Appendix D: Interpreting the LDS Civil War Veteran Records

Kenneth L. Alford, "Appendix D: Interpreting the LDS Civil War Veteran Records," in Civil War Saintsed. Kenneth L. Alford (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012), 410–21.

The following tables provide summary information for better understanding the Latter-day Saint Civil War Veterans and Special Interest Civil War Veterans appendices that follow. Both appendices contain summary records for Civil War veterans and use the same basic record format, codes, and abbreviations. The LDS Veteran Records Table, below, discusses the individual fields in those records. The Research Source Table lists and explains codes and acronyms (found primarily in the Military Service Source(s), LDS Membership Source(s), and Notes fields) in the veteran records.


LDS Civil War veteran records in the following appendices are presented in this format:

VETERAN’S NAME (Military Affiliation) When Baptized



Military Service Source(s):


Birth Date:

Birth Place:


LDS Membership Date:

LDS Membership Source(s):


Death Date:

Death Place: Find a Grave #:
Burial Location:




Name of Field



Spelling of names was not always standardized in the nineteenth century. Alternate ways of spelling the first or last names (as evidenced in various record sources) may be reflected either on the first line (with an alternate method of spelling being listed in parenthesis) or in the Notes field. In several instances, one record source (such as New Family Search or an obituary) may contain a partial name (first and last name only, with no middle name) while other record sources may contain middle initials or names for the same individual.


The military affiliation (Union or Confederate) and branch of the service (Army, Navy, Marines) for each service member, when known, will be shown. The qualifier “(presumed)” has been added when veteran status has been confirmed but specific military affiliation cannot be identified (for example, the soldier’s obituary may have simply stated that he was “a Civil war veteran” without mentioning for which side he fought). The military affiliation of three soldiers (John Eugene Davis, John W. Lawson, and William Pinkney Sargent) is listed as “Galvanized Yankee”; a galvanized Yankee was a soldier who served in both the Union and Confederate military forces during the Civil War. (Additional information about galvanized Yankees can be found in the chapter entitled “Mormon Motivation for Enlisting in the Civil War” herein.)


Individuals are identified as having been baptized before, during, or after the Civil War. In a few instances, the qualifier “(presumed)” has been added, when questions regarding an individual’s LDS baptism exist.


The rank displayed is generally the highest or final rank earned by the veteran. Military rank information has been obtained from a variety of the sources listed in the Research Source Table, especially 1890 Census, NPS, and FOLD3.


Unit information was obtained from a variety of sources. When soldiers were known to have served with more than one unit, both units have been included. Unit designations may reflect the source from which they were obtained (for example, the same unit might be listed as “Company G, 26th Massachusetts,” “Company G, 26th Regiment, Massachusetts,” “Company G, 26th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment,” “Company G, 26th Massachusetts Infantry,” or “Company G, 26th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry”).


This field lists the sources where unit information was found. (Please see the following table for an explanation of the individual codes used.)


With few exceptions, the birth date listed has been obtained from New Family Search (NFS). Additional information regarding birthdate discrepancies can sometimes be found in the Notes field.


Place of birth information was usually recorded from the same source as the date of birth (which is most often New Family Search).


For most veterans, the date listed is their baptismal date. LDS membership records for the nineteenth century remain incomplete. Most baptismal dates included were obtained from New Family Search (NFS). In several instances, the NFS baptismal date listed online was clearly for vicarious ordinance work, but a confirmation or temple ordinances date was listed within the lifetime of the individual. In those instances, we have entered the “(confirmation)” or “(LDS temple ordinances)” NFS date—with the appropriate parenthetical notation. There are also a few individuals for whom no LDS membership dated records could be discovered, but additional sources (such as diaries or obituaries) refer to their LDS membership. For those individuals, the word “Uncertain” appears in this field.


The primary source of LDS membership information was New Family Search (NFS). When an individual has a record in New Family Search, the NFS Identification Number (a unique seven-character alphanumeric code for each individual record in NFS; for example: “KWJK-4HP”) has been included so that readers can quickly identify which LDS membership record was matched against the veteran record. Please see the following table for a complete list of the resource codes used.


