Find your ancestors in U.S. Civil War Prisoners, 1861-1865

Discover your ancestor’s role in the U.S. Civil War. Learn new and interesting details about their wartime service and some of the challenges of being captured by the enemy.

What can these records tell me?

Each record in this collection represents an individual who was captured and imprisoned during the U.S. Civil War. While the information for each person varies, U.S. Civil War Prisoners, 1861-1865 typically provides:

  • First and last name of prisoner
  • Affiliation (Union or Confederate)
  • Prison
  • Unit name
  • Regiment
  • Function
  • Company
  • Rank
  • Type
  • Date of capture
  • Capture site

Discover more about U.S. Civil War Prisoners, 1861-1865

Thousands of soldiers were taken as prisoners during the U.S. Civil War and spent months or years in prison camps. While many soldiers died in prisoner of war camps, many others were involved in prisoner exchanges or survived until the end of the war.

The American Civil War was fought between 1861 and 1865, and began after a number of Southern states seceded from the country and formed the Confederate States of America. The ensuing conflict involved millions of Americans being recruited on both sides and became the bloodiest war in American history. The war was brought to a close in April of 1865 after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, close to the Union-Confederate border on the east coast of the United States.

Use these records to uncover fascinating new details about your ancestor’s Civil War service. Learn essential information about their war service and whether they survived their ordeal as a prisoner of war.