Arkansas Military Records
- 1 Forts
- 2 Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
- 3 War of 1812 (1812-1815)
- 4 Mexican War (1846-1848)
- 5 Civil War (1861-1865)
- 6 Spanish-American War (1898)
- 7 World War I (1917-1918)
- 8 World War II (1941-1945)
- 9 Korean War (1950–1953)
- 10 Vietnam War (1964–1972)
- 11 Online Resources
Military records identify millions of young men 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 and children names, localities of residence throughout the life of the family. Many military records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal and state archives.
For each war listed below, additional federal sources are listed in United States Military Records. It contains search strategies and information to guide you to the best records for your objective.
- Arkansas Post -- Established by the French in 1686. In 1768 the post was transferred to Spain and the name was changed to Fort San Carlos.
- Fort Hindman--Established by the Confederacy; taken by the Union army January 11, 1863.
- Fort Logan H. Roots--First garrisoned in 1896.
- Little Rock Barracks -- Textual records of this post, 1864-1890, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920. (Family History Library book 973 M23) under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
- Fort Minor-- Civil War Fort
- Fort Pinney--Civil War Fort
- Fort Smith-- Established December 1, 1817.
- Post of Washington -- Textual records of this post, 1867-1869, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920. FHL book 973 M23gp under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).
- Fort wiki(Arkansas) - lists of United States forts
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Some veterans of the Revolutionary War ventured out into Arkansas.
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, 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. III (Ancestry) ($)
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. Arkansas was part of the Missouri Territory during the war. Since it did not became its own territory until 1819, all War of 1812 records for that area were kept by the Missouri Territory.
After the war, veterans started moving to the Missouri and Arkansas Territories because of bounty land.
There are helpful nationwide records for soldiers of the War of 1812. For more information, see United States in the War of 1812.
- Ayers, Linda. Arkansas. Some Military Land Grants For Soldiers of the War of 1812. (Free). The USGenWeb Archives War of 1812 Project - Pensions, Rosters and Land Grants. Search by name under the county. (Accessed 11 May 2012).
- Bounty land in Arkansas, Illinois, and Missouri was issued to soldiers who served in the War of 1812. Copies of the bounty land warrants are on 15 films at the Family History Library. The names of Arkansas patentees are indexed in "War of 1812, military bounty land warrants, 1815-1858" (NARA M848) FHL films 983163-77 (Worldcat). The records provide the name of the soldier and his rank, unit, date of warrant, and the date the land was located.
- Christensen, Katheren, comp. Arkansas Military Bounty Grants (War of 1812). Has a list of 6,600 grantees, arranged by county name. FHL book 976.7 R2c (Worldcat)
Explanation of the Major War of 1812 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).
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.
- Campbell, William B. Mexican War Letters of Col. William Bowen Campbell of Tennessee, Written to Governor David Campbell of Virginia, 1846-1847. Nashville, Tenn.: Tennessee Historical Magazine, 1915. Free digital copy.
- Furber, George C. The Twelve Months Volunteer; or, Journal of a Private in the Tennessee Regiment of Cavalry, in the Campaign in Mexico, 1846-7. Cincinnati, Ohio: J.A.U.P. James, 1849. Free digital copy.
- 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)
See Arkansas in the Civil War for information about Arkansas Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Arkansas 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.
Wiki articles describing these collections are found at:
- Arkansas, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Arkansas, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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 "General Index to Pension Files, 1861–1934". 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.)
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.
- United States, World War One Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (FamilySearch) - free
United States World War I Draft Records provides additional information.
United States. Selective Service System. Arkansas, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1509. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1987-1988. FHL film with 1522740 (first of 71 films). These cards have been digitized and are searchable online. See WWI Draft Records for more information.
World War II (1941-1945)
On April 27, 1942, the Selective Service conducted the fourth of six draft registrations. 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 Selective Service System. Arkansas Selective Service System Registration Cards [World War II]: Fourth Registration. (Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2001-2002). FHL film 2139687 (first of 75 films)
Also available at:
- 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
- Ancestry ($)
- Fold3 ($).
Additional information available at:
- [[World War II United States Military Records, 1941 to 1945|World War II United States Military Records
- Arkansas, First Registration Draft Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Arkansas, Second Registration Draft Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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.
- Ancestry - pay site
- Arkansas, Edward G. Gerdes Civil War Home Page
- Arkansas Civil War Regiments, Rosters and Muster rolls - Access Genealogy
- USGenWeb Pensions Project, Arkansas - Civil War
- Civil War Buff, The Civil War in Arkansas
- The War to End All Wars: Arkansas Fights World War I - ARK Military Heritage
- World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel from: Arkansas - NARA
- Arkansas World War II Casualties Army and Air Force - Access Genealogy