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Happy Friday! I hope you’ve been enjoying this year’s A to Z Challenge. Have a favorite post so far? Mine has probably been sharing my family’s story of prejudice during WWI (How Prejudice Nearly Destroyed the EBERLE Family) and my first ever virtual tour of my ancestors’ hometown of Ogdensburg, New York.
For today’s letter of “U” I bring you — UNION or Confederate? If your ancestors were in the United States during the Civil War they probably fought or supported one side or another. Some families might have even supported both sides with one brother against another.
But how do you find out which side of the war your ancestors were on?
Did My Ancestor Fight in the Civil War?
There are 4 records you are going to want to look through.
U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865
U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865
U.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865
U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865
American Civil War General Officers
I was lucky to find one of my maternal great-grandfathers, George D. Mann (#19 in the photo above), from Cobleskill, New York, in the draft registrations records and soldier records and profiles.
Musicals about the Civil War
Frank Wildhorn’s The Civil War featuring Linda Eder, Betty Buckley, Trace Adkins, Tricia Yearwood, and more!
Movies about the Civil War
Gettysburg featuring Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, and Jeff Daniels
One of my all-time favorite movies. This production was filmed on the actual battlegrounds of Gettysburg featuring an all-star cast and told faithfully from both perspectives. The movie marks the last for Richard Jordan who died of a brain tumor less than 2 months before the premiere of Gettysburg and to whom the movie was dedicated.
Gods and Generals (a prequel to Gettysburg) featuring Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall
This epic saga charts the early years of the Civil War from Manassas to Fredericksburg.
Glory featuring Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington
Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington star in this inspiring story of the first Black regiment to fight for the North in the Civil War.
North and South featuring Patrick Swayze, James Read, Elizabeth Taylor, Lesley-Anne Downs, Genie Francis, Jonathan Frakes and more
North and South the Miniseries was one of the last great television miniseries of its kind with an A-list cast, gorgeous soundtrack, and epic love story of friendship between Patrick Swayze’s southerner and James Read’s northerner before, during and after the Civil War. (PS – Similar to Godfather III, I would warn you not to watch North and South Book III unless you want to scratch out your eyes.)
Parental Warning – North and South has adult situations.
Books About The Civil War
The Adversaries (American Family Portrait, Book 4) by Jack Cavanaugh
The Morgan and Cooper families have been friends for generations, dating back to the little village of Edenford, England. But when the Morgan brothers—J.D., Marshall, and Willy—run slaves to freedom during a Cooper family visit, emotions erupt between the Northern Morgans and Southern Coopers. Tensions—both national and personal—escalate.
The Dixie Widow (House of Winslow, Book 9) by Gilbert Morris
In The Dixie Widow, Belle Wickham’s sorrow turns to anger and bitterness, then finally to blind hatred for the North. She declares in a steely voice, “I live for only one purpose: to see the Union destroyed,” and vows to remain a widow until the Yankees are whipped. Belle is persuaded to travel to her Winslow relatives in the Washington, D.C. area and spy for the Confederacy.
The Killer Angels (The Civil War, Book 2) by Michael Shaara
Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece is unique, sweeping, unforgettable—the dramatic story of the battleground for America’s destiny. This masterpiece served as one of the main inspirations for the above mentioned Gettysburg movie.
Sharing is Caring
Did any of your ancestors fight in the American Civil War?
I do not know that far into my ancestry to know this information. I would love to know if they did or not.
I’m sure that my ancestors didn’t fight a civil war!
Very interesting. Where might I ask are your ancestors from? I know there were civil wars in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia so I’d be curious about what country you are from that has had no Civil War. Cheers.
deff sharing this with friends who i know are interested in this. thanks for posting!
Awesome. I appreciate the share, Kathleen. Hope they enjoy this and find a movie or book to watch based on my recommendations.
This is very interesting and fascinating
I am so glad you think so, Jessica. Have a good day.
Interesting to know. I will refer it to my boyfriend, he will find it fascinating
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All these resources are very helpful, thanks Joy! I will look up the movies you mentioned in the blog post, they all sound very interesting. And isn’t the handwriting in the old book lovely? I find old records like this truly fascinating.
I’m pretty sure my ancestors did not fight in the American Civil War, as I’m from Estonia. Gettysburg is such a great movie! Have to check out the other movies you mention too.
I have no idea if one of my ancestors did fight on the civil war, but it is great to know that now I can find out if one of them did.
My husband loves watching such movies though my interest is bit different. I am gonna refer this to him for sure.
These are some interesting film to catch up. Will definitely check this out.
I’ll share this to my husband. He loves civil war movies.
My family wasn’t here at the time. There are so many good films and miniseries – it’s a fascinating topic to explore.
I remember watching North and South when it came out. It was an epic. Weekends In Maine
I actually have no idea if any of my ancestors fought in the civil war, but I’d love to find out. I’ve always wondered about my family history. No one in our family has ever done a family tree.