2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 3, 2016 11:54 AM by J Richards

    How do I find out if there's a photo of my Civil War ancestor?


      I'm wondering if a photo exists of my Civil War ancestor, John Anderson, whose Pension File I obtained many years ago:


      Service: Co. I. 117 N. Y. Inf.

      File No. 453 Bundle No: 4

        • Re: How do I find out if there's a photo of my Civil War ancestor?

          Hello Ms. Scalfaro,


          Based on the information you provided, I searched our Civil War Pension Index, RG 15 Records of the Department of Veteran Affairs, Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900, compiled 1949 - 1949, documenting the period 1861 - 1942, which is on Fold3.com. There I found your ancestor's Soldier's Original (pension application) file number. There was no pension certificate number, which indicates that he wasn't awarded a pension. Nevertheless, I looked through his application, and there was no photograph.  Unfortunately, photographs in pension files are very rare.


          For anyone interested in requesting reproductions of their ancestor's military records, you can order them online.

          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: How do I find out if there's a photo of my Civil War ancestor?

               Be sure to check the service records of John Anderson. I recently found a photo of a Union Army soldier who had to have his arm amputated due to a battle wound. There was a photograph of him naked from the waist up, displaying the bandaged stub of his arm in his service record file. I have ordered many Civil War service records and this is the only photo in a file that I've encountered. I was truly flabbergasted when I opened the CD that NARA provided me for the service records of James A. Barnes of Company C of the 60th Ohio Infantry and viewed his image that was attached to his medical discharge certificate...but unless documentation of a battle wound was necessary for a medical disability discharge I wouldn't expect a photo to be included in a service records file.

               (Note: Many local libraries have contract subscriptions to Fold3.com, a military records database, which might provide access to digitized images to the service files of John Anderson. NARA is presently working with Fold3.com to digitize these records and it is a work in progress, so the file may not be available and you might have to order the service file from NARA.)

            2 people found this helpful