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Military Service Records: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications

Front Cover - Military Service Records: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications

National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, Military Service Records: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications, © 1985, National Archives Trust Fund Board, Washington, D.C., #200028 Soft Bound, 330 Pages, ISBN 0-911333-07-X. $3.50

The cover photograph (165-PF-7) of Brig. Gen. Fred C. Ainsworth (1852-1934) is from Record Group 165, Records of the War Department General and Special Staff.

Ainsworth was placed in charge of the newly created Record and Pension Division (later the Record and Pension Office) of the War Department in July 1889. He began the system of compiling abstract cards and index cards of military service records as an aid in evaluating Civil War pension applications. These cards, many of which are now on microfilm, are used extensively to research a veteran's military sendee record.

Introduction

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the official repository for records of military personnel who have been discharged from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy. Those records available for public examination at the National Archives are a valuable source of information about an individual’s military service, family, and medical history. These records can also be used to study military and social history.

Because of their research value, NARA has microfilmed many of these records, primarily those created before 1900. This catalog is organized by type of record; similar types of records are arranged chronologically. Brief descriptions of the records are followed by roll-by-roll listings of the contents. The catalog does not reproduce the records, however.

The first section explains compiled military service records of volunteer soldiers who fought for the United States in various wars and conflicts from the Revolutionary War through the Philippine Insurrec-tion—1775 to 1902. During the 1890’s, the War Department abstracted these records from such original records as muster rolls, returns, and medical and prison registers. The records usually show a soldier’s presence or absence on certain dates, his rank and military organization, and the term of service. Sometimes they also show age, place of enlistment, and place of birth. These records are of value for proving military service, but generally don’t have other genealogical information.

The second section of the catalog describes records relating to service in the regular U.S. Army or Navy. The War Department began to maintain personnel files for Regular Army officers in 1863 and for enlisted men in 1912. Records relating to service before those dates are scattered among many different series of War Department records—registers of enlistments, post and regimental returns, and correspondence. Similarly, records for naval officers and enlisted men were not compiled until after 1885 (after 1903 for enlisted men).

Sources for earlier service consist of indexes to rendezvous reports, Marine Corps muster rolls, abstracts of service of naval officers, indexes to officers’ records, and records of general courts-martial.

The third section treats records of veterans’ claims for bounty land and pensions. Between 1776 and 1855, the Federal Government granted bounty land warrants entitling veterans to free land in specific areas of the public domain as an inducement to enter military service. Applications for these bounty land warrants and pension files may contain a great deal of personal information about a veteran and his family. The files may show the veteran’s name, age, and residence at the date of the application; the names of his wife and children; and dates of births, marriages, and deaths within the family. Pension records also document the veteran’s military service by indicating his unit and the dates of his service.

The final section of the catalog describes miscel-laneous records that relate to military service: additional records relating to Revolutionary War pay, settlement of accounts, and pensions; records relating to Confederates; records relating to the U.S. Military Academy cadets and U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen; and selected records relating to black servicemen.

Records relating to the following groups of military personnel are at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO:

  • U.S. Army officers and enlisted personnel completely separated after 1956. Personnel jackets of officers separated between 30 June 1917 and 1956 were destroyed by fire in 1972, as were jackets of enlisted men separated between 30 October 1912 and 1956.
  • U.S. Air Force officers and enlisted men completely separated after 1956. Earlier jackets of the Army Air Corps and the U.S. Air Force were destroyed by fire in 1972.
  • U.S. Navy officers completely separated after 1902 and enlisted men completely separated after 1885.
  • U.S. Coast Guard officers completely separated after 1928 and enlisted personnel completely separated after 1914.

Requests for information about veterans should be submitted to the National Personnel Records Center (MPR), 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132, using Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records. This form is available from the St. Louis Center, the Government Printing Office, Federal Information Centers, local Veterans Administration offices, veterans service organizations, and the Reference Services Branch (NNIR), National Ar-chives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408.

For additional information you may wish to refer to other NARA publications: Military Service Records in the National Archives of the United States (General Information Leaflet 7); Genealogical Research in the National Archives (General Information Leaflet 5); and Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives.

Other related catalogs of microfilm publications of interest are: Immigrant and Passenger Arrivals, Genealogical and Biographical Research, American Indians, Black Studies, and 1790-1890 Federal Population Censuses. These catalogs of microfilm publications do not reproduce the records, but briefly describe the records and tell what records are available on microfilm.
The records listed in this catalog are from the following record groups:

Record Group Title
15 Records of the Veterans Administration
18 Records of the Army Air Forces
24 Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel
29 Records of the Bureau of the Census
39 Records of the Bureau of Accounts (Treasury)
45 Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library
49 Records of the Bureau of Land Management
53 Records of the Bureau of the Public Debt
92 Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General
94 Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780s-1917
107 Records of the Office of the Secretary of War
109 War Department Collection of Confederate Records
125 Records of the Judge Advocate General (Navy)
127 Records of the United States Marine Corps
153 Records of the Judge Advocate General (Army)
217 Records of the United States General Accounting Office
391 Records of the United States Regular Army Mobile Units, 1821-1942
393 Records of the United States Army Continental Commands, 1821-1920
395 Records of the United States Army Overseas Operations and Commands, 1898-1942
405 Records of the United States Naval Academy
407 Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1971-

This catalog was compiled by Cynthia G. Fox and Contance Potter with the assistance of Beverly Bagge and Mary Ryan. Jan Danis edited the final manuscript.

Summary of Contents:

  1. Compiled Military Service Records
  2. Records Relating to Service in the Regular U.S. Military
  3. Veterans' Claims
  4. Miscellaneous Records Relating to Military Service.

