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United States Gotoarrow.png U.S. Military Gotoarrow.png Alabama Gotoarrow.png Military Records

Entrance to Fort Morgan, guarding Mobile Bay, Baldwin County, Alabama.

Contents


Background Information

Military records identify those who served in the military or who were eligible for service. Evidence that your ancestor served may be found in family traditions, census records, naturalization records, biographies, cemetery records, and records of veterans’ organizations.

Alabama has participated in wars from the Revolutionary War to the present. Military enlistment and service records may give names, residences throughout the life of the family, rank, unit, dates of service, death date, and cause of death. Pension records often provide the soldier’s birth date and place, widow’s name, the date and place of marriage, and names and ages of children.

The Alabama Department of Archives and History has the most complete collection of Alabama military records. Their collection includes military records and soldiers’ correspondence from all wars in which Alabama has participated. Many federal military records of Alabama are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and the National Archives Southeast Region (Atlanta) (Morrow, Georgia).

Alabama Forts

Forts were built to house and maintain the military, who were to assist in maintaning peace by enforcing treaties and providing protection to settlers.

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

If a person supported the Revolution, he may be mentioned in records as a rebel, patriot, or Whig. Those who opposed the Revolution were Loyalists or Tories.

Patriots-- Service and pension records and indexes for patriots are available on film at the National Archives and the Family History Library. For lists of Revolutionary War soldiers from Alabama, see:

  • Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Revolutionary War Service, 1776–1783. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1986. FHL film 1462786 item 2. These alphabetical three-by-five cards mention the soldier’s (or widow’s) name, rank, unit, and enlistment information. They also often list the names of the soldier’s parents, spouse, and children and give his birth date and place. The source of information may be given.
  • Gandrud, Pauline Jones. Alabama Soldiers: Revolution, War of 1812, and Indian Wars. 20 volumes. Hot Springs, Arkansas: B.J. McLane, 1975–. FHL book 976.1 M2g. Volume one starts with surnames beginning with A. Volume 20 ends with the surnames M. The series will continue through surnames with Z. The books often list service, pension, census, land ownership, and probate information, with names of children and sometimes grandchildren.
  • Julich, Louise Milam. Roster of Revolutionary Soldiers and Patriots in Alabama. Montgomery, Alabama: Parchment Press, 1979. FHL book 976.1 M2j This source often provides information about military service, burial, pension, residence, spouse, children, parents, and source references.
  • Mell, Mrs. P.H. "Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Alabama," Publications of the Alabama Historical Society, Vol. 5. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free. Includes biographical sketches.
  • Thomas, Elizabeth Wood. Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama. 2 vols. Tuscaloosa, Ala.: Willo Publishing Company. Digital version of Vol. 2 at FamilySearch Books Online - free.

Lineages for Revolutionary War soldiers listing descendants and spouses, are found in:

  • Black, Clifford D. An Index to Alabama Society Sons of the American Revolution, Members and Their Ancestors, 1903–1996. Rainsville, Alabama: C.D. Black, 1996. FHL film 2055307 item 9; book 976.1 C42b. This book contains about 15,000 names and is fully indexed. It includes the National Sons of the American Revolution number. This book also gives birth dates for descendants,birth and death dates for each soldier, and the state of birth and death for each soldier.

The 1835 Pension Roll

On June 5, 1834, the U.S. Senate required the Secretary of War to submit a statement showing the names of pensioners who were on the pension rolls or had previously been on the pension rolls. For more information on the 1835 Pension Roll see Revolutionary War Pension Records. The 1835 Pension Roll for Alabama is available online:

The Loyalist Era, 1775–1789--Loyalists are those residents of the British North American Colonies who did not join the American Revolution between 1775 and 1783 but remained loyal to the king of England. In the strictest sense, Loyalists are only those who served in a Loyalist corps in the Thirteen Colonies. The American Loyalists who actually served the Crown must be distinguished from the more numerous "late Loyalists" who came from the United States beginning in about 1790 for land or other economic opportunities.

During the war and especially at its close, some Loyalists went to Britain or other colonies, but many fled to Canada. There is no master list of all the names of American Loyalists who came to Canada. Historians do not agree on the total number. Some sources say fewer than 20,000, others say more than 40,000. A head count in peninsular Nova Scotia in 1784 showed about 17,000 members of Loyalist families in that area alone, but some Loyalists had already left there for other places in British North America, and a few hundred more were to arrive in Nova Scotia in 1785.

War of 1812 (1812-1815)

The War of 1812 between Britain and the United States confirmed the separate existence of the United States and the future Canada. During the war, Alabama was part of the Mississippi Territory with a small part of West Florida. Few men from that area fought in the war, though American forces captured the area of Mobile from the Spanish and defeated the Creek Indians. After the war, veterans from other states moved to Alabama.  Alabama became a territory in 1817.

There are helpful nationwide records for soldiers of the War of 1812. For more information, see United States in the War of 1812.

