Resources for Military Ancestors
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
Currently, 3.5 million soldiers from 30 states are named in this searchable database. CWSS also includes histories of more than 4,000 Union and Confederate units, which are linked to the soldiers and the battles. Although all 5.4 million soldier names have been entered into the system, some are still being checked for accuracy. You can search for your soldier by surname, side (Union/ Confederate) or state.
Online Military Databases
March toward your military heritage with free searchable databases related to the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War and 20th-century conflicts. Some databases contain rosters, others pension indexes or casualties. Most of the databases link to cover one specific state; the page also lists Ancestry's broader, pay-to-access military databases.

US Army Military History Institute Photo Database
Wouldn't you love to find a photo of your Civil War ancestor? The Military History Institute's keyword-searchable database helps genealogists do just that. Once you've found a likely photo, e-mail the MHI and they will mail you a photocopy of the picture, along with instructions to order a print. If you don't find an ancestor, search for photos of a regiment, place or a battle he may have been in.

Revolutionary War researchers can look here to find soldiers who served at Valley Forge with Gen. Washington. The Muster Roll Datasheet contains name, rank, state, regiment, brigade, company, division and monthly status. You'll also find detailed information on each brigade, division and regiment, as well as an Army organizational chart.

To take your military research to the next level, try Family Tree University's course on US Military Records. In this course you'll learn how to locate your ancestors service, pension, bounty land and draft records, and receive expert guidance along the way.