Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Commissary General of Prisoners


(Record Group 249)
1861-1905
161 cu. ft.

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 249.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY
  • 249.2 RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF THE COMMISSARY GENERAL OF PRISONERS 1861-67 242 lin. ft.
  • 249.2.1 General records
  • 249.2.2 Records relating to individual prisoners of war
  • 249.2.3 Records relating to claims of former federal prisoners of war
  • 249.2.4 Miscellaneous records
  • 249.3 RECORDS OF THE PRISONER OF WAR DIVISION, ADJUTANT GENERAL'S OFFICE 1861-1905 35 lin. ft.
  • 249.3.1 General records
  • 249.3.2 Records relating to individual federal prisoners of war
  • 249.3.3 Miscellaneous records
  • 249.4 RECORDS OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS 1862-65 4 lin. ft.
  • 249.5 RECORDS OF THE FEDERAL PAROLE CAMPS 1861-66 145 lin. ft.
  • 249.5.1 Records of Benton Barracks, MO
  • 249.5.2 Records of Camp Chase, OH
  • 249.5.3 Records of College Green Barracks, MD
  • 249.5.4 Records of Camp Parole, MD
  • 249.6 RECORDS OF THE FEDERAL PRISONER-OF-WAR MILITARY PRISONS AND PRISON CAMPS 1862-65 7 lin. ft.

249.1 ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Established: As an independent activity of the War Department, by War Department General Order 67, June 17, 1862, replacing an officer detailed as Commissary General of Prisoners under the Quartermaster General.

Functions: Conducted business with Confederate authorities concerning U.S. ("federal") prisoners of war, and maintained parole camps in which federal prisoners of war released by the Confederacy were confined pending a prisoner-of-war exchange. Supervised Confederate prisoners of war and civilians interned in U.S. prisons and prison camps. After the war, settled prisoner- of-war claims.

Abolished: By memorandum of Secretary of War ad interim Ulysses S. Grant, August 19, 1867.

Successor Agencies: Prisoner of War Division, Adjutant General's Office.

Finding Aids: Patricia Andrews, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Office of the Commissary General of Prisoners," NM 68 (1966).

Related Records: Records relating to Confederate soldiers in Union prisons in RG 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records.

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249.2 RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF THE COMMISSARY GENERAL OF
PRISONERS
1861-67
242 lin. ft.

History: Lt. Col. William Hoffman detailed as Commissary General of Prisoners under Quartermaster General, October 7, 1861. Assigned, as brigadier general, to head newly created Office of Commissary General of Prisoners, 1862. SEE 249.1.

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249.2.1 General records

Textual Records: Letters sent and received, 1861-67, with indexes and registers. Telegrams sent and received, 1862-65, with indexes and registers. Endorsements, 1863-66. Issuances, 1864-65.

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249.2.2 Records relating to individual prisoners of war

Textual Records: Registers, rolls, and lists of federal prisoners, including registers of deaths, escapes, and prisoners confined at Andersonville, GA, Charleston, SC, and Richmond, VA; and rolls of federal prisoners of war who enlisted in the Confederate Army, 1862-65. Registers, rolls, and lists of paroled federal prisoners of war, including registers of arrivals and departures at Benton Barracks, MO; Camp Chase, OH; and Camp Parole, MD, 1862-65. Registers of exchanged prisoners, 1861-65. Statistical registers relating to Confederate prisoners, 1861-66.

Microfilm Publications: M1303.

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249.2.3 Records relating to claims of former federal prisoners of
war

Textual Records: Registers and claims for money, lost personal property, and commutations of rations, 1862-67.

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249.2.4 Miscellaneous records

Textual Records: Records relating to the explosion of the steamer Sultana on the Mississippi River near Memphis, TN, April 27, 1865, while carrying federal troops newly released from Confederate prisons ("Sultana Disaster"), 1865, including lists of dead and survivors. Register of sick and wounded in the post hospital at Winchester, VA, March-July 1862. Correspondence of Capt. Henry M. Lazelle, Federal Agent for the Exchange of Prisoners, Vicksburg, MS, August-October 1862.

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249.3 RECORDS OF THE PRISONER OF WAR DIVISION, ADJUTANT GENERAL'S
OFFICE
1861-1905
35 lin. ft.

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249.3.1 General records

Textual Records: Correspondence, 1862-90. Memorandums and reports, 1867-1905.

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249.3.2 Records relating to individual federal prisoners of war

Textual Records: Registers and rolls of federal prisoners confined at Andersonville, GA, including lists and registers of deaths and burials, 1864-65. Registers, day books, daily lists of arrivals, and other records relating to federal prisoners confined in Libby Prison, Castle Thunder, and other prisons at Richmond, VA, 1861-65. Prison hospital register, Danville, VA, 1863-65. Lists of federal prisoners who escaped from Confederate prisons, 1863-65. Register of federal prisoners who enlisted in the Confederate Army at Salisbury, NC, n.d. Miscellaneous prisoner-of-war rolls, 1861-65, numbered 1-1017, with gaps.

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249.3.3 Miscellaneous records

Textual Records: Case files of deserters from the U.S. Army, 1861-87. Registers of claims of former federal prisoners of war, 1867-88. Registers of sick and wounded, Harrisonburg and Fort Monroe, VA, 1862; and Shreveport, LA, 1865. Lists of prisoners, Lewisburg, AR, 1865.

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249.4 RECORDS OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE EXCHANGE OF PRISONERS
1862-65
4 lin. ft.

Textual Records: Letters sent, February-April 1864. Register of letters received, 1864. Letters received, 1862-65.

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249.5 RECORDS OF THE FEDERAL PAROLE CAMPS
1861-66
145 lin. ft.

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249.5.1 Records of Benton Barracks, MO

Textual Records: Letters received, 1861-65. Returns and morning reports, 1861-65. Issuances, 1861-65. Rolls, reports, and returns of paroled federal prisoners of war, 1861-65. Registers of arrivals and departures of paroled prisoners, 1861-65.

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249.5.2 Records of Camp Chase, OH

Textual Records: Letters and telegrams received, 1861-65. Telegrams sent, 1863-65. Post returns, morning reports, and guard reports, 1861-66. Issuances, 1861-65. Registers and descriptive books and rolls of paroled prisoners, 1861-65. Registers and rolls of exchanged prisoners, 1862-65. Registers and rolls of deserters and stragglers, 1862-65.

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249.5.3 Records of College Green Barracks, MD

Textual Records: Letters received, reports, and issuances, 1863- 65. Registers and rolls of paroled prisoners, 1863-65.

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249.5.4 Records of Camp Parole, MD

Textual Records: Letters and telegrams sent and received, 1862- 65. Reports and returns, 1862-65. Issuances, 1862-65. Registers, rolls, and lists of paroled prisoners, 1862-65, including registers of desertions, registers and rolls of furloughs, and lists of deceased and discharged prisoners. Records of subordinate offices and units, including provost marshal's office, camp hospital, and parole battalions, 1862-65.

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249.6 RECORDS OF THE FEDERAL PRISONER-OF-WAR MILITARY PRISONS AND
PRISON CAMPS
1862-65
7 lin. ft.

Textual Records: Correspondence relating to and morning reports of Confederate prisoners of war at Johnson's Island, OH, 1863-65; Fort Lafayette, NY, 1862-65; Point Lookout, MD, 1863-65; and Rock Island, IL, 1864.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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