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Civil War Records in the Indiana State Archives

Each year hundreds of researchers, ranging from genealogists to university scholars, use the Indiana State Archives' extensive collection of records of Indiana's participation in the American Civil War. To meet this demand, Archives' staff and volunteers have been working to organize, reorganize, preserve, and make these records more accessible to patrons.

Indiana played an important part in the national conflict, thanks to Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton. political leader of tremendous energy and acumen, Morton kept his finger on every aspect of Indiana's participation in the war. He enjoyed
enormous influence in Washington, DC, with national leaders such as President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, as well as with military leaders in the field.

Extensive documentation of Morton's administration can be found in the State Archives. The Morton Papers include thousands of letters to the Governor and his staff from persons in every walk of life. The Morton Papers have recently been rearranged chronologically and microfilmed. There are indexes to the correspondence by name and subject. Of singular importance for Civil War scholars are the seventeen volumes of telegraphic correspondence between Morton and such leaders as Lincoln, Stanton, Grant, Sherman, and many others. Morton and his staff kept in close contact with Indiana troops in the field, many of whom wired reports to him. The telegraph books, along with thousands of telegraph messages not recorded in the books, have been organized and microfilmed. A computer database was created to allow for quick searching in the telegraphic correspondence. This database is available on the Indiana State Archives' world wide web homepage on Access Indiana. The address is:
http://www.in.gov/icpr/archives/databases/
civilwar/telmort.html

Records from the Indiana Adjutant General provide a wealth of information on Indiana's role in the Civil War. There are unit records for all Indiana volunteer regiments and batteries, including muster rolls and regimental correspondence. Personal information from the muster rolls on individual soldiers was transcribed onto service cards in 1913-15. These cards are

arranged alphabetically for easy access. The regimental correspondence has been microfilmed. Other records of the Adjutant General document the efforts of the Indiana Military Agency/Indiana Sanitary Commission to provide medical care for Indiana troops in the field. Among these records are the hospital registers for individual regiments and for base hospitals. Records of the Quartermaster General include the regimental clothing books and ordnance books.

The records of the Indiana Legion--the state militia during the Civil War--have recently been organized. These records include muster rolls for units in most counties. They contain many wonderful details about the effects of the war on the home front, as well as the significant role played by the Legion. Enrollment records of the 1862 state-administered draft have recently been reorganized and microfilmed. Draft records provide information on all males 18 to 45 years of age in each township in each county in the
state, along with information on the volunteers from each township.

Records for Indiana Civil War veterans abound in the Archives. The primary resource is the Enrollment of Soldiers, Widows and Orphans, 1886, 1890 and 1894. These are three state-wide registrations of veterans and their survivors. Each enrollment lists alphabetically the name of the veteran, unit he served in, war he fought in, number of children under 16, and wounds and illnesses contracted in service. There is an alphabetical card index. Other sources of information about veterans are the 1940 WPA Veterans Graves Registration (51 counties only); the records of the Indiana Department of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR); and the records of the Indiana State Soldiers' Home at Lafayette.

New sources for Civil War researchers include a recently uncovered volume containing a complete list of claims made against the state for damages incurred during Confederate General John H. Morgan's 1863 raid into Indiana. Listed county by county, the name of each claimant and the type and value of goods lost are given. The Indiana Soldiers and Sailors
Children's Home was opened at Knightstown in 1867 as a refuge for soldiers' orphans. The home has recently transferred to the State Archives the admission and discharge registers and a large collection of Applications for Admission. These contain information about soldiers as well as their families.

The State Archives' ability to organize collections and make them accessible to researchers could not be done without the help of volunteers from the Friends of the Indiana State Archives, including Milt Lindgren, Gene McCormick, Elizabeth Hague, Barbara Gibson, Ruth Dorrel, Dale Drake, Carolyn Sichting, Pat Mills, Janice Enk, Mary Jane Estes, and Margaret Denney. Their hard work is deeply appreciated. There is still much to be done with the arrangement and preservation of Civil War materials. Of special concern are Governor Morton’s Letterpress Books containing carbon copies of his replies to thousands of letters. The ink on these fragile pages has faded to near illegibility. The Archives would like to explore potential ways to enhance these faded images in order to retrieve and preserve the unique information stored in these volumes.

Please contact the Indiana State Archives at arc@icpr.state.in.us for more information about these or other Civil War records. A handout on "Civil War Materials of Genealogical Interest" is available on request.

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