Civil War Records Getting a Digital Release

National Archives, Ancestry.com to post Civil War records

Wednesday, Apr 6, 2011  |  Updated 5:30 PM EDT
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Civil War Records Available Online

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BRANDY STATION, VA - AUGUST 18: A cannon sits in front of the Visitor Center for the Brandy Station Battlefield, also known as the Graffiti House which served as a makeshift hospital during the Civil War, August 18, 2005 in Brandy Station, Virginia. Brandy Station was the location of the bloodiest cavalry fight in the Civil War history. Brandy Station lays within the "Journey Through Hallowed Ground" Corridor. The rapid growth of the Washington Metropolitan area in Northern Virginia is threatening the "Journey Through Hallowed Ground" Corridor, which encompasses a 175-mile-long stretch of land from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Monticello, Virginia, with incompatible new developments (suburban sprawl) according to the recently released study by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in its annual list of America's most endangered historic places. The corridor has been recognized by national historians as the region that holds more American history than any other place in the country. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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The National Archives and Ancestry.com are making newly digitized Civil War records available online for the first time. Users will be able to trace family links to the war between the North and South.

The nearly 275,000 records being posted Wednesday are among the most
heavily-used documents for research in the National Archives Civil War holdings.

The documents include lists of Civil War draft registration records from 1863 to 1865.

Acclaimed documentarian Ken Burns is expected to reveal a family discovery he made from the records.

The digitization is part of a five-year deal the Archives has made with Provo, Utah-based Ancestry.com.

The public will have free access for a week before a paid subscription is required to access the records.

The National Archives does not have the money or staff needed to digitize all the records on its own, said Archive Spokeswoman Susan Cooper.

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