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Contents

Record Locations

Many military records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives. United States Military Records provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.

Archives in Wisconsin with holdings include:

  • Wisconsin Historical Society. The Archives Division has copies of draft records, muster rolls, state militia rosters, pension claims, and other materials.
  • Wisconsin Veterans Museum. The museum has letters, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, and other original papers and records from Wisconsin veterans and veteran organizations; recorded interviews with Wisconsin veterans from World War I through the present; and books, military manuals, newsletters, maps, posters, prints, and other published materials focusing on Wisconsin and American military history.
Wisconsin Veterans Museum
30 W Mifflin Street
Madison, WI 53703
Telephone: (608) 267-1799
Website: Wisconsin Veterans Museum
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs. This department has restricted records for World War I and later wars. It also has a file of grave registrations.
Department of Veteran Affairs
201 W. Washington Ave.
PO Box 7843
Madison, WI 53707
Telephone: 800-WIS-VETS (947-8387)
Website: http://dva.state.wi.us/
  • Department of Military Affairs. This department has records pertaining to the National Guard in Wisconsin, primarily for the 1900s
Department of Military Affairs
2400 Wright St.
Madison, WI 53708
Telephone: (800) 335-5147 or (608) 242-3000
Website: Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs

Forts

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.

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

  • White, Virgil D. Genealogical Abstracts of Revolutionary War Pension Files. 4 vols. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing Co., 1990–1992. (Family History Library book 973 M28g.) Volume four is an every-name index to volumes one to three. These volumes contain detailed abstracts with names, dates, and places mentioned in the Revolutionary War Pension files.
  • Revolutionary War Veterans, 1775–1784, Buried in Wisconsin. Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975. This is a microfilm of a typescript. (Family History Library film 940199 item 9.) This lists 43 Revolutionary War soldiers and the states from which they came to Wisconsin.

See United States Military Records for DAR and SAR indexes, available at the Family History Library, to cemetery records of Revolutionary War soldiers.

War of 1812 (1812-1815)

The War of 1812 between Britain and the United States confirmed the separate existence of the United States and the future Canada.

There are nationwide records for soldiers of the War of 1812. For more information, see United States in the War of 1812.

Federal Records

Information about many Wisconsin soldiers can be found in federal records. See United States in the War of 1812 for links to databases and lists of many other War of 1812 records. Be sure to also check the list of record types, such as Pensions, on the left.

Explanation of the Major Record Types

  • Pearson, Thomas A., 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).

Pension Records

  • War of 1812 Pensioners in Wisconsin, 1883 (Free). Abstracted from the U.S. Pension Bureau's List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883, volume IV. Allen County Public Library has this online database searchable by name. Includes veterans and widows.
  • Hetzel, Bev. List of soldiers of the War of 1812 living in Wisconsin before 1883 (Salt Lake City, Utah:  Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1998) FHL Collection

Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)

Winnebago War (1827)

  • Wisconsin soldiers who served in the Winnebago War (Wisconsin Historical Society) - Transcription of Wisconsin Muster Rolls from the Winnebago War. Lists Prairie du Chien and Green Bay militia units along with Menominee, Stockbridge and Oneida Indians that served.

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.

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.

  • United States. Adjutant General’s Office. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served during the Mexican War in Organizations from the State of Tennessee. Washington D.C.: National Archives, 1965. FHL films 882797-882811. This includes regimental returns, a record of events during the war, and company muster rolls.
  • 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.

You may wish to search records of soldiers and widows of the Mexican War, 1846–1848. For example, the following index is available:

  • White, Virgil D. Index to Mexican War Pension Files. Waynesboro, Tennessee: The National Historical Publishing Co., 1989. (Family History Library book 973 M22mw.)

Click on these links to learn more about the Mexican War and about Mexican War pension records.

Civil War (1861 to 1865)

Union General Lysander Cutler (1807-1866)
See Wisconsin in the Civil War for information about Wisconsin Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Wisconsin 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 Database 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.

World War I (1917-1918)

  • A published roster of soldiers who died during the war, arranged by branch of service and by county, is John Goodby Gregory, ed., Wisconsin's Gold Star List: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Nurses from the Badger State. . . . (Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1925; Family History Library film 1000801; film 924401 item 2; fiche 6051352).
  • United States. Selective Service System. Wisconsin, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1987–1988. (On Family History Library films beginning with film 1685061) These cards have been digitized and are searchable online. See WWI Draft Records for more information.

World War II (1941-1945)

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.


 

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