Records of Union Army Service and Pensions in the Civil War

Pennsylvania had the most men serve in the Union Army and the invalid and widow pension files are full of valuable genealogical information. Here's how to locate these files.

Records of Union Army Service and Pensions in the Civil War

If you are stuck in 1850 Pennsylvania research and cannot make progress finding the parents of young men during this time, you'll want to research in Union Army pension records. But before you request a pension file, first verify that the man served in the military.

Union Army Service During the Civil War

The main fighting for the United States Civil War, known at the time as the War of the Rebellion, occurred from April 1861 to April 1865. Men across Pennsylvania volunteered for service in the spring and summer of 1861. In the summer of 1862 there was a state-wide recruitment effort for Union Army service, and in the summer of 1863 a federal draft began with mandatory registration.

It's likely any male ancestors you had between he ages of 21 and 45 during these years appeared on a list related to this war effort.

This article will focus on finding records of Civil War military service and pension records.