A veteran’s date of death was generally obtained from New Family Search and/or


A veteran’s place of death was generally obtained from New Family Search and/or

FIND A GRAVE # (FGC) was an extremely useful online resource to link an LDS member’s record with a Civil War veteran’s record. Each record on the Find a Grave website is given a unique identifying number (which has been included here, when available). In addition to name, death, and burial information, most Find a Grave record entries have one or more photographs of the headstone, grave marker, and/or cemetery where the deceased is buried. (Please note that new Find a Grave records are being added every day. Veterans on this list without Find a Grave entries may have been entered since the publication of this book.)


A veteran’s burial location was generally obtained from New Family Search and/or


This field often contains pertinent as well as general interest information about the veteran’s military service and life. Information appears from a wide variety of sources. The original source of the information or the source code is generally enclosed in brackets. Some Notes sections contain historical information regarding the unit in which the veteran served; information for other units is generally available at NPS. When appropriate (such as when quoting from Esshom’s Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah), page numbers have also been included.


In an effort to publish the information thoroughly but concisely, acronyms and codes have been used within individual veteran records for repeated data sources. Sources that are used once or sparingly are entered in whole within the appendix. Here is an example LDS veteran record illustrating where the research codes generally appear:

Abbott, Charles Enoch  (Union Army) Baptized after the war.


Rank: Private (Musician)

Unit(s): Company B, 147th Illinois Infantry

Military Service Source(s): NPS, VBU, PI, FGC


Birth Date: 22 December 1847

Birth Place:  Fulton, White Side, Illinois


LDS Membership Date:
11 November 1878

LDS Membership Source(s):



Death Date:
10 January 1927

Death Place: Los Angeles, California Find a Grave #: 82343710
Burial Location: Wasatch Lawn Cemetery, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah


Notes: "CIVIL WAR VETERAN" is carved on his grave marker [FGC].


The table below provides the key to acronyms used throughout the veteran list appendices. When research codes are used within the Notes field, most of those are enclosed in brackets (for example, [FGC]). Page numbers, when appropriate, are also included within the brackets (for example, [PPMU, 1096] refers to page 1096 in Frank Esshom’s Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah).



1862 MOR

“Muster-out Roll of Captain Lott Smith’s Company of Mounted Volunteers . . . , 14 August 1862.” MSS A 5238, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City.

A typed transcript of the August 14, 1862, muster-out roll of the Lot Smith Utah Cavalry is on file at the Utah State Historical Society. A note on the bottom of the typed list states: “This list copied from the one in the possession of Margaret Fisher of the George Washington Circle of the G.A.R. Her copy was taken from the original at Washington D.C. thru the courtesy of Senator Smoot. Received August 6, 192[?].”

Information about the Lot Smith Utah Cavalry is available in the chapter entitled “The Lot Smith Cavalry Company: Utah Goes to War” herein.

1890 Census

“Special Schedules of the Eleventh Census (1890) Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War”; National Archives Microfilm Publication M123, 118 rolls; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, DC.

The following information is from’s online description of this database: “This database is an index to individuals enumerated in the 1890 special census of Civil War Union veterans and widows of veterans available on microfilm M123 (118 rolls) from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Although this schedule was to be used to enumerate Union veterans, in some areas, Confederate veterans were listed as well.

“The 1890 veterans schedules provided spaces for the following information: names of surviving soldiers, sailors, and marines, and widows; rank; name of regiment or vessel; date of enlistment; date of discharge, length of service; post office address; disability incurred; and remarks. Although all of this information is available on the census schedules themselves, information listed in this index includes the veteran’s name or widow’s name, rank, year of enlistment, and year of discharge.”

This census schedule was specifically designed to record only Union veterans, but it is helpful to note that numerous Confederate veterans were also recorded by census enumerators. (Some of the Confederate soldiers enumerated were lined out later, but their information is often still legible.)

While most of the 1890 census was destroyed by fire, water damage, or government order (see and for details), the majority of the “Union Veterans and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War” schedules have survived.

1900 Census

“United States of America, Bureau of the Census.” Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

The following information is from’s online description of this database: “This database is an index to all individuals enumerated in the 1900 United States Federal Census, the Twelfth Census of the United States. In addition, the names of those listed on the population schedule are linked to actual images of the 1900 Federal Census, copied from the National Archives and Records Administration microfilm, T623, 1854 rolls. . . .

