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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

Many military records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives and its regional centers, and state archives. United States Military Records provides more information about the federal records. For Montana the following sources are helpful.

Civil War

A special census was taken in 1890 of Union veterans of the Civil War. Copies of the returns for Montana residents are at the Family History Library (Family History Library film 338194). A published index is also available.

Compiled Service Records - The Compiled Service Records ($) ( of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the Territory of Dakota are available online. In the future, these records will be made available at no charge through the National Archives web site. The service records are also available at no charge at National Archives research rooms. The compiled service records consist of an envelope containing card abstracts taken from muster rolls, returns, pay vouchers, and other records. Service records may provide rank, unit, date of enlistment, length of service, age, place of birth, and date of death. For more information see Union Service Records.

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.

Indian Wars

Historical sketches of army posts are available at the Family History Library (Family History Library film 1025168) and the National Archives and its regional centers. You can also find historical sketches in local histories. The Family History Library also has microfilm copies of the service and pension indexes for the many Indian conflicts. The actual records are available only at the National Archives.

Published sources about the soldiers who died at the Battle of the Little Big Horn are available. Military histories of the officers and enlisted men are in:

World War I (1917 to 1918)

The Montana Historical SocietyArchives has some records created by the Montana Department of Military Affairs, including original service records for the world wars. They also have enlistment records for the Montana National Guard from 1905 through about 1920.

World War I draft registration cards for men age 18 to 45 may list address, birth date, birthplace, race, nationality, citizenship, and next of kin. Not all registrants served in the war. For registration cards for Montana, see:

  • United States. Selective Service System. Montana. 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 film number 1684099.)

To find an individual's draft card, it helps to know his name and residence at the time of registration. The cards are arranged alphabetically by county, within the county by draft board, and then alphabetically by surname within each draft board.

Most counties had only one board; large cities had several. A map showing the boundaries of individual draft boards is available for most large cities. Finding an ancestor's street address in a city directory will help you in using the draft board map. There is an alphabetical list of cities that are on the map. For a copy of this map see:

  • United States. Selective Service System. List of World War One Draft Board Maps. Washington, DC: National Archives. (Family History Library film 1498803.) These maps cover the years 1917 to 1918.

WWI draft cards are online at ($)

Web sites

See the Supplemental Information section of the United States Military Records for additional information.


Montana. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department, 1998, 2001.  (NOTE: All of the information from the original research article has been imported into this Wiki site and is being updated as time permits.)


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