Document Detective: Civil War Muster Cards
5/2/2011
If you have a Civil War veteran in your family tree, you can learn a lot about his military service from his muster cards.
If you have a Civil War veteran in your family tree, you can learn a lot about his military service from his muster cards.

During muster, all troops in a company were called together for inspection and roll call. At each muster, officers created a muster card for every soldier, listing his status at the time -- present, absent, hospitalized, on medical furlough, or missing or killed in action. Soldiers were periodically paid at muster, which also was noted on the card.

In the Confederate army, each soldier's muster card was placed in an envelope with all his muster documents. The envelope was labeled with the muster roll number, and the soldier's rank at enlistment and at the end of his service. Any medical cards or personal papers inside were noted, as well.