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Contents


The United States Military Records page provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.

Many military records are found at the National Archives and the state archives. Service records, pensions and other records related to those who served in the Armed Forces of the United States have been microfilmed and are available through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and local family history centers.

The main page for the United States provides more information on federal records. The following sources are also helpful for Colorado military research.

Forts

There were a number of fortifications built in Colorado for various reasons. Some were official military installations. Many were trading posts and were not part of the U.S. Army's posts. Some were simply small, unofficial fortifications built for protection.

  • Bent's New Fort 1849 - Also know as Fort Williams.
  • Fort Collins -- 1864-1867
  • Fort Crawford -- Textual records of this fort, 1868-1890, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7). The remains of soldiers buried at Fort Crawford were relocated to Fort McPherson National Cemetery on December 4, 1891.
  • Fort Davey Crokett -- was near Greenview Colorado.
  • Fort Fred Steele
  • Fort Garland -- Established in 1858 in the San Luis Valley, about 25 miles east of Alamosa. Its purpose was to protect settlers against the Ute Indians. It was abandoned in 1883. The site today consists of a museum, the parade grounds and some of the original buildings. Textual records of this fort, 1860-1883, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
  • Fort Lewis -- Textual records of this fort, 1878-1891, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).The remains of soldiers buried at Fort Lewis were relocated to Fort McPherson National Cemetery on December 10, 1891.
  • Fort Lyon -- Originally called Fort Wise, it is located in Bent County, Colorado, seven miles east of Las Animas. The fort was abandoned in 1917 and the remains of soldiers interred there were moved to the Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Nebraska. Fort Lyon later became a Naval Hospital and then a Veteran's Hospital. A National Cemetery exists there, established from the Naval Hospital cemetery commencing in 1907. Textual records of this fort, 1868-1889, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
  • Fort Massachusetts 1852-1858  near Fort Garland
    A Federal post built on Ute Creek for protection of the settlers against Utes and Apaches. Replaced by Fort Garland located six miles south due to unhealthful conditions
  • Fort Pueblo
  • Fort Sedgwick -- Established as a military outpost in 1864 and abandoned in 1871. Textual records of this fort, 1865-1871, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).The remains of soldiers buried at Fort Sedgwick were relocated to Fort McPherson National Cemetery in 1891.
  • Fort Uncompahgre near Delta Colorado
  • Fort Vasquez -- A fur-trading fort established in 1835 by Louis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette, located 35 miles northeast of Denver. It was restored in 1930s and now has a museum of the fur-trading days. It was not an official military post.
  • Camp White River -- The remains of soldiers buried at Camp White River military post were relocated to Fort McPherson National Cemetery on January 8, 1887.
  • Fort Wise -- Original name of Fort Lyon.

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.

  • 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.

Civil War (1861-1865)

William Gilpin (1813-1894), 1st Colorado Governor (1861-1862)
See Colorado in the Civil War for information about Colorado Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Colorado regiments involved in the Civil War.

The regimental pages 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 more about the soldiers and their families.

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

Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)

The names of soldiers who served at military posts on the frontier are in Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army at the National Archives. The Family History Library has copies of the registers from 1798 to 1914 (beginning on Family History Library film 350307). The registers give the soldier's name, rank, company, regiment, company and commanders, physical description, age, occupation, and birthplace. They are arranged by year and by the first letter of the surname.

The Colorado Veterans’ Grave Registrations 1862 - 1949 from the Colorado State Archives lists soldiers buried in Colorado that served in the Civil War, World War I, World War II and possibly other wars of that time period. The online index does not mention which war the soldier served in, however, more information can be obtained from the archives.

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

The Colorado State Archives has put an Index to the Muster Rolls for the Spanish American War on-line.  It is an extraction from the Muster Rolls of the Colorado Volunteers.  Read more.

The Colorado Veterans’ Grave Registrations 1862 - 1949 from the Colorado State Archives lists soldiers buried in Colorado that served in the Civil War, World War I, World War II and possibly other wars of that time period. The online index does not mention which war the soldier served in, however, more information can be obtained from the archives.

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

World War I (1917-1918)

World War I was a global war fought on multiple continents with several nations involved. Over four million men and women served from the United States.

Draft Registration Cards

  • United States. Selective Service System. Colorado, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1509. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1987-1988. (On Family History Library films beginning with 1544462.) These cards have been digitized and are searchable online. See WWI Draft Records for more information. Also available at:

United States World War I Draft Records provides additional information.

Pension Records

The Family History Library and the National Archives have two indexes of pension records: Old War Pension Index (1815-1926) and Indian Wars (1892-1926). These are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under UNITED STATES - MILITARY RECORDS.

Cemetery Records

The Colorado Veterans’ Grave Registrations 1862 - 1949 from the Colorado State Archives lists soldiers buried in Colorado that served in the Civil War, World War I, World War II and possibly other wars of that time period. The online index does not mention which war the soldier served in, however, more information can be obtained from the archives.

Other Records

Additional military records are at the Colorado Division of State Archives and Public Records, including militia muster roll books through World War I and grave registrations of veterans. Read more on grave registrations of veterans.

Colorado compiled questionaires after the end of WWI concerning the service by the home front during the War.  The Colorado State Archives has an Index for the period 1917-1922 to those qestionaires.  Read more.

World War II (1941-1945)

On April 27, 1942, the Selective Service conducted the fourth of six draft registrations related to WWII. The "World War II Selective Service Draft Cards: Fourth Registration, 1942" is often referred to as the “Old Man’s Registration” or the “Old Man’s Draft" because it included men with a date of birth from April 28, 1877 to February 16, 1897. Since there is overlap in the WWI and WWII Selective Service registration, men born in the years 1877 to 1900 may have registered twice and have both WWII and WWI draft records.

Also available at:

World War II United States Military Records provides additional information.

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.

The Colorado State Archives has an Index to the Vietnam War Casualties for the periods June-December 1966 and January-December 1968.  Read more.

Other Records

The Colorado Veterans’ Grave Registrations 1862 - 1949 from the Colorado State Archives lists soldiers buried in Colorado that served in the Civil War, World War I, World War II and possibly other wars of that time period. The online index does not mention which war the soldier served in, however, more information can be obtained from the archives.

Web Sites

References

Note: Information from the Colorado Research Outline has been updated and imported into the wiki.

 

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