“Enumerators of the 1900 census were instructed to record the names of every person in the household. Enumerators were asked to include the following categories in the census: name; address; relationship to the head of household; color or race; sex; month and year of birth; age at last birthday; marital status; number of years married; the total number of children born of the mother; the number of those children living; places of birth of each individual and the parents of each individual; if the individual was foreign born, the year of immigration and the number of years in the United States; the citizenship status of foreign-born individuals over age twenty-one; occupation; whether the person could read, write, and speak English; whether the home was owned or rented; whether the home was on a farm; and whether the home was mortgaged.”


American Civil War Soldiers Database (

The following information is from’s online description of this database: “The American Civil War Research Database is a historic effort to compile and link all available records of common soldiers in the Civil War. . . . Historical Data Systems has compiled and linked a wide array of record types including state rosters, pension records, regimental histories, photos, and journals. The genealogical value of this record is immeasurable. More than authoritative names and dates, this database connects researchers with the history their ancestors lived.

“The collection is divided into four sections: soldier records, regiment records, battle histories, and officer records. . . . Soldier records . . . may contain any of the following information about an individual soldier: the soldier’s name, residence, date of entry, regiments, companies, rank, promotions, transfers, events (such as POW, wounded, etc.) and how and where the soldier exited the military (discharge, desertion, muster out, or death). Some states also include in their official records a soldier’s birthplace, age at enlistment, occupation, and physical description.”


Confederate Soldiers Buried in the State of Colorado (

This online electronic database contains the following information: name, rank, state served, unit, cemetery, city, picture, and registration with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. This database was used to identify Civil War veterans who were later checked against LDS membership records to determine if they were baptized into the LDS Church during their lifetime.


Find a Grave (

This free online database documents the burial information for millions of individuals. Pictures and information may be uploaded. When the Notes field for an individual references information on the person’s grave marker, almost without exception, a photo of that grave marker is available on Any Find a Grave reference numbers that were available at the time of publication have been included for your convenience.


Fisher, Margaret M. Utah and the Civil War. Being the Story of the Part Played by the People of Utah in That Great Conflict with Special Reference to the Lot Smith Expedition and the Robert T. Burton Expedition. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1929.

Margaret M. Fisher, who was married to Joseph A. Fisher (a member of Lot Smith’s Utah Cavalry), was active in the Women’s Grand Army of the Republic Auxiliary. An amateur historian, she dedicated her 1929 book to “the memory of the heroic men who volunteered and answered the call of Abraham Lincoln in the hour of the nation’s peril from the state of Utah” and explained that the “purpose of this book is to preserve the record of the brilliant military achievemnts [sic] of these loyal American soldiers; and also to furnish a standing refutation of the false charge which has been made, by the uninformed that Utah in the early days of her history was lacking in loyalty to the United States” (10).


Civil War Service Records Database (

This database consists of two major titles: Confederate Records and Union Records. Confederate Records includes sixteen subtitles: Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Officers, Missouri, Florida, CSA, Kentucky, and Maryland. Union Records includes these subtitles: Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee, Delaware, Arkansas, New York (index cards), New York 1st Volunteer Engineers, Ohio, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Alabama, Nevada, Florida, Virginia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Dakota, Georgia, and Utah.


Jenson, Andrew. LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1936.

This book contains biographical sketches, sometimes accompanied by a photo, of influential men and women from early Utah history.


Teamsters who served with the Lot Smith Utah Cavalry were not considered Civil War veterans (nor were they eligible for federal pension benefits or membership in the Grand Army of the Republic following the war).


Manassa Cemetery List (

Grace Bagwell’s “Old Manassa Cemetery, Manassa, Conejos, Colorado” list contains the following information about individuals buried in the old Manassa (Colorado) cemetery: surname, given name, birth date, death date, spouse, marriage date, father’s name, and mother’s name.


Bitton, David. Guide to Mormon Diaries and Autobiographies. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1977.

This book provides some veteran information within diary or autobiography summaries.


“Most likely matched.”

