Confederate Casualty Reports
Records: 75,157 · Complete: 100%
The documents in this publication were originally created in accordance with Confederate Army Regulations, which provided that after each engagement the participating units would submit to the Office of the Adjutant and Inspector General a return of the killed, wounded, and missing, together with narrative reports of the action. These returns and narrative reports enabled the Confederacy to keep informed of the condition and strength of its forces.
Parts of the description on this page were taken directly from NARA's descriptive pamphlet for M836, Confederate States Army Casualties: Lists and Narrative Reports 1861-1865, written by David Gibson and published in 1971.
After the surrender of the Confederate government, the records were placed in the custody of the U.S. Adjutant General’s Office. In the latter part of the 19th century a project to publish the important documents of both armies during the Civil War was undertaken by the Adjutant General’s Office. The result is the multivolume work The Work of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, 1881-1901), hereafter cited as Official Records, which included most of the narrative reports and statistical lists of casualties. These volumes are reproduced on microfilm as Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1861-65 (M262).
The records reproduced in M836 are generally nominal lists of casualties that were not published in the Official Records as a matter of policy, statistical lists from which abstracts were compiled and published, and narrative reports that were not published for such reasons as the relative unimportance of the reporting unit. The lists are generally arranged alphabetically by name of state and thereunder by name of battle or engagement.
Some of the reports are duplicates of those that have been published in the Official Records. The duplicate reports and lists of casualties that were abstracted and published bear notations indicating the series, volume number, and page number where they are printed or mentioned in the Official Records.
In addition to references to the Official Records, the reports usually bear the notation “carded” and a date. The notation indicates that the information relating to the military service of an individual soldier whose name is listed in the report has been abstracted and included in the compiled service records of each soldier. Many of these compiled service records are available on Fold3. View the Fold3 Confederate Collection.
The lists and reports reproduced in this publication contain some errors: for example, the spelling on muster rolls and payrolls. This kind of error may have occurred when lists were prepared without access to the rolls or other reliable headquarters personnel records.
The name and dates used to identify the engagements are those assigned by the U.S. Forces and used in the Official Records. In those instances where an engagement is commonly known by more than one name, the designation assigned by the Union Forces appears first, followed by the Confederate designation in parentheses. Occasionally there is more than one report for a unit in an engagement or the list of casualties and the narrative report are separate.
Some of the reports seem to be copies of the originals and are marked “copy” of “copied” at varying locations on the documents; others are clearly copies because they are typed. On the documents are the National Archives identification mark and various filing notations of the U.S. War Department.
Battle of Chickamauga
The Battle of Chickamauga was fought on September 19 and 20, 1863, in northwest Georgia. It resulted in the second highest number of casualties in a Civil War battle, (after Gettysburg).
Within the Confederate Casualty Reports, sixteen regiments submitted lists of the casualties they sustained. The image shown here is one page of five from the Ninth Kentucky Infantry, showing wounded (slightly, serious, or mortal), killed, and missing. The second casualty on the list, Joseph Kirburg, is listed as seriously wounded and his leg was amputated.
We can look for Kirburg's Confederate Service Record and learn more about how he came into the regiment and his fate after his leg was amputated. Unfortunately, according to the card shown here, he died on October 14, as a result of his injury and amputation.
Using the records
The records have been arranged as follows:
Lists and Reports of Casualties in Individual States
Arranged alphabetically by the state where the engagement took place, thereunder alphabetically by name of engagement, and thereunder by type of unit (artillery, cavalry, infantry) as follows:
- Units with numerical designations, followed by units identified by surname of commander.
- Units arranged alphabetically by surname of commander.
- Miscellaneous (for example, consolidated reports of all casualties in a battle).
Lists and Reports of Casualties by a Single Unit in More than One State
Lists and Reports of Casualties in Indian Territory
Arranged alphabetically by name of engagement.
The records are digitized from seven rolls of microfilm. A list of what is on each roll of film is available on the descriptive pamphlet here.
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1861-65 (M262).
Other related series of records within RG 190 contain additional information on the operations of the Confederate States Army. They include:
- Letters Sent by the Confederate Secretary of War, 1861-65 (M522)
- Index to Letters Received by the Confederate Secretary of War, 1861-65 (M409)
- Letters Received by the Confederate Secretary of War, 1861-65 (M437)
- Index to Letters Received by the Confederate Adjutant and Inspector General and the Confederate Quartermaster General, 1861-65 (M410)
- Letters Received by the Confederate Adjutant and Inspector General, 1861-65 (M474)
- General Orders of the Confederate Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, 1861-65 (T782)
- Letters and Telegrams Sent by the Confederate Adjutant and Inspector General, 1861-65 (M627)
These images are scanned from NARA microfilm publication M836, Confederate States Army Casualties: Lists and Narrative Reports 1861-1865. They are part of Record Group 109, the War Department Collection of Confederate Records.