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Each collection features a unique aspect of Michigan's history.

Muster Record

What kind of information is in this collection?What kind of information is in this collection?

The records in this collection document the history of Michigan soldiers in the form of muster rolls, letters, lists of dead, monthly returns and other materials sent to the state Adjutant General during the war. Items were digitized with funds from a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Muster and descriptive rolls contain information about individual soldiers and may tell you a person’s name, birthplace, age, occupation, date and place of substitution or draft and muster, enrollment district, term, physical description, date of last pay, name of paymaster, amount of bounty paid or due, account of clothing, date of commencement of service, and company assigned. These records aren’t likely to contain information about other members of soliders’ families.

Regimental service records may contain correspondence, lists of officers and men, enlistment papers, recommendations for promotions, desertion lists, and remuster lists.


How do I find things in this collection?How do I find things in this collection?

Records in this collection are organized by military unit and company (First Michigan Infantry, Company B or Third Michigan Cavalry, Company F, for example), so you’ll need to know the regiment in which a soldier served in order to locate records specific to him. If you don’t know a soldier’s regiment, there are a couple of places you can check to find out what it was. The first is the Michigan Civil War Volunteer Registries. These books are searchable on Seeking Michigan, and the books and index are available for use in the Archives of Michigan reading room. You can also check the National Park Service’s Soldiers and Sailors Database.

Once you know the unit you want to research, use the Advanced Search link at the top of any page within Seeking Michigan to locate items related to that unit. (Be sure to change the check box from “Death Records” to “Civil War Service Records” first.) Numbers in titles are always spelled out, so you’ll want to search for “fourteenth,” rather than “14th.” One easy way to find items related to a particular unit would be to select “all of the words” in the drop-down menu on the left, type “fourteenth infantry” in the text box, and select “title” in the drop-down menu on the right. Please note that most of the items contain multiple pages. You can browse the pages in a document on the right side of the screen after the item loads. Once you’ve located items related to your soldier’s regiment, you can browse through them to find his name.

Enlistment Record

How might I use this collection?How might I use this collection?

You can use this collection to flesh out details about your ancestors’ military service. You might also use the letters to the Adjutant General to follow a regiment’s path into battle.