Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Muster rolls

Today's entry on Hoofbeats and Cold Steel led me to pore through William F. Fox's Regimental Losses in the American Civil War, which in turn led me to a chapter on muster rolls, which led me to think about how to acquire them for the Regular cavalry regiments during the war.

An email and a couple of phone calls from a very helpful lady at the national Archives later, I learned the following:
1. Muster rolls for all six Regular cavalry regiments are contained in the Archives and are available.
2. They are only available on microfilm, as once records are put on microfilm they're no longer available for paper copies. Once you have the roll, you can take it to the local public or college library to make hardcopies.
3. There are separate rolls on each regiment by date. In order to cover the entire Civil War, the 1st and 6th US Cavalry are each on one roll, while the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th US Cavalry's records are on two rolls per regiment (8 total).
4. Price per roll is $65 each.
5. The rolls aren't scheduled for digitization any time soon.

Hmm, this could take a while and be a pretty expensive venture....


J David Petruzzi said...


I'd be interested in obtaining the muster rolls - so we could split the costs.

Just let me know. By the way, I have the June 30, 1863 Present for Duty rosters of the regulars, if you don't have them and want them. Email me.


Don said...

I don't have the 1863 rosters and would love to have them.
I like your idea on the muster rolls, but I might have an easier and cheaper solution. My wife wasn't so thrilled about $500 worth of microfilm that I'd stil need to get printed.
The Archives doesn't have them because they're requested so seldom, but I also have inquiries in with the Cav Ass'n Museum, carlisle and the Combined Arms Library at Leavenworth. Let's give it a couple of days and see what turns up. Either way I'm going to need them if this project's going to go anywhere.
Incidentally, in the same phone call yesterday, I learned that there aren't any returns for the 2nd Cav in that reference that I mentioned a few days ago (Consolidated Reports of Monthly Returns from Cavalry Units, 1863). She couldn't decsribe too much on the phone, but I think that one is going to require a drive and a look-see.