archive (www.archive.org). A wonderful site where you can find many out-of-print books and magazines.

Library of Congress online (https://loc.gov/). Huge collection of materials. Civil War books, maps, and photos are available. Searching is a little difficult.

Find-A-Grave (www.findagrave.com). Records often contain biographical and genealogical information.

University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Documenting the American South (https://docsouth.unc.edu/index.html). Lots of historical documents that can be downloaded.

Soldiers and Sailors Database (www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm). A complete list of all Civil War veterans with the units they served in.

Beyond the Crater is the Internet’s most comprehensive source of information about the Petersburg campaign. The site contains a massive amount of reference material.

Copyright © 2021/2022 by Kirk Ward. All rights reserved.