Revolutionary War Service Records

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United States Gotoarrow.png U.S. Military Gotoarrow.png Revolutionary War Gotoarrow.png Service Records

Most of the records of the American Army from the Revolutionary War era that were in the custody of the War Department were destroyed by fire in 1800 or in 1814. The War Department's Collection of Revolutionary War Records was begun in 1873 by means of purchase, gifts, or transfers from other agencies.

Compiled Service Records

The "Revolutionary War Service Records" or "Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War" (NARA M881) collection consists of one or more jacket envelopes for each soldier that contain card abstracts of entries relating to that soldier from original records. It contains the service records of soldiers in the Continental Army and other units that fought with them.

The compilation of military service records was begun in 1894, under the direction of the War Department's Record and Pension Office. Information about individual soldiers was meticulously copied onto cards as a means of consolidating information about individuals, as well as preserving the original source documents, including muster rolls, pay rolls, returns, and other records. Notations in the lower left corner of the card abstracts indicate the file or volume number of the original record. The original records and copies of records are available on "Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783" (M246), mentioned below, and "Numbered Record Books Concerning Military Operations and Service, Pay and Settlement of Accounts, and Supplies in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records" (M853).

To learn more about the Revolutionary War Rolls see an explanation of the records at Fold3.

See the official 74 page NARA pamphlet explaining these records in detail at M881.pdf.



  • Locate these records at a library using Worldcat.

Revolutionary War Rolls

The "Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783" (NARA M246) collection is made up of muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns, and other miscellaneous personnel, pay, and supply records of American Army units from 1775-83.

To learn more about the Revolutionary War Rolls see an explanation of the records at Fold3.

See the official 28 page NARA pamphlet explaining these records in detail at M246.pdf.

The Revolutionary War Rolls are available online. The war rolls are also available to access at no charge at National Archives research rooms.



  • Locate these records at a library using Worldcat.

Other Service Records Collections

The following service records are available on microfilm at the Family History Library:

  • General Index to Compiled Military Service Records of Revolutionary War Soldiers, Sailors, and Members of Army Staff Departments. National Archives Microfilm Publication M860. (Family History Library films 88284–98.) Alphabetical index including soldiers, sailors, members of Army staff departments, and civilian employees of the Army and Navy, such as teamsters, carpenters, laundresses, and cooks. For each soldier or civilian, the index lists the name, rank, unit, and profession or office.
  • White, Virgil D. Index to Revolutionary War Service Records. Four Volumes. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing Company, 1995. (Family History Library book 973 M22wv.) This is a transcription from film M860 listed above. Entries include name, unit, and rank.
  • Compiled Service Records of American Naval Personnel and Members of the Departments of the Quartermaster General and the Commissary General of Military Stores Who Served during the Revolutionary War. National Archives Microfilm Publication M880. (Family History Library films 1025081–83.) These abstracts, made from original records, are similar to the compiled service records of soldiers. The records are arranged by department and then alphabetically by name. To find specific microfilm numbers, look in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:


Related Books

State "Military Records" Wiki articles describe published rosters of Revolutionary War soldiers from each colony. The following are additional books listing officers and others: