Arkansas Military Records
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).
Forts of the West Military Forts and Presidios an Post Commonly Called Forts West of the Mississippi River to 1898. By Robert W. Frazer. Norman University of Oklahoma Press. C 1972 Library of Congress 65-24196
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 for the Territory of Arkansas, 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.
There are helpful nationwide records for soldiers of the War of 1812. For more information, see United States in the War of 1812.
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).
- Ayers, Linda. Arkansas. Some Military Land Grants For Soldiers of the War of 1812. (Free). The USGenWeb Archives War of 1812 Project - Pensions, Rosters & 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 14 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.
- A list of 6,600 grantees, arranged by county name, is in Katheren Christensen, comp., Arkansas Military Bounty Grants (War of 1812). FHL book 976.7 R2c (Worldcat)
Mexican War (1846-1848)
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)
World War I (1917-1918)
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)
Wiki articles describing online collections arefound at:
- Arkansas, First Registration Draft Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Arkansas, Second Registration Draft Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)
- Arkansas, Edward G. Gerdes Civil War Home Page
- Arkansas Civil War Regiments, Rosters and Muster rolls
- USGenWeb Pensions Project, Arkansas
- Civil War Buff, The Civil War in Arkansas
- The War to End All Wars: Arkansas Fights World War I
- World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel from: Arkansas
- Arkansas World War II Casualties Army and Air Force
Arkansas. Salt Lake City, Utah: Intellectual Reserve, Inc., Family History Department,1998, 2001.
- NOTE: All of the information from the original research outline has been imported into this Wiki site and is being updated as time permits.