Fred Delap, in cooperation with the Illinois State Archives, has created an excellent new database that allows people to search the names and personal information of Illinois soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
The information in this database was always available in large, bulky ledger books that could only be accessed at the state archives building in Springfield, Illinois. The new online version allows everyone to see the same information without the necessity of traveling to Springfield.
The state web site had an index of the names of the state's more than 285,000 Civil War soldiers, but it did not contain any personal information about them. The new, searchable database contains the names of soldiers who fought with Illinois units during the Civil War, as well as their ages, physical descriptions, hometown, and service record.
The new database has several interesting search capabilities. As might be expected, you can search by name. However, you can also search by unit, county, township, or city. For instance, a sample search found that there were 467 soldiers listed as coming from Union County, which is located in the far southern part of the state.
You can access the Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database at no charge by pointing your web browser to http://www.ilsos.gov/genealogy.