Carded Medical Records for the U.S. Army were compiled after 1887 by the Pension and Records Division of the Surgeon General’s Office from original wartime hospital registers, rolls, and reports. They may reflect hospital visits, medical information and treatment that is not included in a soldiers Compiled Military Service Record.
Carded Medical Records are not available for Union sailors, Confederate soldiers/sailors of the Civil War nor for soldiers of the Revolutionary War or War of 1812.
Following are a few sample cards from the Carded Medical Records for a Union soldier. (Click to zoom in).
Note that there is no index to Carded Medical Records. The cards are filed by regiment and then by the first letter or two of the last name. Cards for a specific soldier are frequently not grouped together. So in the example above, the entire set of records for soldier’s in the 63rd PA Infantry with surnames starting with “Mc” were manually searched for those of a soldier named “William McCleary.”
For that reason, our flat rate price will apply regardless of the number cards that are found for your soldier – and even if no cards are found for him at all.
With a few exciting exceptions, Carded Medical Records generally document a veteran’s relatively mundane visits to a field hospital for intestinal discomfort, back pain, etc. OR they give some details of a disability (wound/disease) that may also be reflected in his service file or pension record. Given that at least half of the veterans will have no Carded Medical Records at all, the rest will have fewer than four cards, and the fact that we have to charge you for the search even if we find nothing, we generally advise you to NOT get Carded Medical Records until after you have reviewed the veteran’s service and pension files. Then we would recommend that you get Carded Medical Records if any of these conditions is met: (1) you have evidence that he was wounded or sick in service but that
disability is not described to your satisfaction in the service/pension
files; (2) you want to be able to say that you left absolutely no stone
unturned; (3) you’re feeling really lucky; or (4) money is no object.