Detailed Table of Contents

  • Foreward
  • The National Archives Microfilm Publication Program
  • Catalogs of Microfilm Publications
  • Microfilm Pricing Policy
  • Microfilm Specifications
  • Introduction

Compiled Military Service Records

  • Records of Revolutionary War Soldiers (Record Group 93)
    • Indexes to Compiled Service Records
    • Revolutionary War Rolls
  • Records of Naval Personnel During the Revolutionary War (Record Group 93)
    • Indexes to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
  • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served From 1784 Until 1811 (Record Group 94)
    • Indexes to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
  • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served in the War of 1812 (Record Groups 94 and 407)
    • Indexes to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
  • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During Indian Wars and Disturbances
    (Record Groups 94 and 407)
    • Table 1: Microfilmed Indexes to Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteers
      During the Indian Wars
    • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During Cherokee Disturbances and Removal
    • Indexes to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
    • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Creek War
    • Index to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
    • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Florida Wars
    • Indexes to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
  • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War of 1837-1838
    • Index to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
  • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Patriot War, 1838-1839 (Record Group 94)
    • Indexes to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
  • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Mexican War (Record Group 94)
    • Index to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
  • Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served During the Civil War (Record Group 94)
  • Table 2: Microfilmed Indexes and Compiled Service Records for Union Army Volunteers
    • Indexes to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
  • Records of Movements and Activities of Volunteer Union Organizations (Record Groups 94 and 407)
  • Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served During the Civil War (Record Group 109)
    • Table 3: Microfilmed Indexes and Compiled Military Service Records for Confederate
      Army Volunteers
    • Indexes to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
  • Records of Confederate Movements and Activities (Record Group 109)
  • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the War With Spain (Record Groups 94 and 407)
    • Indexes to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records
  • Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Philippine Insurrection (Record Group 94)
    • Index to Compiled Service Records
    • Compiled Service Records

Records Relating to Service in the Regular U.S. Military

  • Records Relating to Service in the U.S. Army (Record Groups 94, 391, and 407)
  • Registers of Enlistments
  • Returns
  • Correspondence Relating to the Service of Regular Army Officers
  • Records Relating to Service in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (Record Groups 24,125, and 127)
  • Indexes to Rendezvous Reports
  • Indexes to Rendezvous Reports (Navy Enlistments) Through 1884
  • Indexes to World War I and Later Rendezvous Reports
  • Other Records

Veterans’ Claims

  • Military Bounty Land Warrants and Pensions (Record Groups 15,49, and 217)
  • Revolutionary War Bounty Land Warrant Applications and Pensions
  • Additional Pension Records ;
  • War of 1812 Bounty Land Warrants and Pensions
  • Indexes to Pensions Including Civil War and Later Service
  • Other Records Relating to Veterans’ Claims (Record Groups 29,94, and 407)

Miscellaneous Records Relating to Military Service

  • Additional Revolutionary War Records (Record Groups 39, 53,92, 93,94,107, and 217)
  • Other Records Relating to Confederates (Record Groups 45 and 109)
  • Records Relating to United States Military Academy Cadets and United States Navel Academy Midshipmen (Record Groups 94 and 405)
  • Selected Records Relating to Black Servicemen (Record Groups 94,107, and 153)
  • Index to Publication Numbers
  • Instructions for Ordering Microfilm Publications

This catalog is one in a series that describes National Archives microfilm publications related to specific subjects of high research interest. Each catalog is compiled through an extensive review of microfilmed records to locate relevant publications. The catalogs contain descriptions of the records and roll-by-roll listings for each publication.

The six catalogs in this series of Select Catalogs of National Archives Microfilm Publications are:

  • American Indians, published 1984 Black Studies, published 1984
  • Genealogical and Biographical Research, published 1983
  • Immigrant and Passenger Arrivals, published 1983
  • Military Service Records, published 1985
  • Diplomatic Records, expected publication date 1986

Other available microfilm catalogs are:

  • Comprehensive Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications, expected publication date, 1986
  • 1910 Federal Population Census on Microfilm
  • 1900 Federal Population Census on Microfilm
  • 1790-1890 Federal Population Censuses on Microfilm

This publication was not printed at taxpayer expense.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

National Archives Trust Fund Board.
Military service records.
Includes index.
1. United States—Armed Forces—Records and correspondence—Bibliography—Catalogs. 2. United States—Armed Forces—Archives—Catalogs. 3. United States—History, Military—Sources—Bibliograhy— Catalogs. 4. United States. National Archives— Catalogs. I. Title.
CD3033 1985 016.3556’0973 85-25925
ISBN 0-911333-07-X
Military Service Records
A Select Catalog
of
National Archives Microfilm Publications
National Archives Trust Fund Board National Archives and Service Administration Washington, DC

Library of Congress Catalog Listing

  • LC Control Number: 85025925
  • Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)
  • Corporate Name: United States. National Archives and Records Administration.
  • Main Title: Military service records : a select catalog of National Archives microfilm publications.
  • Published/Created: Washington, DC : National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Service Administration, 1985.
  • Description: xiv, 330 p. ; 28 cm.
  • ISBN: 091133307X :
  • Notes: Includes index.
  • Subjects: United States. National Archives and Records Administatration--Catalogs. United States--Armed Forces--Records and correspondence--Bibliography--Catalogs. United States--Armed Forces--Archives--Catalogs. United States--History, Military--Sources--Bibliography--Catalogs.
  • LC Classification: CD3033 1985
  • Dewey Class No.: 016.3556/0973 19
  • Geog. Area Code: n-us---
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