In researching ancestors on my mother's side, I learned that my great-grandfather served in the Confederate Army (4th Mississippi Infantry Regiment) and fought at Ft. Donelson. I also learned that, believe it or not, the State of Mississippi still has an official Confederate War Department! But it's not quite what the name implies. In the 1950s, the State compiled all the data available on Missippians who served during the war, and it's available on microfiche. The "War Department" is a small group of folks who, if you give them a name, will research the records and send you (for a nominal fee) electronic files of whatever they find. In my relative's case, that wasn't a lot, just a few pay slips and his enlistment and discharge papers, but still very cool. He joined a local unit (the Monroe Guards) the week after Missisippi seceded, and was discharged a year later.