The Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls database is a transcription of each soldier's entry in the record series, Muster and Descriptive Rolls (RS 301.020). The database contains information about over 285,000 soldiers from Illinois who served in the Union Army during the War of the Rebellion. Each entry includes all of the information that was recorded by the Illinois Adjutant General in the original Muster and Descriptive Rolls. Entries for each roll include soldier's name; rank; age; height; colors of eyes, hair, and complexion; occupation; marital status; birthplace; residence; date, place, and term of enrollment; name; name of mustering officer; date and place of muster out; name of mustering-out officer; and remarks concerning transfers, promotions, injuries, or special duty.
Fred Delap of Kansas, Illinois, a volunteer with the Edgar County Genealogical Society, entered the information found in this database from microfilm of the 89 volumes of original Muster and Descriptive Rolls provided by the Illinois State Archives. Delap discovered that the published Adjutant General's Reports included soldiers that were not included in the original Muster and Descriptive Rolls. To make the database as comprehensive as possible, he also extracted the information from the first eight volumes of the nine volume publication, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois. (The ninth volume lists veterans of Black Hawk, Mexican, and Spanish-American Wars.)
The original Muster and Descriptive Rolls (RS 301.020) compiled by the Illinois Adjutant General's Office and the published Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois are the only sources used to compile this database. We realize that there may be omissions, misspellings and inaccuracies found in both sources. However, it was our goal to provide users with an accurate transcription of records as they appear in these sources. See the Illinois State Archives Database Transcription Policy.
The Civil War Soldiers' and Sailors' System (CWSS) is a computerized database compiled by the National Park Service containing very basic facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War. The initial focus of the CWSS was the Names Index Project, an effort to enter names and other basic information from 6.3 million soldier records maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Other information found on the CWSS Web site includes: histories of regiments in both the Union and Confederate Armies, links to descriptions of 384 significant battles of the war, and other historical information. Additional information about soldiers, sailors, regiments, and battles, as well as prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records, will be added over time.
The histories of Illinois Civil War regiments and units are included in the first eight volumes of the nine volume publication, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois (1900-1902). (The ninth volume lists units of the Black Hawk, Mexican and Spanish-American Wars as well as the War of 1812.) The histories, some written shortly after the war's end, are the work of numerous authors throughout the intervening years. The 1886 version of the Adjutant General's Report included regimental histories compiled by that office which had not previously been published.
The final 1900-1902 republication of the report incorporated revisions and corrections to the histories. In recognition of the service of Illinois' six regiments during the Mexican War, the assignment of regimental numbers for infantry began with seven.
The histories of Illinois Civil War regiments and units are provided in a PDF (Portable Document Format) file, which can be viewed or printed using your Web browser and Adobe's Acrobat Reader software. Macintosh and Windows versions of Acrobat Reader may be downloaded free of charge from Adobe.
All of the information found in the original Muster and Descriptive Rolls (RS 301.020) is included in this database. However, if you would like an unofficial and uncertified photocopy of the soldier's entry in the Muster and Descriptive Rolls, please include your postal mailing address. As a result of limitations on research time, Archives staff can photocopy no more than 2 entries per request. Send your request to:
Illinois State Archives
Margaret Cross Norton Building
Springfield, Illinois 62756
Submit a Request Via the Internet