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The U.S. Military Records Wiki article provides more information on federal military records and search strategies. Many military records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. The United States Wiki article provides more information about the federal records. For Oklahoma, the following sources are also very helpful.
Forts were authorized by the federal government, built to house and maintain the military who were to assist in maintaining peace by enforcing treaties and providing protection to settlers.
- Fort Arbuckle 1850-1858
- Fort Barron
- Fort Belknap
- Fort Cobb 1859
- Fort Davis--Civil War Fort
- Fort Gibson 1824 -- Textual records of this fort, 1825-1890, 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 1830-1857 portion of these records have been microfilmed as National Archives Microcopy M1466. These records (M1466) are also available through the Family History Library FHL Film: 1549507 (first film of 6)
- Fort McCulloch--Civil War Fort
- Cantonement on North Fork, Canadian River -- Textual records of this fort, 1879-1882, 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).
- Camp Radziminski 1858-59
- Fort Reno 1874-1908
- Fort Sill -- Textual records of this fort, 1875-1910, 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 Supply -- Textual records of this fort, 1868-1895, 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 Towson 1824
- Fort Washita 1842 -1865
- Fort Wayne--1838-1842
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
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:
- United States, Mexican War Pension Index, 1887-1926 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
- United States, Mexican War Pension Index, 1887-1926 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
- 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.
Civil War (1861-1865)
Two useful books concerning Union soldiers buried in Oklahoma are:
- Talkington, N. Dale. The Long Blue Line: Civil War Union Soldiers and Sailors Buried in Oklahoma. Houston, Texas: N. D. Talkington, 1999. (Family History Library book 976.6 V3tn; fiche 6003026.)
- Talkington, N. Dale and Deone K. Pearcy. Tributes of Blue: Obituaries of Civil War Union Soldiers and Sailors Buried in Oklahoma. Tehachapi, California: T. P. Productions, 1996. (Family History Library book 976.6 V4t; film 2055188, item 1.)
Pension records for Confederate veterans living in Oklahoma are at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries Archive website. The Family History Library has a copy of these records, arranged by application numbers (Family History Library films 1001530-48; index on film 1001529). A published index is:
Index to Applications for Pensions From the State of Oklahoma Submitted by Confederate Soldiers, Sailors and their Widows. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Oklahoma Genealogical Society, 1969. (Family History Library book 976.6 M24o; fiche 6046932.)
Civil War Pension Index Cards - An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. The majority of the records are of Civil War veterans, but the collection also includes records for veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Indian Wars, and World War I. For more information see Union Pension Records.
Confederate Army casualty lists for battles in Indian Territory are on the last portion of Family History Library film 1025138.
A special census was taken in 1890 of Union veterans of the Civil War (Family History Library film 338235). Several indexes to the returns have been published and are at the Family History Library.
For information on Indians who served on the side of the Confederacy, see:
Foreman, Grant. History of the Service and List of Individuals of the Five Civilized Tribes in the Confederate Army. 2 vols. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1948. (not at Family History Library.)
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.
- United States, General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (NARA T288). (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. The index covers veterans of the Civil War, Spanish‑American War, Philippine Insurrection, Boxer Rebellion (1900 to 1901), and the regular Army, Navy, and Marine forces. (Learn more.)
- United States, Index to Service Records, War with Spain, 1898 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
A history of Oklahoma's participation in the war is John Alley, “Oklahoma in the Spanish-American War,” in Chronicles of Oklahoma 20 (Mar 1942): 43-50 (see Oklahoma Periodicals). This includes brief sketches of some soldiers and a casualty list for battles in Cuba.
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.
- National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1509. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1987-1988. (On Family History Library films beginning with film number 1851604) Also available at:
- United States, World War One Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (FamilySearch) - free
See WWI Draft Records for more information.
- A published roster of soldiers who died in World War I is in W.M. Haulsee, et al, Soldiers of the Great War, 3 vols. Washington, D.C.: Soldiers Record Publishing Association, 1920. (Family History Library book 973 M23s; fiche 6051244.)
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.
- United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Image Browse) (FamilySearch) - free
- United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (images with partial index) (FamilySearch) - free
- Also available at:
The Oklahoma section of the book World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces is available at the National Archives website.
The State Summary of War Casualties from World War II for Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Personnel from: Oklahoma is also available at www.archives.gov. Note: "Casualties" include the wounded, not just those killed.
Biographical sketches of soldiers who died during World War II have been published in Chronicles of Oklahoma, volumes 21-27 (see Oklahoma Periodicals).
Additional biographical sketches of soldiers from Oklahoma are in volume 2 of A History of the Second World War: A Remembrance, An Appreciation, A Memorial. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Victory Publishing Co., 1946. (Family History Library book 973 H2sw; vol. 1 on film 1035575 item 7; vol. 2 on film 1035603 item 5.)
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.
Additional Military Sources
For further background information on Oklahoma's military history see:
Daugherty, Fred A. and Pendleton Woods. “Oklahoma's Military Tradition.” Chronicles of Oklahoma 57 (Winter, 1979-80): 427-45. (FHL book 976.6 B2c.)
Faulk, Odie B., Kenny A. Franks, and Paul F. Lambert, eds. Early Military Forts and Posts in Oklahoma. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1978. (Family History Library book 976.6 M2e; fiche 6088102.)
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