Colorado in the Civil War

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William Gilpin (1813-1894), 1st Colorado Governor (1861-1862)

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Colorado became a U.S. territory in 1861 shortly before the American Civil War began. The territory supplied men and support for both the Union and the Confederacy.  William Gilpin, the first territorial governor, supported the Union and quickly raised a regiment.[1] The United States War Department credited Colorado with supplying 4,903 white men to the Union Army.[2]

Battle[edit | edit source]

One Civil War battle was fought in Colorado on November 29-30, 1864. It was called Sand Creek, also known as Chivington Massacre. The following have information about the battle:

  • Civil War Album site has modern photos of places or things relating to the battles. It can be searched.

Records and Resources[edit | edit source]

Casualty Records[edit | edit source]

A Colorado Military Records is available from the Colorado Sate Archives.

Cemetery Records[edit | edit source]

The Colorado Veterans’ Grave Registrations 1862 - 1949 from the Colorado State Archives lists soldiers buried in Colorado that served in the Civil War, World War I, World War II and possibly other wars of that time period. The online index does not mention which war the soldier served in, however, more information can be obtained from the state archives.

Service Records[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library and the National Archives have an Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers (Family History Library films 821998-822000) and an index to pension applications.

The compiled service records of soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Colorado have not been microfilmed and are only available from the National Archives. For more information see Union Service Records.

A roster of Colorado soldiers is in William Clarke Whitford, Colorado Volunteers in the Civil War: The New Mexico Campaign in 1862, (Denver: S.p., State Historical and Natural History Society, 1906; Family History Library film 1000145 item 3).  The Colorado State Archives has put an Index to this record on-line.  Read more about  Colorado Volunteers From The New Mexico Campaign, 1862   There is also a book entitled Colorado Volunteers in New Mexico, 1862, by Ovando J. Hollister ; edited by Richard Harwell, Family History Library book call no. 978.9 M2h which is a History of the First Regiment of Colorado Volunteers.

The Colorado State Archives has put a Colorado Civil War Casualties Index on-line. The information was compiled from the Civil War Service Record Index Cards on file at the Colorado State Archives.  Read more.

The Colorado State Archives has also put a Colorado Volunteers Transcript of Records Index on-line. This Index is a compiled list of Volunteers from 1861-1865.Read more aboutColorado Volunteers Transcript of Records Index 1861-1865

Pension Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War Pension Index Cards - An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. The majority of the records are of Civil War veterans, but the collection also includes records for veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Indian Wars, and World War I. For more information see Union Pension Records.

Colorado Military Units[edit | edit source]

  • 2nd Regiment, Colorado Cavalry (Union)
    Organized at St. Louis, Missouri, by consolidation of the 2nd and 3rd Regiments Infantry to date from October, 1863.
    Mustered out at Leavenworth, Kansas, September 23, 1865.
  • 2nd Regiment, Colorado Infantry (Union)
    Organized at Fort Garland, Canon City, Fort Lyon and Denver, Colorado, December, 1861.
    Ordered to Springfield, Missouri, October, 1863, for consolidation with 3rd Colorado Infantry to form 2nd Colorado Cavalry, which see.
  • 3rd Regiment, Colorado Infantry (Union)
    Organized at Denver and Camp Weld, Colorado, September, 1862, to January, 1863.
    Moved to St. Louis October, 1863, for consolidation with 2nd Colorado Infantry to form 2nd Colorado Cavalry, which see.

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)[edit | edit source]

Grand Army of the Republic founded in 1866 - 1956, was the largest veteran’s organization in the country after the Civil War. It was a fraternal organization members were veterans of the Union Army, US Navy, Marines and Revenue Cutler Service who served in the American Civil War. The group supported voting rights for black veterans, and lobbied the U.S. Congress to establish veterans' pensions. In 1890 the membership was 490,000.

GAR Posts in the State of Colorado

The Family History Library list records of the Colorado Grand Army of the Republic

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War[edit | edit source]

With the death of the last member of the Grand Army of the Republic the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was formed.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors. Colorado in the American Civil War, (accessed 4 July 2011).
  2. United States. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, (Washington, District of Columbia: Govt. Print. Office, 1880-1901), Series 3, Volume 4, page 1269. FHL book 973 M29u ser.3 v. 3, FHL film 845422.