Minnesota Military Records

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United States Military Online Genealogy Records provides more links for nationwide military record collections. 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 (or legends), census records, naturalization records, biographies, cemetery records, and records of veterans’ organizations.

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

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Forts[edit | edit source]

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.


Encyclopedia of Indian Wars Western Battles and Skirmishes 1850-1890. By Gregory F. Michno. Mountain Press Publishing Co., Missoula, Montana C. 2003 ISBN 0-887842-468-7

War of 1812 (1812-1815)[edit | edit source]

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

See the Wiki article, Minnesota in the War of 1812, for information concerning military records, histories, links to relevant web sites, etc. for Minnesota.

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

Although Minnesota did not exist as a state during the War of 1812, records exist for War of 1812 veterans that later settled in Minnesota.

Explanation of the Major Record Types[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • Pensioners on the roll (living in Minnesota) as of 1 January 1883 : with every name index (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota: Park Genealogical Books, 1994) pages 83 FHL Book 977.6 M2

Burial Records[edit | edit source]

  • Finnell, Arthur Louis. Known War of 1812 Veterans Buried in Minnesota. Roseville, Minnesota: Park Genealogical Books, 1997 (FHL book 977.6 V3f.) Includes the name, place of birth and death, name of spouse, and where married. Also includes the soldier’s service record with dates and his residence at time of death.

Mexican War (1846-1848)[edit | edit source]

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.

  • 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.

Although Minnesota did not exist as a state during the time of the Mexican War, men who served in that war were eligible for military bounty land in Minnesota. (See Minnesota Land and Property.)

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

Civil War (1861–1865)[edit | edit source]

See Minnesota in the Civil War for information about Minnesota Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the Minnesota 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.

Soldiers' Home Records[edit | edit source]

Records of the state operated soldiers' home in Minneapolis are found in the Minnesota State Historical Society Library. They include resident admission and discharge records, history of residents’ military service, and clinical records.

Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)[edit | edit source]

Dakota Conflict (Sioux Uprising, 1862)

The Dakota Conflict, sometimes called the Sioux Uprising or Sioux War of 1862, erupted in Minnesota during the Civil War. Driven by hunger and broken promises, some Dakota Indians attacked settlements in the Minnesota River Valley in mid-August 1862. Although not long, the Dakota Conflict claimed the lives of hundreds of Dakota people and white settlers. The unrest that persisted following the conflict caused many Dakota Indians to flee to the Dakota Territory or to Canada.

Records of troops in federal service who took part in the Dakota Conflict are included with Civil War records. Names of those who served with local militia units are included as an appendix to Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861–1865, volume 1, described above. Names of more than 200 white settlers and many Indians who died in the Dakota Conflict are included in:

Spanish-American War (1898)[edit | edit source]

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.


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. (How to use this collection.)

Minnesota raised four volunteer regiments for service in the Spanish-American War. About 5,000 men served with those regiments. Four Minnesota soldiers were killed in action; more than 80 died of disease.

Rosters of those who served are included in:

  • Holbrook, Franklin F. Minnesota in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota War Records Commission, 1923. (Family History Library film 1654701.) Includes brief regimental histories of the Minnesota volunteer units, followed by rosters of Minnesotans who served between 1898 and 1902 in those units and in other branches of service—more than 8,000 names. Information includes name, age, birthplace, residence, regiment, and dates mustered in and out. Includes an index to names in the rosters and a general index.

Click on the link to learn more about the Spanish American War.

Philippine Insurrection (1899–1902)[edit | edit source]

Minnesota was one of a few states that provided volunteers during the Philippine Insurrection. Rosters of those who served are included in:

Names of those who filed for pensions based on service are included in the General Index to Pension Files, 1861–1934, described in United States Military Records.

World War I (1917-1918)[edit | edit source]

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 I Draft Records provides additional information.

Haller’s Army

During World War I, the Polish Army in France, commonly called Haller’s Army, recruited about 20,000 soldiers from among Poles living in the United States. Two forms that contain genealogical information were filled out by the recruits. Form A contains each volunteer’s name, address, marital status, number of children, how his family would be supported if he was accepted into service, whether volunteer was an American citizen, his age, physical description, signature, recruiting station, and the date. Form C contains additional information such as the volunteer’s birth date and place, the addresses of his closest relative in America and of his closest relative in Poland, his previous military service, and remarks. All volumes of the collection are available through:

PGS of America
ATTN: Haller’s Army Request
984N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622

A name index is on the Internet at:

  • Haller’s Army Index. In Polish Genealogical Society of America [Internet site]. [Chicago, Illinois: PGSA], 1998 [cited 17 July 1999]. You can search by surname and first name. The index shows the volunteer’s surname and given name, the town and state where he volunteered, his form (Form A or C described above, or L [loose papers]), and page number.

A microfilm copy of the Form A records only is:

  • United States (with Some from Ontario, Canada) Recruits for the Polish Army in France, 1917–1919 A microfilm copy of the Form A records only is:

United States (with Some from Ontario, Canada) Recruits for the Polish Army in France, 1917–1919: States Represented most Frequently are New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Connecticut, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware, Nebraska & Kansas (for Complete Breakdown See Film Inventory). Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1995. (On 11 FHL films beginning with 1993525.) The forms are in Polish, but at the beginning of each film is a blank form printed in English. The records are not organized by locality, and Minnesota recruits are represented on almost every film. There is, however, an alphabetical list of volunteers for each item.

World War II (1941-1945)[edit | edit source]

Draft Registrations

Fourth Registration

  • On April 27, 1942, the Selective Service conducted the fourth of six draft registrations related to WWII. 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.
Also available at:

Lists of dead and missing soldiers who served during World War II, arranged alphabetically by county, are in:

  • Minnesota’s World War II Army Dead. Brooklyn Park, Minnesota: Park Genealogical Books, 1994. (Family History Library book 977.6 A1 no.135.) It includes 6,462 names and indicates the soldier’s rank and cause of death.

World War II United States Military Records provides additional information.

Korean War (1950–1953)[edit | edit source]

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)[edit | edit source]

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.

Other Records[edit | edit source]

The Minnesota Historical Society Library has a collection on 88 rolls of microfilm of military service record cards for Minnesotans entering federal service from the state militia or National Guard. These cover conflicts from the Civil War through World War I, including the Spanish- American War. These cards are arranged by war and branch of service, then alphabetically by soldier’s family name. They give name, age or date of birth, sometimes birthplace, and dates and places of service. The microfilms can be used through the interlibrary loan service of your public library. For film numbers, contact the Minnesota Historical Society Library.

The Minnesota Historical Society has a number of other military records, including a few muster rolls dating from the late 1800s for state militia and National Guard units. The Society also has copies of more than half the original induction records of the 60,000 Minnesota men drafted into service in World War I, records of World War I veterans who applied for bonuses, records of the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis, established in 1887, and some records from veterans’ organizations. For descriptions of these and other records, see Genealogical Resources of the Minnesota Historical Society: A Guide cited in Minnesota Archives and Libraries.

Information may also be obtained from Fort Snelling National Cemetery (7601 34th Avenue South, Fort Snelling Minnesota 55111, telephone 612-726-1127). Veterans from the Civil War through recent conflicts are buried at the Fort Snelling cemetery. Minneapolis also has a national cemetery and an office of the Veterans Administration.

Other useful military records are listed in the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:




Military Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Minnesota Veterans Graves Registration index - a list of Veterans buried in Minnesota - 1857 - 1975.  It also includes a birth and death index.