Chief Menawa, (c.1765-c.1835), Muscogee (Creek) tribe, Alabama

Explanation of the Major Record Types:

  • Pearson, Thomas A., comp. Genealogical Records of the War of 1812: an Introduction and Selected Bibliography of Materials in the Collection of St. Louis Public Library. (St. Louis, Missouri: St. Louis Public Library, July 2004).

For records of War of 1812 soldiers, see:

  • Access Genealogy. Alabama. - Some Military Land Grants For Soldiers of the War of 1812 and Pensions. Search land grants by county. (hosted at USGenWeb Archives War of 1812 Project)(Accessed 11 May 2012).
  • Gandrud, Pauline Jones. Alabama Soldiers: Revolution, War of 1812, and Indian Wars. 20 volumes. Hot Springs, Arkansas: B.J. McLane, 1975–. FHL book 976.1 M2g. Volume one starts with surnames beginning with A. Volume 20 ends with the surnames M. The series will continue through surnames with Z. The books often list service, pension, census, land ownership, and probate information, with names of children and sometimes grandchildren.
  • Cullman. War of 1812 Pensioners Living in Alabama During the 1880s. Alabama: Gregath, 1982. FHL book 976.1 M2w. This book gives the name of the soldier or his widow, the certificate number, and residence.
  • Indian war service, 1812-1814 Alabama FHL film 1462786 item 3 Microfilm of originals in Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama. Alphabetical listing of persons involved in the War of 1812 and the Indian Wars of 1813-1814.

War of Texas Independence (1835–1836)

  • Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Texas War with Mexico, 1835–1836. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988. FHL film 1462788 item 2 These cards list, in alphabetical order, the names of Alabama soldiers who served in the War of Texas Independence. The cards contain information about rank, company, regiment, and sometimes enlistment place, dates served, wounds, age, death date, and land grant entitlement. They include the source of information.

Mexican War (1846-1848)

The Mexican War was caused by the annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845. Most volunteer regiments were from southern states. Records of Mexican War veterans might exist in a state where the veteran later resided.

To find information about soldiers serving from Alabama see:

  • Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Mexican War Service, 1846–1847. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988. FHL films 1462788 item 3 (A–L, and FHL film 1462789 (M–Z) The cards may include name, rank, muster date and place, regiment, company, and sometimes muster out or medical discharge information.
  • Alabama Volunteers in the Mexican War, 1846–1848. Richardson, Texas: Descendants of Mexican War Veterans, 1996. FHL book 976.1 M2bs This contains the names of the soldiers, plus historical information about the war and the Alabama companies.
  • Mexican War Index to Pension Files, 1887–1926. (NARA T317). FHL films 0537000–13 Alphabetically arranged and includes the veteran’s name, rank, and unit; names of dependents; date of filing and application; certificate numbers; act filed under; and state from which application was made. Also available at:
  • Robarts, William Hugh. Mexican War Veterans: A Complete Roster of the Regular and Volunteer Troops in the War Between the United States and Mexico, from 1846-1848… Washington, D.C. : Brentano’s, 1887. FHL book 973 M2rwh Digital version available at Internet Archive.

Click on these links to learn more about the Mexican War and about Mexican War pension records.

Florida War (1855-1858)

  • Achee, Benjamin and Margery Wright. Index for Compiled Service Records Alabama Units - Florida War. Shreveport, La., 1971. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online - free.

Civil War (1861–1865)

Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama, 5 August 1864
See Alabama in the Civil War for information about Alabama Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Alabama regiments involved in the Civil War. The regimental articles often include lists of the companies with links to the counties where the companies started. Men in the companies often lived in the counties where the companies were raised. Knowing a county can help when researching the families of the soldiers.

For information about African American troops, see United States Colored Troops in the Civil War to learn about the regiments and units that served from South Carolina.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows name searching for soldiers. The result set gives the regiment for each soldiers. Then you can check the regiment page to determine counties. Often knowing the counties that had men in a regiment will help you determine if a soldier was your ancestor.

Wiki articles describing these collections are found at:

Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)

  • Gandrud, Pauline Jones. Alabama Soldiers: Revolution, War of 1812, and Indian Wars. 20 volumes. Hot Springs, Arkansas: B.J. McLane, 1975–.Worldcat and FHL book 976.1 M2g Volume one starts with surnames beginning with A. Volume 20 ends with the surnames M. The series will continue through surnames with Z. The books often list service, pension, census, land ownership, and probate information, with names of children and sometimes grandchildren.

Creek War (1813-1814)

A card index of Indian War soldiers is:

  • Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Indian War Service, 1812–1814. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988. FHL film 1462786 item 3 This includes alphabetically arranged, typed cards for the Indian wars of 1813–1814 and the War of 1812. The films include each soldier’s name, age, residence, rank, and date enrolled and the date and amount of his pension payments (usually for the years of 1833–1834). Includes records of Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina soldiers, as well as Indian names.
  • Creek Wars 1813-1814
  • Battle of Burnt Corn July 27, 1813

Second Creek War (1836–1837)

  • Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Indian War, 1836. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1986. FHL film 1462787 item 2 (A–L) and FHL film 1462788 (M–Z) These cards list the soldier’s name, rank, and company; information from muster rolls and petitions; letters from authorities, death reports, requisitions, minutes of meetings, accounts of battles, and enrollments. The county of residence also may be mentioned.
  • Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served during the Creek War in Organizations from the State of Alabama (NARA M244) Worldcat and FHL films 0880845–46 The records to which the index refers have not been microfilmed.

