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Dear Ms. Harrington,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
According to the National Archives website, the Compiled Military Service Records (CMSRs) contains basic information about the soldier's military career. The CMSR consists of an envelope (a jacket) containing one or more cards. These cards typically indicate that the soldier was present or absent during a certain period of time. Other cards may indicate the date of enlistment and discharge, amount of bounty paid him, and other information such as wounds received during battle or hospitalization for injury or illness. The soldier's place of birth may be indicated; if foreign born, only the country of birth is stated. The CMSR may contain an internal jacket for so-called "personal papers" of various kinds. These may include a copy of the soldier's enlistment paper, papers relating to his capture and release as a prisoner of war, or a statement that he had no personal property with him when he died. The CMSR rarely indicates battles in which a soldier fought.
The CMSRs are in the custody of the National Archives at Washington, DC (RDT1). Please contact RDT1 via email at email@example.com. These records are also available on ancestry.com for a fee and/or familysearch.org for free. Or you may view the records that have been digitized online at one NARA's facilities for free via ALIC. For the nearest NARA location, please consult our web page at https://www.archives.gov/locations/.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
2 people found this helpful
A small amount of the Mexican and Civil War Carded Medical Records have been digitized in the National Archives Innovation Hub, so you may luck out and find your relatives' cards in the catalog already. You'll need to know which regiment each soldier served in, as the cards are arranged by regiment and then are arranged alphabetically by name within the regiment.
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No, you do not have to search for the record in person. In my opinion and experience, if you can go in person, it is always best and a great experience.
If you can’t make a trip there are a few options. You can hire an independent researcher. There are numerous independent researchers who advertise their services online. The archives also maintain an online list of independent researchers at https://www.archives.gov/research/hire-help/locations.html?facility=washington-dc or you can send an email request at Archives1reference@nara.gov or submit an online message at https://www.archives.gov/contact#part-b
The Archives receive thousands of requests every day. Due to the volume of requests, it may take several weeks for them to reply with the results of their search.
Keep in mind, if your ancestor was never sick or injured enough for treatment, a medical card would have not been filled out. Also, know the Carded Medical Records were recorded for soldiers serving in the Union States.
In making your request make sure to include the soldier’s full name, which state he served (Union States only), birth year or approximately birth year, along with company letter and regiment number. If he served in more then one regiment or company be sure to include that information as well.