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I have finally found a document from an ancestor, Gustav (Adolf) Neumann, see attached image, from the fold3 website when it was free to use for everyone for one day recently.

As I am new to US-based genealogy, I have the following questions:

  1. How is this document called? Is it called "Soldier index card" or something like this? I forgot how fold3 called them.

  2. What do the two abbreviations on the left corner mean? I read them as "m. d. R." and "m. d. R. 6H", if I did not do a mistake.

  3. Is it realistic to find the hospital in which he was brought up during the war?

  4. With the given information, where can I look up for more documents?

enter image description here

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    As much as possible please try to ask only one question per question. Sometimes potential answers hold off on answering any of the multiple questions until they feel that they can answer all of them which may delay or prevent you getting any of the answers that you seek.
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 14, 2019 at 21:45
  • I looked here: wwwnet-dos.state.nj.us/DOS_ArchivesDBPortal/…. for the 34th regiment, company H and didn't find him. Then I looked in the whole 34th. Still no joy. Jun 14, 2019 at 23:57
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    I read the place where he was enlisted as "Hudson City, NJ" (though the 'H' is a stretch), and in Company H of the 54th (or 34th?) regiment of NJ? NY? Jun 15, 2019 at 0:07
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    Guys, you're wasting your time guessing without the provenance of this item.
    – Jan Murphy
    Jun 15, 2019 at 8:55
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    I have answered the first question embedded in this question, which has taken me well over an hour. If the image had been properly sourced, I could have spent that time answering questions 3 and 4 instead. Please ask one question at a time, and please help yourself more by gathering information about the documents you find instead of doing a grab-and-run.
    – Jan Murphy
    Jun 15, 2019 at 9:44

1 Answer 1

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Always collect the information about a document at the same time you download the image. You can't be sure that the collection will be online if you go back to look at it later -- over time, commercial websites may lose the right to host the database.

Without the information that identifies the image and where it came from, you can't evaluate the document properly or evaluate completely the information it contains.

In her book Evidence Explained (page 8 of the 3rd revised edition), Elizabeth Shown Mills emphasizes how important this is. She says:

Why source citations

Consulting maps and gazetteers from the period of your document can also help in your analysis. Hudson City, New Jersey is now part of Jersey City, in Hudson County, directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan.

Identify the document

The item you posted is an abstract from a muster roll.

On Fold3, the information about the record is below the image viewer.

The Source information includes the following:

 Publication Title: New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900 
Content Source: New York State Archives  
Fold3 Publication Year: 2014  

Short Description: Abstracts from original muster rolls for 
 New York State infantry units involved in the Civil War. 1861-1900

The main page on fold3 for this collection says:

The records have personal enlistment information and military service, as well as regiment engagements. The personal record and unit information makes the collection valuable to anyone with New York ancestors in the Civil War era. The beginning of each regiment record has information on the regiment including the commanding officers. In a few of the abstracts, a detailed history of the unit also appears. The regiment's information will have to be browsed for or searched by regiment.

Gather information from the repository that holds the record

The New York State Archives' page on Civil War Service Abstracts says:

Abstracts of muster rolls of NYS Volunteer Units that served during the Civil War (Series 13775) are available on self-service microfilm. The Archives does NOT have original muster rolls.

Content varies, but abstracts generally provide: enlistment date; age; place of enlistment and for how long; date mustered in; grade; company; regiment; date left organization; reason for leaving (killed, discharged, deserted, etc.); in what grade; and "remarks."

"Remarks" may or may not include service details (reduced to private, deserted, temporarily assigned to special duty, etc.). Sometimes, but not always, physical descriptors (height, eye color) are present. Names of soldiers’ parents or spouses are not present.

Offsite researchers may print out and mail in a War Service Records Request Form to purchase a photocopy of an abstract.

Note that the New York State Archives doesn't have the original muster rolls from which this information was abstracted. You will have to locate other sources about the New York State Volunteers in different repositories to get more information.

Where to find more information

These abstracts are also available on Ancestry, in their database New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900. Without a subscription, you can still read the About the Database information on the main search page for the database, and get some clues about how the records are arranged by looking at the drop-down menus to the right of the search box, underneath where it says Browse this collection.

The image shown for Adolf Neumann can be viewed here: shareable link. Ancestry's sharing feature does not allow users to share the abstracted information from the record page. The record page says:

 Name:    Adolf Neumann
 Age:     38
 Birth Year:  abt 1823
 Enlistment Year:     1861
 Enlistment Location:     Hudson City, New Jersey
 Muster Year:     1861 
  Separation Details:     Discharged

 Source Citation

 New York State Archives, Cultural Education Center, Albany, New 
 York;  New York Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900;
 Archive Collection #: 13775-83; Box #: 208; Roll #: 1075-1076

 Source Information

 Ancestry.com. New York, Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900
 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.,
 2011.

 Original data: Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts of New York State
 Volunteers, United States Sharpshooters, and United States Colored
 Troops [ca. 1861-1900]. Microfilm, 1185 rolls. New York State
 Archives, Albany, New York.

Further research will be required before you can locate medical records about this soldier, since this record gives you no help -- there is no hospital name or date the soldier was admitted. Medical records are not likely to be online, and they are likely to be arranged by medical facility and arranged chronologically. For more information, see Reference Information Paper 109, Military Service Records at the National Archives.

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