"The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System is a computerized database containing very basic facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War. The initial focus of the CWSS is the Names Index Project, a project to enter names and other basic information from 6.3 million soldier records in the National Archives. The facts about the soldiers were entered from records that are indexed to many millions of other documents about Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration."


In September, 2004, the National Park Service, in conjunction with several private organizations, particularly the Genealogical Society of Utah and the Federation of Genealogy Societies, and the assistance of thousands of volunteers, completed and placed these 6.3 million Civil War records on the web. Most of this information is part of the eminent domain, and therefore we can include the records of COMBS-COOMBS &c. who appear in this database in our Research Project.

The database is primarily derived from “Compiled Military Service Records at the National Archives”. These records represent 44 states and territories. As of June 2005, the records for“soldiers only” is considered complete; however, the “sailor” (naval) records are in the process of being recorded. Regimental histories have been included and are still being entered into the database. Information from National cemeteries and monuments will be included in the future. Therefore, we will need to check to see what records are new once or twice a year until the project is complete. Prisoner records of Union prisoners at Andersonville, Confederate prisoners at Fort McHenry, and Medal of Honor winners have been included already.

With the exception of a few items, our CIVIL WAR project mirrors the information recorded at the CWSS website. We will also be including information from other sources, like Pension records at the National Archives, and links to our own research project and e-mail archives if there is information available for furthering family history. There may be errors due to mistaken identities so it is always a good idea to utilize additional documents to corroborate assumptions regarding a soldier's identity. Non-COMBS, who are related within two generations of a COMBS relative, can be included in our project, as well. We assume the records of relations within a few generations may be of value in tracing one's family history.

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There are two types of records for soldiers and sailors -- service records and pension records. This link to a “Researcher's Toolbox” at the CWSS website explains about the available records and how to acquire them.

We appreciate your sharing your knowledge of COMBS-COOMBS &c. Civil War information for inclusion in this project by submitting it to our discussion group to the attention of Denise Mortorff or Steve Gilley. Additions and corrections are welcomed. There may be many resources with more records of COMBS-COOMBS &c. who have served in the Civil War including State militia that are not included in the CWSS database. Please remember our COMBS &c. motto of telling us “how you know”. Thank you for posting this information to our discussion group!

We will be working on incorporating these records, both Federal and State in our project. If you are wondering if a specific source and the data on COMBS &c. have been included in this project, please use the link above re: SOURCES to see if we have already done so. If not, if you find specific information about a soldier or sailor you would like to include in the project OR would like to volunteer to research our COMBS &c. surname clusters in a set or records and submit the info to the project, we will be happy to assist you in working in a records extraction effort.

SPECIAL THANKS to Barbara Rivas and Lauri Ivey who made a major contribution in abstracting, coding and searching the records in our project! All 3501!!

Surname Clusters

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