Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Civil War Soldiers: Just a Click Away

My 8th grade son will be beginning the Civil War chapter in his history class next week. Perfect timing, I thought, April 2015 will be the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.

If  you have a male relative born between about 1820 and 1845, he may have served in the Civil War. Perhaps he was a Yankee or maybe you had a real "Rebel" in the family. Did I say "he?" There were some "she's" fighting too!  

Whether your ancestor was fighting far from home or was a volunteer in the local militia, there is likely a story to tell. Finding that story may only be a "click" away!

Recently, I came across two wonderful internet sites that bring to life the Civil War veteran and thought I would share them here!

16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry website is filled with all sorts of great things.  Pictures, letters, notes, and diaries are just a few. I was particularly drawn to this site because of the enormous amount of information from a genealogical standpoint.
Screenshot from 16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry website

Michael Wood, creator of the site, has been working more than 15 years to make it what it is today.

You will find searchable rosters and even descendency information for many of the soldiers. Though genealogical data is not sourced, Michael has included many names of spouses, children, and important dates and locations for them as well.

The 16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was made up of soldiers mainly from the counties of Muskingum, Loraine, Union, and Wayne. So if you have ancestors who lived in those areas, you will definitely want to check this out.  

48th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry is a blog dedicated to the soldiers of the 48th. Most men were from Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. John David Hoptak is the writer and creator of this blog.

Screenshot from 48th PA Veteran Volunteer Infantry blog
Though this blog does not contain genealogical data about the soldiers relatives, John does have a descriptive roll of each soldier (if available) and has broken it down by company. These descriptive rolls include death dates and locations for many of the soldiers. You will also find several pictures of soldiers from the regiment.  

John's particular strength is in his writing. He tells of the daily struggles and events of the 48th and opens your eyes to the life a soldier lived. As a side note, he has included some great reads for those of us Civil War buffs!

These are just two of the hundreds of great Civil War sites that can enrich your family history story. If you are interested in finding out more about your Civil War ancestor, might I suggest you google something like "136th Illinois Infantry history" and see what comes up. Happy Hunting!

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