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Military records identify millions of individuals who served in the military or who were eligible for service. Evidence that an ancestor actually served may be found in family traditions, census records, naturalization records, biographies, cemetery records, and records of veterans’ organizations. Military records can give birth dates, marriage dates, death dates, spouse’s and children’s names, and localities of residence throughout the life of the family.
Many military records are available at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and the Indiana State Archives in Indianapolis. The United States Military Records Wiki article provides more information on the federal records and search strategies.
A helpful source for pre-1850 military records is:
A list of many Indiana forts and camps is found at the American Forts East website. A brief description is given for each location.
- Fort Aikman, Fort Ballore, Beck's Fort, Black Hawk Fort, Fort Boyd, Fort Butler, Fort Branch, Buchanan's Fort, Fort Callore, Fort Clark, Fort Conner, Fort Coleman, Fort Farris, Fort Finney 1786-93, Guthrie Fort, Fort Finney, Fort Gramham,
- Fort Haddon
- Fort Hawkins
- Fort Holden,
- Hough's Fort
- Military Command and Post of Indianapolis -- Textual records of this fort, 1861-1867, 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 Jones
- Fort Harrison 1811-18
- Ketcham's Fort
- Fort Knox See Fort Vincennes
- Fort Ledgerwood
- Fort Lett
- Lick's Fort
- Fort Lisman
- Fort Palmer was actually a fort in Pennsylvania which was a place of refuge in colonial times for Indiana citizens.
- Fort Vincennes. The area of Fort Vincennes rebuilt several times and was known as Fort Patrick Henry, Fort Sackville, and Fort Knox.
- Fort Wayne was built on the site of the earlier Fort Miami.
- Fort McDonald, Maxwell's Fort, Fort Recovery 1793-96, Fort Quiatenon, Fort Thurman, Fort Valonia, White Oak Springs Fort (Pride's Fort),
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
The Revolutionary War was fought before Indiana became a territory in 1800. Many veterans of the war came to Indiana. There are many nationwide indexes of Revolutionary War soldiers. For information about these indexes, see the United States Military Records Wiki article, "Revolutionary War" section.
For a master index of Indiana Revolutionary War soldiers see:
- Wolfe, Barbara Schull. Index to Revolutionary Soldiers of Indiana and Other Patriots. Indianapolis, Indiana: Ye Olde Genealogie Shoppe, 1983. (Family History Library book 977.2 M22w) This indexes most of the volumes listed below as well as many other sources.
For lists of soldiers see:
- O’Byrne, Estella C. Roster of Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Indiana. 1938. Reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. (Family History Library book 977.2 M2o 1968; film 873911 item1). Shows birth, marriage, and death information for 1,394 soldiers and patriots. The spouse and children are usually listed. For a soldier index including wives and children see:
- Waters, Margaret R. Index to Roster of Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Indiana, Indiana D.A.R., 1938. N.p.: M. R. Waters, 1958. (Family History Library book 977.2 M2o Index)
- O’Byrne, Estella C. Roster of Soldiers and Patriots of the American Revolution Buried in Indiana. Brookville, Indiana: Indiana D.A.R., 1966. (Family History Library book 977.2 M2o vol.2; film 1035773 item 7). This is a supplement to O’Byrne’s book mentioned above and includes information concerning 350 soldiers whose names are not given in volume one. It also provides additional information on about 130 soldiers who are listed in volume one.
- Miller, Marion H. Source Book for Patriots Buried in Indiana. Indianapolis: Indiana Society D.A.R., 1990. (Family History Library book 977.2 M2m) This lists about 400 additional soldiers not listed in the two books above and gives the name of the soldier, his spouse and children, with birth, marriage, death, and service information.
- Waters, Margaret Ruth. Revolutionary Soldiers Buried in Indiana (1949), With Supplement (1954). Reprint, Two volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1970. (Family History Library book 977.2 M2w; film 1428707 item 4; fiche 6046585.) This book lists about 300 soldiers who are not mentioned in O’Byrne’s two books above. It contains the soldier’s birth and death date and place, proof of his service, and the names of his children, if known.
- Indiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Register for Nineteen Hundred and Eight with Roll of Members and Their Revolutionary Ancestors and Other Information of Interest to the Society
- Register of Members of the Society of Sons of the Revolution in the Commonweath of Indiana (1899)
The following are online databases for members of the Indiana Genealogical Society:
- Revolutionary War Veterans Living in Indiana Who Received Pensions (1828, 1835, 1839)
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 Indiana, which includes Revolutionary War pensioners and heirs of War of 1812 casualties, is available online:
- Report from the Secretary of War... Vol. III (Google Books)
- The Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. IV (Ancestry) ($)
War of 1812 (1812-1815)
See the Wiki article,Indiana Territory in the War of 1812, for information concerning military records, histories, links to relevant web sites, etc. for Indiana.
There are helpful nationwide records for soldiers of the War of 1812. For more information, see United States in the War of 1812.
Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)
Black Hawk War (1832)
Loftus, Carrie. Indiana Militia in the Black Hawk War. [San Antonio, Texas: Frances T. Ingmire, 1986?] (Family History Library book 977.2 A1 no.196) This provides an alphabetical list of soldiers who served in the militia, including the soldier’s name, rank, and regiment.
Indiana Black Hawk War Militia Index, 1832. This index is found only at the Indiana State Archives. It is not at the Family History Library. It gives the soldier’s name, rank, unit, term of enlistment, and by whom he was enlisted. Several microfilmed indexes are available:
Index to Volunteer Soldiers in Indian Wars and Disturbances, 1815–1858. (Family History Library) See the U.S. Military Records Wiki article for the full citation.
Index to Indian Wars Pension Files, 1892–1926. See the U.S. Military Records Wiki article for the full citation.
Mexican War (1846-1848)
The Indiana State Archives and the Family History Library have the following card index:
Index to Indiana Volunteers in the Mexican War. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988. (Family History Library film 1556874). The cards include the soldier’s name, regiment, length of service, when and where he was enrolled and mustered, his age, physical description, and when and where he was discharged and mustered out.
A published list with company rosters is found in:
Perry, Oran. Indiana in the Mexican War. Washington, DC: Library of Congress Photoduplication Service, 1977. (Family History Library film 1550627) This provides the soldier’s name, rank, mustering into and out of service (when, where, and by whom), death date, list of desertions, discharge date, and transfers. The soldiers are listed by regiment, company, and then sometimes alphabetically by name. At the end there is an index of events relating to the companies, but it does not include the names of soldiers.
A nationwide pension index is available on microfilm from the National Archives and the Family History Library:
Index to Mexican War Pension Files, 1887–1926. See the United States Military Records Wiki article for a full citation.
- A Hoosier in the Mexican War by Lew Wallace, who served in both the Mexican War and the Civil War and later wrote Ben Hur
The following are online databases available to members of the Indiana Genealogical Society:
- Roster of Indiana's Volunteer Regiments in Mexican War (1846-1848)
- Indiana's Mexican War Veterans at National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (1904)
Civil War (1861–1865)Indiana in the Civil War for information about Indiana Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Indiana 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 the families of the soldiers.
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.
The Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne has the "Index to Compiled Service Records" for Indiana Union soldiers. The "General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934" is available on microfilm in The Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne and the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis.
The Indiana State Archives in Indianapolis has several unique resources pertaining to the Civil War, including:
- Governor Oliver P. Morton Collection - Governor Morton was an active governor during the Civil War. This collection includes correspondence with President Abraham Lincoln and Gen. Ulysses Grant, as well as reports from soldiers.
- Adjutant Generals' Records - This collection includes an index to Indiana Civil War muster rolls, hospital records and registers for specific regiments, quartermasters' records regarding the issuance of supplies and ordnance, Indiana Legion (state militia) muster rolls and correspondence, 1862 draft records for white males ages 18 to 45, and regimental correspondence for Indiana units, including the 28th United States Colored Troops.
- Veterans' Records - Enrollment of soldiers, widows and orphans for 1886, 1890 and 1894, including an 1886 alphabetical card index. The lists for 1890 and 1894 are arranged by county and township. This collection also includes more than 10,000 files dating from 1896 to 1964 for the Indiana Veterans Home opened in Lafayette in 1896. This material soon will be available in a database online.
- Material and records for the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home.
- Camp Morton Collection - Camp Morton was a Civil War prison for captured Confederate soldiers. The Indiana State Archives has a small collection of letters from prisoners to Gov. Morton asking for release.
- Morgan's Raid Claims - Claims to the state for damages incurred during Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan's 1863 raid into southern Indiana.
Records of the 28th United States Colored Troops, the unit in which the majority of Indiana's African American soldiers served, are available at the subscription website Fold3.com.
The following are free online databases provided by the Indiana Genealogical Society:
- Indiana's Civil War Soldiers Buried in Crawford County, Pennsylvania
- Roster of Company G, 31st Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Ancestors of Members of Society of Civil War Families of Indiana
The following are online databases for members of the Indiana Genealogical Society:
- Indiana's Civil War Soliders Buried in Alexandria (Louisana) National Cemetery
- Indiana's Civil War Soldiers Buried in Fayetteville (Arkansas) National Cemetery
- Indiana's Civil War Soldiers Buried in Fredericksburg (Virginia) National Cemetery
- Indiana's Civil War Soldiers Buried in Green Lawn (Ohio) National Cemetery
- Indiana's Civil War Soldiers Buried in Hampton (Virginia) National Cemetery
- Indiana's Civil War Soldiers Buried in Mobile (Alabama) National Cemetery
- Indiana's Civil War Veterans with Artificial Limbs (1863-1866)
- Indiana's African American Soldiers in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 17th Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 1st Indiana Battery in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 1st Indiana Calvary in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 2nd Indiana Battery in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 31st Indiana Infantry in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 33rd Indiana Infantry in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 51st Indiana Veteran Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 57th Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 70th Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 79th Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 7th Indiana Infantry in the Civil War (1861-1865)
- Roster of 86th Indiana Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War (1861-1865)
Indiana Militia Records
For the period between the Civil War and the Spanish-American War, the Indiana State Militia was active. Records for 1872 to 1896 are available from the Indiana State Archives. Indiana Archives and Libraries has the address. These records are not available at the Family History Library.
