The search for family in Civil War draft records

Posted on May 20, 2011 by

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A little sidetrack for just a bit, but, on an ancestor hunt.

C.S. Moore

Earlier today, I realized that ancestry.com has Civil War draft records. So, I couldn’t wait to get home to see if for my third great grandfather, Cyrus S. Moore, by draft time, 1863, was still working his canal boat, the G.P. Lloyd, on the C&O Canal.; likely home-basing his family out of Four Locks, Maryland (after having sold his property in Clear Spring, in 1860… the same year he bought the canal boat). I know that he eventually left life on the canal for life as a conductor on the B&O Railroad (I’m betting, sometime between 1866 and 1869), but have never been able to figure out exactly when. So, I was hoping that the draft records would provide me with some insight.

Regretfully, the draft record doesn’t tell me what I want to know. As with the 1860 census, he’s listed as a laborer… but, are the draft records an extraction of the 1860 census? Hard to tell. Here’s an one of two images from the draft books for Cyrus (he’s the second man listed on the page).


There’s not much else to say about this, other than the fact that I think draft records would make for an interesting study. So often, we focus on the men who served in the military, but I find those who lived in the border states, and did not volunteer (for either side), equally interesting. I also believe that looking at these folks is helpful in understanding the more complex story that exists behind the citizen soldier.

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