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

United States Military Records provides information on federal military records. Many federal records also include information about soldiers and sailors from Iowa and should be used with the records listed in this section.

Iowa military records began about 1808, when Fort Madison was established. Military service records, such as enlistments, muster rolls, and discharges, may include a person’s age, birth date, birthplace, physical description, previous residence, and occupation.

The following book contains an extensive list of books and articles on pages 36–38 about the early forts and military expeditions in Iowa:

Contents

Forts

The following are or were major forts in Iowa. A number of other military posts existed for a short time and were of lesser importance.For a history of other Iowa forts Click Here.

  • Fort Armstrong -- was established in 1816 on the northwest tip of Arsenal Island at Rock Island, Illinois, in the Mississippi River opposite Davenport, Iowa.
  • Fort Atkinson -- was built in 1840 in what became Winneshiek County. It was only occupied by U.S. troops until 1846, when the troops assigned there went to fight in the Mexican War. It was officially abandoned in 1849 after the Winnebago Indians were removed from Iowa.
  • Fort Clarke -- the original name for Fort Dodge.
  • Fort Crawford -- was actually in Wisconsin, at Prairie du Chien, although one of its major purposes was the protection of Indians and settlers in Northeastern Iowa.
  • Fort Dodge -- was established in May of 1850 and abandoned in 1853. The post sutler purchased the military site and laid out the town of Fort Dodge in 1854.
  • Fort Madison -- was erected in 1804 on the bank of the Mississippi River at a point where the town of the same name now exist. It was the oldest American fort on the upper Mississippi River. The original fort was burned when the U.S. soldiers abandoned it. A replica was built in 1983 and now serves as a museum.

References

Encyclopedia of Indian Wars Western Battles and Skirmishes 1850-1890. By Gregory F. Michno. Mountain Press Publishing Co., Missoula, Montana C. 2003. ISBN 0-87842-468-7. At various libraries (WorldCat)

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

The following book contains information about Revolutionary War soldiers and their families:

  • Revolutionary War Soldiers and Patriots Buried in Iowa. (Marceline, Missouri.: Walsworth, 1978). {{FHL|171076|item|disp=FHL book 977.7 D3d}) At various libraries This book was compiled by the Abigail Adams Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Des Moines, Iowa. It contains birth, marriage, and death information about soldiers, their parents, children, and grandchildren. About 42 veterans are listed.

War of 1812 (1812-1815)

Old Fort Madison, built in 1808, Iowa

Iowa was not settled until after the War of 1812, but many men who fought in that war settled in Iowa. See United States Military Records for national indexes and records.

Explanation of the Major Record Types

  • Thomas A. Pearson, 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 a listing of 31 veterans of the War of 1812 who lived in Iowa in 1886, see pages 733–734 in the following book:

  • Iowa. Adjutant General’s Office. List of Ex-Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, Living in Iowa. (Des Moines, Iowa: G. E. Roberts, State Printer, 1886). FHL film 982150; book 977.7 M22ig At various libraries (WorldCat). This book lists men living in Iowa in 1886 who served in the War of 1812 and later wars. It also gives each man’s name, rank, state from which he served, and sometimes, the company or regiment in which he served.

Ruby Anderson Mertes. Men of Iowa who fought in the War of 1812 (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah 1988). FHL Collection At various libraries (WorldCat)

Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)

A roster of Iowa troops in the War with Mexico (including the Mormon Battalion), Indian campaigns, Civil War, Spanish-American War, and the Philippine War are found in:

  • Volume six of the "Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion: Together with Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations, 1861–1866". See Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers.

Black Hawk War (1832)

  • Wisconsin soldiers who served in the Black Hawk War (Wisconsin Historical Society) - Transcription of Wisconsin Muster Rolls from the Black Hawk War. Lists soldiers in the 18 companies of "Iowa" militia (i.e., Iowa Co, Michigan Territory), plus the Menominee and Potawatomie warriors and one militia company raised at Green Bay.

Early Records Beginning with 1837

For the earliest Iowa military records, beginning about 1837 with muster rolls and military post records, see the Territorial Papers of Iowa, 1838–1852, which is mentioned in the Iowa History.

Mexican War (1846-1848)

The book mentioned above, List of Ex-Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, Living in Iowa, (Des Moines, Iowa: G. E. Roberts, State Printer, 1886). FHL film 982150; book 977.7 M22ig) WorldCat 2234034. Pages 734–751, lists 34 men from Iowa who served in the War with Mexico and who were living in Iowa in 1886. Hundreds of men from other states who served in the war are also listed by the state from which they served. In addition, each man’s name, rank, regiment, company, and post office address are listed.

