copyright Robert S. Davis

Research into the American Civil War continues to benefit, as does all other subjects, from the extensive amount of material on the Internet. The constant addition of still more relevant sites makes any list or book outdated but the list below can make a good beginning for finding your soldier, sailor, regiment, battle, campaign etc. Many state archives have public online access to at least some of their records holdings. The web sites of the archives of Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia, for example, have digital copies of their respective state Confederate pensions. For other sites, the researcher should consult Alice E. Carter and Richard J. Jensen, The Civil War on the Web: a Guide to the Very Best Sites—Completely Revised and Updated (Wilmington: SR Books, 2003). 


The American Civil War Homepage (free)


The Civil War Home Page (free)  

Civil War (free)  

Civil War Forum (free, part of the Genforum genealogical web sites)

Civil War Potpourri (free)

Genweb (several of its state sites have Civil War projects)


ROSTERS AND LISTS (subscription required; includes indexes to Confederate and Union soldiers; index to Federal Civil War pensions; service records of African-American soldiers in the Union Army; many records from prisons that held Confederate soldiers; some Civil War claims, and more)

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (free, operated by the National Park Service)

Free Genealogy Search Engines 

Genealogy Today

Veterans Administration National Grave Site Locator (free but incomplete)


Information on sailors and marines (free, Library of Virginia)

National Civil War Naval Museum (free, Columbus, Georgia)

Naval Historical Foundation



The best source for finding the nearest library with a specific volume is World Cat although Internet Archive leads to books and manuscripts frees on the Internet: . Aside from searching for books on your subject in such online sales catalogs as Abebooks, Barnes & Noble, and, as well as large online library book catalogs as those for the Library of Congress and the Birmingham Public Library, you should also check for information on new books at

Books word searched and actual pages read on the screen:

Making of America (MOA) Cornell (free; includes the original War of the Rebellion and the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies series; the supplement to the War of the Rebellion is not yet on the Internet)

Making of America (MOA) University of Michigan (free)

Google books (free; go to and click on “more” then “books”)

Questia (free searches but a subscription is required to see the actual pages of the books)


Some libraries have spectacular Civil War holdings that can be searched from their individual library web sites including Tulane, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Southern Historical Collection), Emory University, and the William L. Clements Library. Almost all National Park Service battlefields and other Civil War sites have libraries with manuscript materials.

Catalogs searched in major research libraries that are subscribers:

Archives Grid (free identification of collections but to learn libraries that have specific collections requires a subscription)


FirstSearch (OCLC)  

National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC; free, does not include entries from its published edition, 1953-1986):


Many large research libraries subscribe to data bases of the past issues of such newspapers as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Incomplete international bibliographies of digitized newspaper sites include International Coalition on Newspapers:; by the web site Wikipedia:; and by the Library of Congress: The Library of Congress web site’s Chronicling America only includes newspapers for 1880-1920 but those include many but not all of the issues of the Civil War veteran’s newspaper The National Tribune with its many tales and reminiscences of the war  

Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle (subscription web site)

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1842-1902 (free)

California Digital Newspaper Collection (you must turn on the phrase search control):

Colorado Digitization Project, Newspapers (free)

Digital Library of Georgia (free), which so far includes newspapers for Atlanta, Columbus, Macon, and Milledgeville:

Genealogybank (subscription web site, includes some Columbus and Macon newspapers; taken from Readex’s American Historical Newspapers data base which has a better search engine; the Woodruff library of Emory University has the Readex version)


Memphis Appeal, 1843-1859, 186-1893 (index only; free) (subscription required but includes more than seventy million pages):

Thomson Gale’s 19th Century Newspapers (available only at major research libraries such as the Woodruff Library of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia State University in Atlanta, and at the Tennessee State Library and Archives); you have to turn on the feature for full text searches, otherwise it only searches the headlines.

Richmond Daily Dispatch, 1860-1865 (free)


MAPS (all free)

Bibliographies of web sites for historic and modern maps include the Air University: and the Perry-Castaneda Map Collection of the University of Texas:

Library of Congress American Memory (includes Civil War era maps from the Library of Congress, National Archives, and Virginia Historical Society)

Alabama’s historical maps

Georgia’s historical maps


Aside from going to Google and searching through “Images,” the following sites are good for pictures and other illustrations:

Civil War Photos, Library of Congress (high quality copies can be downloaded for free)


Digital History

Picture History


Civil War Richmond (free; newspaper articles, photographs, and more on Richmond)

Vicki Bett’s site on newspaper articles from throughout the country (1861-1865) on social history (particularly women) during the Civil War (free)

For history in general see:

Coy E Michael wrote:  I found this Civil War Site listing at


     * Alabama Civil War Soldiers database

     * Willis Brewer's Brief Historical Sketches of Military

       Organizations Raised In Alabama During the Civil War

     * Alabama Confederate Military Unit Histories at the ADAH

     * Confederate Regimental History Links

     * Using Primary Sources in the Classroom: Civil War Unit

     *Documenting the Civil War Period Flag Collection at the Alabama

          Department of Archives and History

      *The Civil War in Alabama

     * Alabama Civil War Map of Battles

     * The Alabama Civil War Roots Homepage

     * Alabama in the Civil War Message Board

     * Constitution of the Confederate States of America

     * William Lowndes Yancey, a Bibliography

     * William Lowndes Yancey (1814-1863): Famous Orator and Secessionist of the South

     * Alabama's Ordinance of Secession

     * Alabama's Constitution of 1861

     * Confederate Constitution

     * Jefferson Davis' First Inaugural Address

* The Papers of Jefferson Davis

     * Historic Blakeley State Park

     * The Mobile Campaign/ Battle of Fort Blakeley and Spanish Fort

     * Hawkins' Division of 6,000 Black Troops

     * United States Colored Troops in the Mobile Campaign

     * CSS Alabama Digital Collection

     * CSS Alabama -- Naval Historic Center

     * The Official Site of the Friends of the Hunley (

*The Hunley

     * Denbigh: Archaeology of a Civil War Blockade Runner

     *The Selma Campaign

     * Elizabeth Lyle Saxon, 1832-1915: A Southern Woman's War Time


    * Frances Woolfolk Wallace, b. 1835, Diary, March 19-August 25, 1864

   * A Belle of the Fifties: Memoirs of Mrs. Clay, of Alabama, Covering

       Social and Political Life in Washington and the South, 1853-66.

   * Shelby Iron Company

   * Joseph Wheeler: Lt. General, Confederate States General, United

       States Army, Member of Congress

   * Pond Spring and the Joe Wheeler Home

   * Alabama State Memorial at Vicksburg National Military Park

* Fort Gaines

   * Fort Morgan

  * 1st Ala. Cavalry, U.S. Volunteers

  * U.S. Civil War Center

  * Civil War Prisoner/prison Search Site

  * Civil War Prisons

  * Civil War Photos of Confederate Soldiers

  * Confederate Officers Photo Album

  * Civil War Photographs

  *The Civil War Preservation Trust

 * Jews in the Civil War

 * National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System

* Civil War Battle summaries by state