The census of 1890 included a schedule of veterans of the civil war. Although it was intended to count Union Military Veterans or their widows, many veterans of the Confederate Army were also listed.
The specific information collected from veterans in 1890 included:
- names of surviving soldiers, sailors, and marines, and widows
- name of regiment or vessel
- date of enlistment
- date of discharge
- length of service
- post office address
- disability incurred
- remarks necessary to a complete statement of his term of service.
All of these items were included in the general census schedule. However, a separate veterans index was also that listed the veteran’s name, rank, year of enlistment, and year of discharge.
A fire in the Commerce Department in 1921 destroyed the majority of the general census schedule. The alphabetical list of states from Alabama through half of Kentucky also lost the veterans schedule for this census. However, the veterans schedules for the remaining 34 states, the District of Columbia, and parts of Kentucky survived.
Using the Veterans Schedule as a Census Substitute
Because many states lost their general census schedules, the surviving veterans schedules are often used as a substitute for genealogical research. These special indexes act as partial list of heads of households for the older family members who served in the Civil War.
Other Uses of the Veterans Schedule
The veterans schedules can be used to find other valuable family information, like finding the places of origin of family members who served in the Civil War. The records also can be used to verify service records and identify in which unit and ancestor served.
Revolutionary War Veterans
Genealogists looking for Revolutionary War veterans should research records of the 1840 census. In 1840, Revolutionary War Pensioners and their ages were listed on the back of the population schedules.