Southern Claims Commission


This index lists Tennesseans who filed claims with the Southern Claims Commission from 1871 to 1873. These 3,929 Tennesseans claimed their property had been taken by United States military personnel for use in the Civil War.

The claim files include interesting detail about people and about the Civil War period in Tennessee. Each claimant was required to describe his losses in detail, and to prove his loyalty to the Union. Witnesses gave testimony in support of his allegations. The paperwork in the files is often extensive.

All of the Southern Claims Commission files are located at the National Archives, but the disallowed and barred claim files have been microfilmed and are also available at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The Library and Archives does not have copies of allowed claim files. Allowed claim files are available from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C.

This index is based on volume 55 of Record Group No. 56, General Records of the Department of the Treasury, at the National Archives. It is duplicated on National Archives microcopy M-87, reel 13. The indication as to whether the claim was allowed, disallowed, or barred is based on the book Southern Loyalists in the Civil War : the Southern Claims Commission by Gary B. Mills (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1994).

If you wish to order a copy of a barred or disallowed claim file, visit the Ask Us a Question! web page and request a price quote. The cost will depend on the length of the file. Due to the number of requests received daily, we ask that you only submit one request at a time for a single record.

The web site Fold3 has scanned copies of the allowed, barred and disallowed claims. Access to this web site is available by subscription to Fold3 or through terminals in the Library & Archives building.

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