Second Seminole War (Florida War) (1836-1843)

  • "Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Florida War in Organizations From the State of Alabama" (NARA M245)Worldcatand FHL film 0880847 A transcription of this index is:

Cherokee Disturbances and Removal (1836-1839)

  • "Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Cherokee Removal in Organizations From the State of Alabama" (NARA M243) Worldcat and FHL film 0368685 The Cherokees were removed to the Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. The compiled military service records have not been microfilmed.
The above collection is also available online:

Spanish-American War (1898)

The Spanish-American War was largely fought in Cuba and the Philippines. Spanish-American War records might exist in the state from which the soldier served or in a state where the veteran later resided. Indexes

  • Alabama. Adjutant General’s Office. Muster Rolls of Alabama Volunteers in the Spanish-American War of 1898. 1899. Reprint, Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1989. FHL film 1404249 This lists soldiers in the three Alabama Regiments. The lists are alphabetical by company and give mustered-in date (city and state), mustered-out date, rank, and names of those who died.

Click on the link to learn more about the Spanish American War.

World War I (1917-1918)

Draft Records

  • United States. Selective Service System. Alabama, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1509. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1987–1988. FHL films 1509347 (first of 87 films These cards have been digitized and are searchable online. See WWI Draft Records for more information.

Service records

There are also Alabama World War I service records, prepared after the war:

  • Alabama. Department of Archives and History. World War I Service Records, 1918–1919. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. FHL fiche 644084 (first of 33 microfiche These records are arranged alphabetically and usually contain the person’s name, race, residence, place of birth (city and state), age or date of birth, enlistment or induction date, service and rank information, wounds, date of service overseas, discharge date, disability, and remarks.

Rosters. For a published roster of soldiers who died in the war see:

  • Haulsee, W. M. Soldiers of the Great War. Three Volumes. Washington, D.C.: Soldiers Record Pub. Association, 1920. FHL fiche 6051244; book 973 M23s Alabama soldiers are listed in volume one, pages 71–95. This section gives the soldier’s name, residence, rank, and cause of death, and includes pictures.

Casualties. The Alabama Gold Star Files is a free database that lists service people who died during the war, or who had been awarded distinguished service recognition. The name "Gold Star" was derived from the gold stars awarded to mothers of service people who lost their lives. Information for this database was supplied by relatives of the deceased individual. Photos and newspaper articles may be included. The amount of information may vary, including:

  • Name
  • Branch of service
  • Race
  • Town
  • County
  • Bulletin information (taken from “Official U.S. Bulletin”)
  • Other information

World War II (1941-1945)

  • Combat Connected Naval Causalities, World War II, by States. Two Volumes. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946. FHL book 973 M3dc This source is alphabetically arranged by state, then within the state by dead, missing, wounded, Prisoner of War (POW), died or killed while a POW, and POWs released.
  • Tuskegee Airmen tuskegeeairmen.org An extimated 16,000 to 19,000 airment including mechanics, parachute riggers and support staff were involved.
  • For photos of Tuskegee Airmen americanprofile.com/tuskegee

Korean War (1950–1953)

The Korean War was a conflict between North Korea (and its communist allies) and South Korea (with support of the United Nations, primarily the United States). See the Korean War wiki article for information on records and their availability.

Vietnam War (1964–1972)

The Vietnam War was a conflict between North Vietnam (and its communist allies) and South Vietnam (with support of its anti-communist allies, including the United States). See the Vietnam War wiki article for information on records and their availability.

Militia Records

Besides regular service, Alabama men served in the militia:

  • Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Territorial Militia and Civil Service, 1818. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1986. FHL film 1462787 This source includes commissions and military appointments for the Alabama Territory.
  • Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Alabama State Militia, 1820–1865. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1986. FHL films 1462797–807 These records give the soldier’s name, company, battalion, and regiment, and include names of witnesses.
  • Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Alabama State Troops (Militia), 1873–1898. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1986. FHL films 1462792–96 The cards are in alphabetical order and may include the person’s date of enlistment, rank, company, regiment, age, and length of service.

Military records are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:

ALABAMA — MILITARY HISTORY
ALABAMA — MILITARY RECORDS
ALABAMA — MILITARY RECORDS- [WAR]
ALABAMA, [COUNTY] — MILITARY RECORDS
ALABAMA, [COUNTY], [TOWN] — MILITARY RECORDS

References

  1. Name Search at Genealogical.com is a comprehensive name index to 638 books and CDs published or reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Company (now Genealogical.com). For a complete list of the works included, see Publications in Name Search at Genealogical.com



 

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