By Frankie Meyer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Did any of your ancestors live in Missouri or fight in battles in the area during the Civil War? If so, the Missouri secretary of state has a website that may provide unique information for your family history.
The records are from the files of the National Archives and Records Administration. The site is found at www.sos.mo.gov/archives/ provost/.
Some records are digitized copies of the Missouri Provost Marshal Papers from 1861 to 1866. Those 72,000 entries relate to Confederates and Confederate supporters in the trans-Mississippi area. The records were created in the provost marshal office as he and his staff investigated spies, deserters and disloyal citizens.
Provost marshal records include court papers, permits, letters of accusations, oaths of allegiance, paroles and claims for compensation. Those records can be searched by entering a complete name or a surname.
After a search is done, the screen lists all records with that name. Each record includes the name of the person, county, city, subject, date, reel number, frame number and file number. Those details can be used to find the digitized copy of the record at the site.
The site also has digitized copies of the African-American recruitment lists in Missouri from 1863 to 1865. Those lists were compiled by the provost marshal as a result of Missouri General Order 135 that was adopted in November 1863.
That order stated that the provost marshal was to recruit both free blacks and enslaved blacks to fight in the Army. Slave owners were to receive $300 for each slave allowed to enlist. The recruitment lists were sent to the adjutant generalÕs office.
Each recruitment list includes the name of the slave and master, county and recruiting station. After a complete name or surname is entered into the search box, the screen provides details about the record, including the reel number, frame number and file number. Those details can be used to find the digitized copy at the site.
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