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WVRHC Subject Guides: Military Records

General/Multiple Conflicts

The Early Virginia Court Records includes various pieces of the military history of West Virginia before statehood as well as Confederate material from the Civil War, in addition to deeds, will, land surveys, etc. Military records include: Virginia State Land Office Records (Index and Books of the French and Indian War, Military Certificates Books 1782-1876); Revolutionary War Public Service Claims, Bounty Warrants, Pensions, and Rejected Claims; War of 1812 Muster Rolls of the Militia; State of Virginia records (Confederate Service Records of Virginia Soldiers, Index to Confederate Navy A-Z); and more.

Fold3 includes historical documents collections relating to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, and more.

Reports of the Adjutant General of the State of West Virginia (usually issued annually or biennially, title varies over time--we have these reports from 1863-1988). Some of these have been scanned and are available via the Internet Archive.

Virgil A. Lewis. "The Soldiery of West Virginia." West Virginia Department of Archives and History, Third Biennial Report (1908-1910) (Reprinted: Baltimore, 1967 and 1972.)

American Revolutionary War

H.J. Eckenrode, List of the Revolutionary Soldiers of Virginia. (Virginia State Library, Annual Reports 1910/11 and 1911/12.)

John H. Gwathmey, Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution: Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, 1775-1783. (Richmond, Dietz Press, 1938. Reprinted: Baltimore, 1973.)

Ross B. Johnston, West Virginians in the American Revolution. (Parkersburg, 1959. Reprinted: Baltimore, 1973.)

Lucy Kate McGhee, Virginia Pension Abstracts of the Wars of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Indian Wars. (Washington, D.C., 1957-1966. 35 Volumes.)

War of 1812

A&M 808, War of 1812 Militia Records. Copies of regimental rosters and pension lists of Virginia militia from Monongalia County in the Revolutionary War showing name, rank, and amount received; and copies of regimental rosters of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania militia in the War of 1812. Only names and ranks are shown.

Pay Rolls of [Virginia] Militia Entitled to Land Bounty Under the Act of Congress of September 28, 1850. (Richmond, 1851.)

Muster Rolls of the Virginia Militia in the War of 1812, Being a Supplement to the Pay Rolls. (Richmond, 1852.)

Mexican-American War

Muster Rolls of the Virginia Militia in the War of 1812, Being a Supplement to the Pay Rolls. (Richmond, 1852. Pages 57 to 78 are rosters of companies in the Mexican-American War.)

World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam

West Virginia. Adjutant General's Office. West Virginia: Revised List of Deceased Soldiers, World War, January 1, 1922. (Charleston, 1922.)

A&M 109. West Virginia War History Commission. World War II Records. Records of the West Virginia War History Commission and the state, local, and national branches of the Office of Civilian Defense. Material within this collection documents civilian activities on the homefront during World War II in the state of West Virginia. The collection contains correspondence, publications, pamphlets, maps, posters, newspapers and clippings, radio scripts, and other material. The collection also contains 19 reels of microfilm regarding the Monongalia Office of Civilian Defense.

Young American Patriots: The Youth of West Virginia in World War II. (Richmond, Va: National Pub. Co., 1946.)

West Virginia. Department of Veterans Affairs. Korean Conflict Casualty List: Army, Air Corps, Navy, Marine Corps, March 1, 1962. (Charleston, 1962.)

List of Casualties Incurred by U.S. Military Personnel in Connection with the Conflict in Viet-nam, by Home State of Record: West Virginia. (no publisher, 1972?.)

For additional print sources, consult Harold M. Forbes' West Virginia History: A Bibliography and Guide to Research , checking the index and the sections on "Military History" for the appropriate military conflict.

Civil War

Interested in a specific soldier who fought for the Union? You can take a look at our Adjutant General Index--each soldier who appears in the 1864 and 1865 Reports of the Adjutant General has an index card with name, unit, and other information, including the page on which his name was found in the reports. Once you find the soldier you are looking for, you can look up his service record in A&M 3059.

A&M 3059. Union Volunteers of West Virginia Regiments, Civil War Service Records. (this collection is on microfilm) Records are arranged according to an organizational breakdown ending with the regiment or the independent company. Under each unit, the service records are arranged alphabetically by soldiers' surnames.

A&M 3057. U.S. 1st-6th Volunteer Infantry (Ex-Confederates), Civil War Service Records. (this collection is on microfilm) The compiled service records of Confederate prisoners of war who were released from prison camps upon signing a loyalty oath and volunteering for service in the Union Army. The records are arranged by regiment number and thereunder alphabetically by soldier's surname.

A&M 1194. Myers, Clifford, Compiler, West Virginia Civil War Military Records. (this collection is on microfilm) Military records compiled by Clifford Myers, state historian, lists West Virginia Confederate soldiers by home county and by infantry or cavalry regiment. These records also include a list of West Virginia Confederate soldiers in the 31st Virginia Regiment; the record and roll of Company "G," 10th Virginia Cavalry, Confederate; and a roster of West Virginia Union soldiers who were awarded service medals. See also A&M 3981, Virginia 10th Cavalry, Company G. Record and Roll.

Clarysville Civil War Hospital Digital Collection features scanned images of hundreds of hospital bed cards from the U.S. General Hospital located at Clarysville, Maryland during the American Civil War.

Civil War: Antebellum to Reconstruction, 1843-1877 Contains primary source documents for research into the American Civil War, including more than 150 newspapers, 50,000 government documents and 4,000 rare broadsides and pieces of ephemera. Not west Virginia focused, but includes resources related to the state.

American Civil War: Letters and Diaries Database Contains primary sources including diaries, letters, and memoirs to provide access to views on almost every aspect of the war, including what was happening at home. Not west Virginia focused, but includes resources related to the state.

Civil War Military Camp Newspapers—some are currently have available on Chronicling America, some are currently being digitized, and others are available as hard copies:

Digitized copies available on Chronicling America:

  • American Union (Union), 1861, Martinsburg, [West] Virginia
  • Guerilla (Confederate) 1862, Charleston, [West] Virginia
  • Knapsack (Union) 1863, Gauley Bridge, [West] Virginia
  • Old Flag (Union) 1869, Philippi, [West] Virginia

Available as hard copies:

  • Swamp Angel (Union) 1864, Morris Island, SC.

Charles Shetler. West Virginia Civil War Literature: An Annotated Bibliography. (Morgantown: West Virginia University Library, 1963.)

Harold M. Forbes. West Virginia History: A Bibliography and Guide to Research . (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 1981; also available online.) [See the sections on"Military History: The Civil War" and "Statehood Movement"]

Several books of general histories provide good introductions to the Civil War in West Virginia:

Stan Cohen. The Civil War in West Virginia: A Pictorial History. (Charleston: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1982.)

Stan B. Cohen. A Pictorial Guide to West Virginia's Civil War Sites and Related Information. (Charleston: Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1990.)

George E. Moore. A Banner in the Hills: West Virginia's Statehood. (New York: Appleton, Century, Crofts, 1963.)

Boyd B. Stutler. West Virginia in the Civil War. 2nd edition. (Charleston: Education Foundation, 1966.)

Theodore F. Lang. Loyal West Virginia from 1861 to 1865. (Baltimore: Deutsch Publishing Co., 1895; Reprinted, 1998.)

Jack L. Dickinson. Tattered Uniforms and Bright Bayonets: West Virginia's Confederate Soldiers. (Huntington: Marshall University Library Associates, 1995.)

Additional A&M collections:

Civil War Song Sheet "Nicholas Blues"