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Dear Mr. Dow,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series titled Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the Civil War, 1899 - 1927 and the 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). Most of the service records in this series have been made available via microfilm and through digitization of the microfilm. Unfortunately, the records for Kansas Volunteers have not been microfilmed or digitized. We also located the series the Regimental and Company Books of Civil War Volunteer Union Organizations, 1861 - 1867 in Record Group 94 that include a file unit titled Regimental and Company Books of the 7th Kansas Cavalry Regiment. These records are not digitized. For access to the non-digitized records, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
By the 1860s, vessel passenger arrival records were required. If William Dow entered at a US port via ship, there would likely be a passenger arrival record available. Keep in mind that there were many ports open at that time. Therefore, the search cannot be limited to one geographic location and not all passenger arrival records survived. If he entered the US overland via border crossing from Canada or Mexico, there may not be a formal record of arrival since formal documentation of border crossings was not yet in place during that time period. For more information, please see NARA’s webpages about Immigration Records.
The National Park Service has a Soldiers and Sailors database for the Civil War. We searched for “Dow, William” with numerous results.
We also suggest reviewing the FamilySearch wiki for the 7th Regiment, Kansas Cavalry. And we located an unofficial website that lists the members of the 7th Regiment Kansas Volunteers - Cavalry during the Civil War.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
[Some information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]