The Pennsylvania State Archives had been working very hard on properly conserving each and every Muster-Out Roll for the Pennsylvania units that served during the Civil War. As explained on the Archives' website, Muster-Out Rolls are, "the dated lists [that] ordinarily give the soldier's name, age, rank, unit, regiment and company; the date, place, and person who mustered him in; the period of enlistment; and the name of the commanding officer. Particulars concerning pay earned, promotions, capture by the enemy and the like also regularly appear." These documents are a rich resource for students of the conflict and genealogists alike. Sadly, funding for the conservation project ran out with some 800 rolls still to be conserved. Recently, however, the State Archives has been awarded a $300,000 Keystone Grant which will make the conservation and preservation of the remaining rolls a reality. The work should be completed by July 2012, after which time, the Muster-Out Rolls will be scanned by Ancestry.com, and eventually made viewable online. This is great news. Many of the documents have become increasingly brittle and faded over their roughly 150 year lives. Conservation will ensure that they will continue to preserve the memory and service of the Keystone state's fighting men. If you have any questions about the rolls or the ongoing project, please feel free to contact Linda Ries (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Pennsylvania State Archives.
Also, be sure to visit the Pennsylvania State Archives, or any state archives, and be amazed by what you may find buried in the history that is preserved there for you. Check out their website here, as well as their page for Civil War Records.
|Detail of a Muster-In Roll from Co. G, 49th PA, located at the Pennsylvania State Archives|