The Federal army was the “regular” army that existed before and after the Civil War; whereas the state units were volunteer armies.Although the volunteer armies were mustered into Federal service, their command structure was retained within the individual states.
The records available for the “regular” U. S. Army are different than the state records.The U. S. Army records are at the National Archives in Washington, DC.They are:
“Registers of Enlistment in the U. S. Army, 1798-1914” on microfilm.
The records are organized chronologically and then alphabetically by first letter of the soldier’s surname.These records were created from enlistment papers, muster rolls of regular army, and other records.Excluding pension records, these records may be the only source of information on enlisted men during the 19th century.These entries may show when and where the soldier enlisted, period of enlistment, place of birth, age at time of enlistment, civilian occupation, physical description and the unit to which he was assigned as well as when and where he was discharged and if he died in service.
“Enlistment Papers.”Enlistment paper show the date of enlistment. From my observation some of these records, but not all, may contain the soldiers’ parents names.The following records are available:
“Regular Army, 1789 to 1894,” arranged alphabetically by name.
“Regular Army, 1894 to 1912,” arranged alphabetically by name.
“Unit and Post Returns, 1800-1916.”
The unit and post returns generally do not contain information on individual enlisted men, but can tell you where and what a unit was doing at a particular time.
“Post Returns” usually show the units stationed at the post and their strength.They give the names and duties of officers, the number of officers present and absent, and a record of events.They are arranged alphabetically by post the then chronologically.
On microfilm, the full title of these reports is “Returns from United States Military Posts, 1800-1916.
“Unit Returns” usually include the names of the company commanders and other officers; unit strength, including men present, absent, sick, on extra duty, and in arrest or confinement; and remarks.These records do not contain muster roll data and the names of enlisted men are only included is if he is in one of the categories listed above.On microfilm, this series that include the Civil War tine period:
Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, June 1821-December 1916. Returns from Regular Army Artillery Regiments, June 1821-January 1901. Returns from Regular Army Cavalry Regiments, 1833-1916. Returns from Regular Army Engineer Battalions, September 1846-June 1916.
I found the following:
R. H. Carter Private Company E 5th U. S. Volunteer Infantry