A roster of Iowa troops in the War with Mexico (including the Mormon Battalion), Indian campaigns, Civil War, Spanish-American War, and the Philippine War are found in:

  • Volume six of the "Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion: Together with Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations, 1861–1866". See Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers.


Mormon Battalion

  • United States. Record and Pension Office. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served during the Mexican War in Mormon Organizations. National Archives Microfilm Publications; M0351. (Washington, DC: National Archives, 1961). FHL films 471465 and 471517–18 These records are alphabetical by the name of the soldier and contain abstracts from company muster rolls and returns.
  • A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War, 1846–1847Daniel Tyler. A Concise History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War, 1846–1847. (Waynesboro, Virginia.: M R Books, 1964.) FHL film 928153 item 5; book 973 M2td
  • Carl V. Larson, comp. and ed. A Database of the Mormon Battalion: An Identification of the Original Members of the Mormon Battalion. (Providence, Utah: Keith W. Watkins and Sons, 1987). FHL film 1592751 item 5; book 973 M2Lar A second edition was published in 1997 FHL book 973 M2lar 1997. The soldiers are listed alphabetically, and the book provides birth date, birthplace, parents’ names, spouse’s name, marriage date, death date and place, place of burial, service records, pension records, and sometimes, physical description.
  • United States. Bureau of Pensions. Selected Pension Applications Files for Members of the Morman [sic] Battalion, Mexican War, 1846–48. (Washington, DC: National Archives and Record Service, 1934). (Family History LibraryFHL films 480129–49) The files are generally in alphabetical order.
General Samuel Curtis, ca. 1862

Civil War, 1861–1865

See Iowa in the Civil War for information about Iowa Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Iowa 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.

Spanish-American War (1898)

For published rosters of those who served in the Spanish-American War, see pages 275-782 in volume six of:

The "Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion: Together with Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations, 1861–1866". See Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers.

Philippine Insurrection (1899–1902)

For published rosters of those who served in the Spanish-American War, see pages 275-782 in volume six of:

The "Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion: Together with Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations, 1861–1866". See Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers.

World War I (1917-1918)

  • United States. Selective Service System. Iowa, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications; M1509. Washington, DC: The National Archives, 1987–1988. FHL film 1642846 (first of 96) These cards have been digitized and are searchable online. See WWI Draft Records for more information.

World War II (1941-1945)



Military Discharge Records, 1860s–1950s

The Family History Library has microfilms of county military discharge records for men and women who served in the Civil War and in later wars (to the 1950s). These records are filed by the county where the soldier took the discharge papers to be recorded. They usually give the soldier’s name, the town and state of birth, age or exact birth date, date and place of enlistment, occupation, extensive military service history and physical description.

Militia Records, 1860s–1900s

The Iowa Adjutant General’s Office kept lists of men between the ages of 18 and about 50 from each county, who were subject to military (militia) service. These lists began in the Civil War and continued into the early 1900s. The lists are available for each county and are often arranged by township. They contain names, ages, and sometimes occupations. The original lists are at the State Historical Society in Des Moines. Microfilm copies are at the Family History Library:

  • Iowa. Adjutant-General’s Office. Persons Subject to Military Duty, ca. 1862-1910. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978). FHL films 1024847(first of 94) The records are arranged by county and then by year.

For information on Iowa Veterans buried out of state, see the [[Iowa Cemeteries|Cemeteries" page.

National Guard Application Forms, 1870–1920

The Iowa Genealogical Society is preparing an index to National Guard application forms from 1872 to 1920. The forms contain the name of the National Guard member, birthplace, birth date or age, residence, and physical description. By the end of 1998 the index to names A–H had been completed. The society hopes to complete the index in 1999 or 2000. The original application forms are at the address below.

Location of Original Records

Records of Iowa soldiers who served in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I or the Iowa National Guard are at:

Iowa National Guard Records Center
7700 N. W. Beaver Drive
Johnston, IA 50131
Telephone: 515-252-4329

Copies of the records are at the State Historical Society in Des Moines.

Family History Library

Military records for Iowa are listed in the Locality Search of the The Family History Library Catalog under:

  • IOWA - MILITARY RECORDS
  • IOWA, [COUNTY] - MILITARY RECORDS

FamilySearch Historical Record Collections

An online collection containing this record in located in  FamilySearch.org

A wiki article describing this collection is found at:

United States, Mormon Battalion Pension Applicatons ((FamilySearch Historical Records)

References




 

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