Spanish-American War (1898)
See the United States Military Records Wiki article for nationwide indexes.
For Indiana, the following published record is available:
Record of Indiana Volunteers in the Spanish-American War, 1898–1899. Indianapolis, Indiana: W. B. Burford, 1900. (Family History Library film 1033588 item 3) (Google Books) (Ancestry)-($). This book contains the names of soldiers, with their rank, residence, date of enlistment in 1898, and remarks, such as date mustered out or date of death. Pages 363–64 list those who died in 1898 during or following the war. The book is not indexed, but is arranged by regiment, then company, and then sometimes alphabetically by name.
The Indiana State Archives has Spanish-American War volunteer records.
- Our Gallant Volunteers: 28th Light Battery Indiana Volunteers (roster and photo)
The following are online databases for members of the Indiana Genealogical Society:
- Roster of Indiana's Volunteer Regiments in the Spanish-American War (1898)
- Spanish-American War Veterans Who Died in Indiana (1944-1945)
World War I (1917-1918)
Indiana World War I Deaths. Database on the ACPL Genealogy Center's website.
- World War I Indiana Enrollment Cards, 1919. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. (On 35 Family History Library films beginning with 1674855). These enrollment cards were prepared in 1919, and are arranged alphabetically for the entire state. They were filmed at the Indiana State Archives. These records provide the soldier’s name, army serial number, race, residence, city of birth, birth date or age, city and date of induction, organizations served in, grades in service, engagements, wounds or other injuries received in action, dates of overseas service, discharge or demobilization date, and percent disabled on date of discharge.
- World War I Armed Forces Enrollment, U.S. Navy, Indiana, 1917–1918. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1992. (On five Family History Library films beginning with 1831961.) The file cards include name, service number, place enlisted, date enlisted, age at entrance, service history, rank, discharge date and place, and home address.
Nurses Enrollment Cards:
World War I , Indiana. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah. 1991. (Family History Library film 1683687.) This card file is arranged in alphabetical order by surname, given name, residence, birth date and place, appointment date to nurse, promotions, organizations and staff assignments, engagements, wounds received, overseas service, remarks, and date of discharge.
Draft Registration Cards
United States. Selective Service System. Indiana, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1509. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1987-1988. (On 115 Family History Library films, beginning with 1439777.) These cards have been digitized and are searchable online. See WWI Draft Records for more information.
For a list of solders who died in World War I, see:
Gold Star Honor Roll: A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in the Service of the United States and the Allied Nations in the World War, 1914–1918. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1990. (Family History Library film 1673274 item 3.) This contains a photograph and brief biographical sketch of each person, giving name of parents, birthplace, occupation, service record, death date and place, and burial place. These records are at the Indiana State Archives. There is a full name index at the end of the film.
Many recruits for the Polish Army in France were enlisted during 1917 to 1918 in Indiana and other states with large Polish populations. A record of these enlistments is found in:
World War II (1941–1945)
The following databases are for members of the Indiana Genealogical Society:
- Indianapolis Water Company Employees Serving in World War II (1940-1945)
- Public Service Company of Indiana Employees Serving in World War II (1943, 1944)
Korean Conflict (1950–1953)
Ancestry.com has two databases for the Korean War:
Vietnam War (1961 to 1973)
The State of Indiana, Vietnam Casualties List by County: List of Names Reported From January 1, 1961 through March 31, 1973. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1985. (Family History Library film 1428710 item3 ) This also includes a list of deaths due to causes other than war.
For a bibliography of books about Indiana military and pension records, see: Miller, Carolynne L. Indiana Sources for Genealogical Research in the Indiana State Library described in Indiana Archives and Libraries.
Indiana Soldiers Who Died in the Vietnam War (members only database, Indiana Genealogical Society)
Military and veterans records pertaining to Indiana are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
- INDIANA- MILITARY RECORDS
- INDIANA- MILITARY RECORDS- [WAR OF...]
- INDIANA, [COUNTY] - MILITARY RECORDS
- INDIANA, [COUNTY] - SOCIETIES
Other Military Resources
- Veterans at Soldiers Home, Marion, Indiana (1890) (free, Indiana Genealogical Society)
- Indiana Civilians in Training Course at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis (1925) (members only database, Indiana Genealogical Society)
- Veterans at Indiana State Soldiers Home, Lafayette (1902 and 1906) (members only database, Indiana Genealogical Society)
- Veterans Who Died at Indiana State Soldiers Home, Lafayette (1901-1902, 1905-1906, 1908-1909, 1910-1911, 1914-1915) (members only database, Indiana Genealogical Society)
- 1890 Soldiers Enrollment Lists are available on CD for 85 Indiana Counties through the Indiana Genealogical Society.