2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 28, 2017 1:44 PM by Jonathan Deiss

    CITIZEN-ARCHIVIST'S GUIDE : CMSR CODES

    Jonathan Deiss

      CITIZEN-ARCHIVIST'S GUIDE TO

      COMPILED MILITARY SERVICE RECORDS

      appendix a : document codes

       

      The Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR), found in NARA Record Groups 93, 94 and 109, is the basic record of service for the majority of American volunteer soldiers who served at anytime between 1775 and approximately 1902. These records were compiled by War Department clerks between the late 1870's and the turn of the 20th century and served to summarize a soldier's service. They provided a convenient source of information without having to refer to the deteriorating original documents actually created during the various conflicts. In a constant state of use by the War Department and Pension Office during the years following the Civil War the records began to suffer greatly and so they decided to compile all the data, classified by state, branch or arm of service, unit, and name onto 7" x 3" index cards. These CMSR's are what we use today to establish service for a person.

       

      The CMSR is not the final word however on a soldier's service. Transcription errors are common; names are misspelled in places, men misidentified, and corrections filed in various ways. There is a wide variation on the amount of data contained in one record as opposed to another, depending on any number of mitigating factors including length of service, disciplinary actions, illness, rank, battle service, etc

       

      What follows is a compiled list of bookmarks, notations, and document codes found on service record jackets and occasionally on the carded records for volunteer soldiers of the 18th and 19th century.

       

      The codes and abbreviations generally refer to agencies, offices within agencies, agents or clerks who had occasion or reason to visit the service record to make a change or alteration, or to extract data for use somewhere else. A numerical code preceding or following the abbreviated code designates a particular document or circular to be referenced in order to enact some change, correction or alteration of a carded record, the addition of a new carded record to the service record jacket, or indicates the location of a document produced from information extracted from the carded records.

       

      A code coming before the document number is called a prefix code, and a code following a document number is called a suffix code.

       

      Thanks go out to Trevor Plante and Deanne Blanton for providing a number of explanations for these abbreviations.

       

      S – prefix, denotes start of file number or document number (Statement of Service Cases)

       

      R & P – suffix, Record & Pension

       

      R & P Off – prefix, Record & Pension Office

       

      AGO – suffix, Adjutant General’s Office

       

      2 Aud – suffix, Second Auditor

       

      Aud WD – suffix, Auditor War Department

       

      PMG – suffix, Pay Master General

       

      P.O. M&M – suffix, Pension Office Military & Medical

       

      P.O. M and M – suffix, Pension Office Military and Medical

       

      P.O. MM – ibid

       

      PO M&M Ret – suffix, Pension Office Military & Medical Returned

       

      P. O. Med – Pension Office Medical

       

      P.O. Mil – Pension Office Military

       

      P.O. Aff – Pension Office Affiant

       

      P.O. Ret – suffix, Pension Office Returned

       

      P.O. Retd – ibid

       

      PO Rm – suffix, Pension Office

       

      PO Mil Rm – suffix, Pension Office

       

      G.L.O. – suffix, General Land Office (Bureau of Land Management)

       

      M.S. – prefix

       

      HdSt – prefix, Headstone

       

      HS – prefix, Headstone

       

      Hdst. App. QMG – prefix, Headstone Application Quarter Master General

       

      QMGHdstone – prefix , Quarter Master General Headstone (followed by date or remark)

       

      OQMG – prefix, Office Quarter Master General

       

      QMGO – prefix, Quarter Master General’s Office

       

      A.G. – prefix, Adjutant General

       

      S.S. – prefix, Statement of Service (followed by date or remark)

       

      SS to VB – Statement of Service to Veterans Bureau

       

      M.S. – prefix, Military Service

       

      201 – prefix, designation for a standard AGO service file

       

      AG 201 – prefix, ibid

       

      AG201 Cert in lieu – Adjutant General 201 (discharge) Certificate (sent) in lieu (of lost discharge)

       

      Cong 201 – prefix, 201 file sent to Congress

       

      CH – prefix, Chapter / Volume designation for arrangement of CSA Records

       

      Va. Pens – Virginia Pensions (or Veterans Administration Pensions)

       

      Phys.Des. & Addl.Med. – suffix, Physical Description & Additional Medical

       

      SS to OQMG Tel – prefix, Statement of Service to Office of Quarter Master General by telephone

       

      Data for Medal – prefix, Data for Medal

       

      RegArmy – prefix, Regular Army

       

      CGS – prefix, Commissary General of Subsistence

       

      C.S. – prefix, Civil Service (Commission)

       

      G.A.R. – prefix, Grand Army of the Republic

       

      S.H. – prefix, Soldiers Home

       

      S.V. – prefix, Sons of Veterans

       

      SGO – prefix, Surgeon General's Office

       

      VS – Volunteer Service branch (of AGO doc file series)

       

      AGO EB – Adjutant General's Office Enlisted Branch (doc file series)

       

      AGO CB - Adjutant General's Office Commission Branch (doc file series)

       

      1st Ind A.G. of Illinois – prefix, 1st Independent Auditor General of Illinois

       

      VIDE – prefix, see

       

      MOH – Medal of Honor

       

      Ch. V. – prefix, Chapter / Volume Confederate Record Series

       

      Hdstone Appl. – Headstone Application

       

      Off Div – Officer's Division (?)

       

      Ver. A. R. S. (to R.A. Sec.) – (?)

       

      WW Div – World War Division (?)

       

      SS to World War Div – Statement of Service to World War Division

       

      SS to N & B – Statement of Service to (?)

       

      SS fur B & M Sec – Statement of Service furnished to (?)

       

      CB – Campaign Badge

       

      CB furnished – Campaign badge furnished

       

      Phil C Bdge – Philippines Campaign Badge

       

      Dec Bd (M) – (?)

       

      SS Medal & Badge Sec – Statement of Service to Medal & Badge Section

       

      D & A Sec – (?)

       

      QMG telephonic – Quarter Master General telephone query

       

      AGO 201 (Congressional) – Adjutant General's Office 201 file for Congressional query

       

      SS M & B (Silver Star) – Statement of Service (?)

       

      Record for Gov Sol Home – Record for Government Soldier's Home

       

      SS Gov Nat Mil Home Cal – Statement of Service for National Military Home in California

       

      Char Ser – Character & Service

       

      Liaison Offi Wash DC – Liaison Officer in Washington, DC

       

      SS VB (Hosp) – Statement of Service to Veteran's Bureau Hospital

       

      CIL issued – Certificate in Lieu issued

       

      Ct. of Claims - Court of Claims