This database is an index to individuals enumerated in the 1890 special census of Civil War Union veterans and widows of veterans available on microfilm M123 (118 rolls) from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Although this schedule was to be used to enumerate Union veterans, in some areas, Confederate veterans were listed as well.
The 1890 veterans schedules provided spaces for the following information: names of surviving soldiers, sailors, and marines, and widows; rank; name of regiment or vessel; date of enlistment; date of discharge, length of service; post office address; disability incurred; and remarks. Although all of this information is available on the census schedules themselves, information listed in this index includes the veteran's name or widow's name, rank, year of enlistment, and year of discharge.
Veterans schedules are often used as a partial substitute for the 1890 federal census, which was destroyed by fire. While fragments of the 1890 census may exist in state and local repositories, they are often difficult to track down and are incomplete. Although they do not list everyone who was included in the 1890 census, the veterans schedules are a partial head of household list for those who were old enough to have served in the Union military during the Civil War.
Veterans schedules can be used to verify military service and to identify the specific military unit in which a person served. A search of the state where an individual lived in 1890 may yield enough identifying information to follow up in service and pension records at the National Archives; it can often trace Civil War veterans to their places of origin.
Some of the above information was taken from Chapter 5: Research in Census Records by Loretto Dennis Szucs; edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1997).