While Civil War and Latter-day Saint membership online resources have improved in recent years, positively matching an individual veteran’s record with a Latter-day Saint membership record for that same individual cannot always be done with absolute certainty. Frequently, there are several Civil War veterans or baptized Latter-day Saints who shared the same name. While we have a high degree of confidence that the individuals who appear in the following appendices belong to Civil War veterans and to baptized Latter-day Saints with the same name, we are not always certain that the veteran and the Saint are the same person. In cases where there is no cross-linked information between veteran and LDS records, we have selected the “most likely matched” records. This code appears in the Notes field to inform readers that, despite our best efforts, some uncertainty remains regarding whether we have matched this soldier and an LDS member’s records correctly.


National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.

NARA houses original and microfilm military records for the Civil War. NPS usually lists the microfilm roll number where confirming veteran information can be found.


This family history website is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each individual receives a unique identification number, referenced here as the “NFS ID #.” NFS ID numbers have been provided so that you can easily see which person we linked to a particular Civil War veteran. It is important to note that while NFS contains a wealth of genealogical and historical information, not all of the information found on NFS is accurate, nor, in many cases, has it been verified. NFS was, though, the most extensive source of LDS membership information available at the time of publication.


National Park Service Civil War Registry (

This database lists the name, unit affiliation, rank, and National Archives microfilm roll numbers for numerous Civil War veterans (both Union and Confederate). Individual records include the following fields: name, regiment (unit), side (Union or Confederate), company, soldier’s initial rank, soldier’s rank upon termination of military service, alternate name (if used), notes, and film number (referencing NARA microfilm records). This database, while sometimes finicky to use, was the most frequently used resource to verify Civil War military service. When NPS listed several individuals with the same name—all of whom were Civil War veterans but who served in different military units—our research team selected the most likely NPS listing (which opens the possibility that, while we have confirmed veteran status, we may have identified an incorrect unit affiliation). NPS also includes a searchable regimental database that provides information about most Civil War regiments (often including the unit’s date of organization, campaigns and history, commanders, and losses).


When the “Obituary” tag appears within a record, please see that soldier’s Notes section for an obituary source citation and information about that service member’s obituary.


Pension Index records.

Maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration, electronic copies are also available on


Esshom, Frank. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah. Salt Lake City: Utah Pioneers Book Publishing, 1913.

This book contains biographical sketches, often accompanied by a photo, of numerous early settlers of Utah Territory.


Bullock, Richard H. Ship Brooklyn Saints: Their Journey and Early Endeavors in California. Sandy, Utah:, 2009. Additional information is also available online at

According to Richard H. Bullock, all “238 passengers on the ship Brooklyn have been identified by several sources as all being members of the LDS Church. There were four exceptions to this: Edward Kemble, newspaperman; Edward Von Pfister, businessman; Howard Oakley, businessman; and Frank Ward, businessman [punctuation altered for clarity]. There were 100 children aboard the ship, 50 under six years of age, that would not have been baptized. I made a general assumption that they would have eventually been members. Many were baptized by John M. Horner, William Glover, Addison Pratt, and Parley P. Pratt, among others, in the San Francisco Bay and other locations in the gold fields. Many of these baptisms were never reported to Church headquarters, but appear in personal journals” (Email correspondence between Kenneth L. Alford and Richard H. Bullock, September 19, 2011).


Susan Easton Black, comp. Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1848. 50 vols. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1990.

“Susan Easton Black and associates researched LDS historical resources and compiled a 50-volume set of information on early members of the church. It is a good beginning point to identify available information and sources for an early LDS” member. “While this compilation is massive, it is not complete” (

Entries generally contain the following relevant information: names and name variations, birth date and place, father’s name, mother’s name, marriage date and place, spouse’s name, children’s names, death date and place, burial date and place, baptism date, confirmation date, and temple ordinances. “It does not include—All sources about Latter-day Saints to 1848, Every early LDS membership record, All Latter-day Saint sources available at the Family History Library, Information on members who joined the Church after 1848, even if they were included in the sources indexed, [or] References to every major Latter-day Saint index” (


“San Luis Valley” (La Jara Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Mormons: 100 Years in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, 1883–1983. La Jara, CO: n.p., 1982).

This book provides biographical information including veteran status, some vital record information (birth and death), and a history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Colorado’s San Luis Valley.


Veterans Buried in Utah Database (

Wiki information about this database is available online at