3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 20, 2021 10:53 AM by Debbie Thurnell

    Seeking military records of James Beatty

    Debbie Thurnell Newbie

      James Beatty is an ancestor. He served on the Union side of the Civil War. The information provided in Ancestry.com provides: 85th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry; Company C; Rank - Private; Film Number M554, Roll 6. There is no "record image". I would like to know how to search for this film and roll number using NARA but I do not know how to search the information. Without being able to perhaps derive more specific details, I can't truly determine if this individual is my ancestor or just someone with the same name. I would like to be able to apply the same "search process" to other ancestors when a film and roll number are provided.  Thank you

        • Re: Seeking military records of James Beatty
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Ms. Thurnell,

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          The Film Number citations refer to NARA microfilm publications that were used by Ancestry as the basis of the information they provide through their databases. In this case, M554 is the Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Pennsylvania. Many of the index cards digitized by Fold3 (a subsidiary of Ancestry) are now available through the National Archives Catalog.


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the Civil War,  1899 - 1927 (M554) in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) that include a card for [Pennsylvania] Beatty, James - 85th Infantry, Company C. This card has been digitized and is available using the Catalog.


          The index cards indicate that there should be a Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) for James Beatty in the record series Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the American Civil War in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94). Unfortunately, the records for Pennsylvania Volunteers have not been microfilmed and most have not been digitized.


          In addition to the service records, there may be a non-digitized pension record for him, however please note that not all Civil War veterans qualified for, applied for, or recieved a pension.


          To order records that have not already been digitized, please fill out a NATF Form 86 for the service records and a NATF Form 85 for the pension records and mail the completed forms to the address listed on the form. Please include copies of the previously service record index cards.  For more information see Requesting Copies of Older (pre-WWI) Military Service Records.


          Please note that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has suspended reproduction and digitization services until further notice due to COVID-19. As part of this suspension, the option to request service and pension files through eservices.archives.gov has been turned off. However, you may still submit orders via mail. Orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received. We apologize for any inconvenience.


          We also located the series Regimental and Company Books of Civil War Volunteer Union Organizations, 1861 - 1867 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) that include the Regimental and Company Books of the 85th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment. For more information about these non-digitized records, please email the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at archives1reference@nara.gov.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          For Union volunteer units raised by Pennsylvania, there may be additional information in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Archives, the Pennsylvania Military Museum, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, State Library of Pennsylvania, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Additionally, the American Civil War Museum and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania may be able to offer assistance.


          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!


          1 person found this helpful
          • Re: Seeking military records of James Beatty
            Elliot Schneider Ranger



            Please take note that he served and was transferred to several units.




            Name:James Beatty
            Enlistment Age:21
            Birth Date:abt 1840
            Enlistment Date:2 Oct 1861
            Enlistment Place:Brownsville, Pennsylvania
            Enlistment Rank:Private
            Muster Date:31 Oct 1861
            Muster Place:Pennsylvania
            Muster Company:C
            Muster Regiment:85th Infantry
            Muster Regiment Type:Infantry
            Muster Information:Enlisted
            Transfer date:16 Sep 1865
            Transfer From Unit:D
            Transfer To Unit:E
            Muster Out Date:28 Jun 1865
            Muster Out Information:Transferred
            Side of War:Union
            Survived War?:Yes
            Residence Place:Fayette, Pennsylvania
            Additional Notes 2:Muster 2 Date: 28 Jun 1865; Muster 2 Place: Pennsylvania; Muster 2 Unit: 2185; Muster 2 Company: D; Muster 2 Regiment: 188th Infantry; Muster 2 Regiment Type: Infantry; Muster 2 Information: Transferred; MusterOut 2 Date: 14 Dec 1865; MusterOut 2 Place: City Point, Virginia; MusterOut 2 Information: Mustered Out;
            1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking military records of James Beatty
              Debbie Thurnell Newbie

              Hey Jason... I need to filter through the information you provided to see if I can successfully conclude James Beatty is in fact my ancestor as opposed to someone with the same name as my ancestor. I wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it very much!