Update: the NARA site has changed over to "Negative Search". Hoping anyone has any ideas. I don't like the thought of it, but I COULD actually drive up to DC... Just wouldn't know where to start even if I WAS at the NARA in DC.
OR... should I mail my request in writing along with some of the backup documentation I have?
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Dear Ms. Wendy Leute,
Thank you for posting your request to History Hub!
We assume you meant National Archives Microfilm Publication M553, which consists of the “Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Ohio” instead of NARA Microfilm Publication M552 that consists of the “Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of New York.”
In either case, both of these microfilm publications are subsets of the series titled “Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the Civil War, 1899 - 1927” (National Archives Identifier 654530). We searched this series in the National Archives Catalog and located an index card for [Ohio] Walter, Jacob - 37th Infantry, Company I.
While the index card is not the full military record for Jacob Water, it indicates that there may be a copy of his military service record in the series “Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the American Civil War, 1890 - 1912 (National Archives Identifier 300398).” Most of the service records in this series have been made available via microfilm and through digitization of the microfilm. Unfortunately, the records for Ohio Volunteers have not been microfilmed or digitized.
These series mentioned above as well as several series containing Civil War related pension records are in the custody of the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1). We checked with one of the supervisors in RDT1. She recommended that you contact them directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and request another search. Please include all the information you listed in your History Hub request and include the link to the index card for Jacob Walters in your email message. Please attach scans of any supporting documentation you have. RDT1 is also the point of contact for any questions about visiting the National Archives at Washington, DC to request the search in person.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck in your family research!
Thank you so much, Jason!
I really appreciate your contact with the NARA on my behalf! I have been so eager to get my hands on those records and find out more about Jacob! He enlisted with his father, Benedict, so his father will be my next target. In the meantime, I am grateful to you for guiding me on where to go next!
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Just wanted to give an update, in case anyone else has a similar situation. I had received my paper form of my negative search in the mail. So as advised, I emailed the NARA. A very nice lady helped me out, and took it upon herself to verify that both Jacob's CMSR and Pension records ARE there, and she could not understand why I received notice of a negative search.
To correct myself, she pointed out that my application number indicated that I'd asked for Pension Records, and not the CMSR. Well, she was absolutely correct. And my negative search record indicated that they had FOUND the pension records, which probably added to my confusion. AND begs the question why they didn't send them. Anyway, I had to get online and order them again, so hopefully, this time they will "find" them. She also emailed back to suggest I leave out his birthdate (since I was unsure), and give all the information as shown on his index card.
Thank you again for the email and advice!