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Vanderhoef's Military Records
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Vanderhoef's Military Records

This document shows information about James W. Vanderhoef from official military records kept during the Civil War by the Union Army, including information from company muster rolls and regimental returns. Muster rolls were lists of the troops on the day of muster, or review of troops. Musters were held to count the number of soldiers in a unit and to inspect their weapons. Muster rolls were also used to keep track of pay owed to the soldiers. Regimental returns were personnel reports from the commander of a post or regiment. These "returns" were sent to the Adjutant General's Office (AGO), usually every month, and contained the location of the troops, the total number of soldiers, and lists of names of officers and enlisted personnel.

At the end of the 19th century, the War Department compiled military service records from the Civil War. According to the National Archives, "information from company muster rolls, regimental returns, descriptive books, hospital rolls, and other records was copied verbatim onto cards. A separate card was prepared each time an individual name appeared on a document. " (National Archives, Civil War Records: civil_war_records.html#union)

The data on these four cards indicate that Vanderhoef was taken prisoner at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. They also contain information about changes in his rank, and about his pay: he was overpaid $1 for March and April 1862.

Other suggested Web sites:

National Archives: Research in Military Records: Civil War (

National Archives: Genealogy - Civil War Records (

Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (

New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center (

For more about Vanderhoef's military history and prisoner of war records, see Documents 77 and 78.

Citation - Document 76
Letters of Captain James W. Vanderhoef
December 1864
Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection

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