Cadet Samuel AtwillDid Your Ancestor Fight in the Battle of New Market?

If so, we would love to hear from you. As one of our 150th Anniversary Commemoration projects, we are attempting to reach the living descendants of the VMI Cadets and soldiers, North and South, who fought here in 1864. The information you might share will deepen our understanding of the human scale of the battle as well as enrich the interpretive experience of our thousands of annual visitors.

Please fill out this short survey to be included in the Battle of New Market Ancestor Registry. We look forward to having many descendants of the VMI Cadet Corps who fought at New Market present for the 150th Reenactment in May 2014.
1. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System database, is a good place to start. The CWSS database contains over 5 million soldier names from over 30 states and territories, and the website has several other useful links to possibly obtain more detailed information.

2. The National Archives has copies of official military and pension records for Civil War soldiers. You may request a search of these records by first obtaining NATF forms 85 (for pension files) and 86 (for military record) from the National Archives, by either email at or by postal mail at:


Want to find out more about your Civil War Ancestor? Here are some guidelines on how to explore your connections with history. . .


Reference Branch (NWDT1) National Archives and Records Administration
7th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20408

Be sure to include the type of form(s) you are requesting (NATF 85, NATF 86, or both), the quantity of forms you need, and your postal mailing address. The National Archives website,, also has useful information.

3. In addition, check with the state archives in the home state of your ancestor’s unit to see what records are available. Local town and county historical societies are often another good source of more detailed information.  The VMI Archives is a rich depository for information on former VMI Cadets.

4. Studying your ancestor’s military unit may also be beneficial. Frederick Dyer’s A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion has short histories of Union regiments, while Joseph H. Crute, Jr.’s Units of the Confederate States Army includes Southern regiments. Specific histories of your ancestor’s regiment may also be available in local libraries.

5. Many other resources for genealogical research, such as guidebooks and websites, may help you further your search. Check your local bookstore, or do a word search on the Internet and see what you can find.