Fold3.com is an excellent resource of military records who have done us all a great service by giving away Civil War records for the month of April.

I decided to take full advantage of the offer and downloaded probably close to 75 images for all of my Civil War veterans. Needless to say, I have quite a few men that fit that description.

One I have previously mentioned is John M. P. Clark. I was able to find all of the supporting documentation for his presence in the 61st Tennessee regiment, and as a Prisoner of War from the Battle of Vicksburg.

What was really nice to add to my information was his rank--a 2nd Lieutenant.

Included in the documents are several identical copies of several reports which give his status--whether absent, on furlough, sick, or present and accounted for. I've decided to include the items of greatest interest.

I can't really imagine what it would be like to go to war--let alone to have enemy officers forcing me to sign a paper to indicate my own surrender, after I've already suffered all manner of fatigue and starvation.

This last document was the last one included in his file. I don't know exactly what this meant for his military involvement, if it truly did end at this point in 1863. But it has been a real privilege to discover that I have a personal connection to someone who was a part of history like this.

I have veterans in my family from every major conflict the United States has ever fought. I look forward to exploring the documents I've gathered so far. I never imagined the rich story they could reveal about the lives and struggles of my ancestors. Names of battles and dates of conflict have never felt like such a part of me before, and I look forward to what else I can learn from studying these military records in-depth.