United States, Civil War Investigations of Disloyal Activities - FamilySearch Historical Records

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.

United States
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Record Description
Record Type Military
Collection years 1861-1866
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National Archives and Records Administration


What Is in the Collection?[edit | edit source]

The collection consists of case files of Army Judge Advocate Levi C. Turner, 1862-1866, and Provost Marshal and Special Agent Lafayette C. Baker, 1861-1865. The case files contain investigations of subversive (disloyal) activities during the Civil War. The files relate to arrest, parole, and release of both civilian and soldier suspects. The activities investigated included such things as giving aid to the Confederacy, resisting the draft, discouraging enlistments, blockade runners, and State prisoners held in Federal prisons. The records are from RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780-1917, and is National Archive Microfilm Publication M797. The index is courtesy of Fold3 (formerly Footnote).

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

The Federal government was concerned about subversive activities and began investigating them as early as 1842. Concern increased after the outbreak of the Civil War. Many persons suspected of engaging in treasonable or disloyal activities were arrested and imprisoned. In February 1862, the authority to make such arrests was transferred to the War Department.The records in this set are investigations by Army Judge Advocate Levi C. Turner, 1862-66, and by Provost Marshal and Special Agent Lafayette C. Baker, 1861-65. These records relate to investigations of subversive activities during the Civil War. This series of records is also known as the "Turner-Baker papers."

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can This Collection Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The index contains the following information:

  • Case File Group, Number, and Range
  • Name
  • Date
  • Place
  • Occupation
  • Fold3 (Footnote) ID
  • NARA Publication Number and Title
  • NARA Roll Number

How Do I Search the Collection?[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person who served in the military.
  • The nicknames or alias names used by the soldier.
  • The approximate date of military service.
  • The residence of the soldier.

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

You will be able to search this collection when it is published.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use the name, date, and place or residence, to find the ancestor or family in census records.
  • Use the place or residence to locate church and land records.
  • Remember to search for all known names, including nicknames and aliases.
  • Compile the entries for all people who have the same surname as your ancestor, as they may be relatives.
  • Occupations or businesses may be leads to additional records such as bank or other military records.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.