by Craig R. Scott, CG
The creation of compiled military service records for Confederate soldiers began in 1903 under the direction of Brig Gen Fred C. Ainsworth, head of the Record and Pension Office in the War Department. They are abstracts of original records found in the War Department Collection of Confederate Records and from documents borrowed by the War Department for the purpose of obtaining as full a service record as possible on these soldiers.
The compiled service records are arranged by unit, usually a regiment, and then alphabetically by soldiers’ surname. Preceding the individual soldiers jacket-envelopes are empty envelopes which list the officers of the unit. Following these are jacket-envelopes that contain caption cards for muster-in and muster-out rolls, and record-of-events cards, indicating the activities of the unit during specific periods.