South Carolina Military Records

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United States Gotoarrow.png U.S. Military Gotoarrow.png South Carolina Gotoarrow.png Military Records

Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina, 17 January 1781

Many military records are found at the Family History Library, the National Archives, and other federal archives. United States Military Records provides more information about the federal records. At the state level: the following sources are available.


Fort Cass

Fort Charlotte (1765)

Post of Columbia -- Textual records of this fort, 1866-1877, including registers, reports, and correspondence, are in the National Archives and are described in Records of United States Army, Continental Commands, 1821-1920, under the section entitled Records of Posts, 1820-1940 (Record Group 393.7).

Fort Moultrie

Fort Prince George (1753)

Fort Red Clay - This was a fort established for the removal of the Cherokee.

Fort San Juan

Fort Sumter  The United States Civil War started at this fort.  This fort was a Union fort: 

Another website for this important fort is in Wikipedia.
The following is taken from the Wikipedia article: 
"The first shots of the Civil war [were] fired by cadets from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, which prevented the steamer, Star of the West, a ship hired by the Union, to transport troops and supplies to Fort Sumter . . . After realizing that [the fort] would run out of food by April 15, 1861, President Lincoln ordered a fleet of ships, under the command of Gustavus V. Fox, to attempt entry into Charleston Harbor and support Fort Sumter."

Colonial Wars

  • Lists of soldiers who served from 1715 to about 1772 are in Leonardo Andrea, South Carolina Colonial Soldiers and Patriots (Columbia, South Carolina: N.p., 1952; Family History Library film 1320504 item 3).
  • Militia records for 1759 to 1760, including the Cherokee War, are in Murtie June Clark, comp., Colonial Soldiers of the South, 1732-1774 (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983; Family History Library book 975 M29c).
  • The South Carolina Department of Archives and History also has copies of records from the British Public Record Office pertaining to the Cherokee War of 1760 to 1761.

Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

South Carolinians in the Revolutionary War at USGenWeb includes:

South Carolina in the Revolutionary War 

Lists of about 26,000 soldiers, and their service and pension records, are in:

  • Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983. FHL 975.7 M2m

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 South Carolina is available online:

South Carolina Revolutionary War Claims, 1783 to 1786

These records are housed in the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. They are indexed and on microfilm. A published index to the records is Janie Revill, Copy of the Original Index Book Showing the Revolutionary Claims Filed in South Carolina between August 20, 1783 and August 31, 1786, 1941, Reprint (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1969; Family History Library book 975.7 M2r).

The stub entries to the records issued for claims are also at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. With few exceptions they have been published in a series of twelve volumes, each of which is well indexed (Family History Library book 975.7 M2h; Volumes 1-12 on films 824066-68; Volumes 1-12 on fiche 6046914).

  • For an alphabetical list of pensioners see Janye C. G. Pruitt, Revolutionary War Pension Applicants Who Served from South Carolina. N.p.: 1946; (Family History Library book 975.7 M24p; film 1425646 item 8).

Other Records

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has many Revolutionary War records and copies of documents pertaining to British armies. The Department of Archives and History and the Family History Library have auditor's office files containing the claims of South Carolina Loyalists presented to commissioners in London and in Nova Scotia.

Laurence K. Wells explains how to find Revolutionary War Pensions issued by the State of South Carolina (as opposed to the federal government) among Statutes at Large of South Carolina:

  • Wells, Laurence K. "Revolutionary Pensions Granted by the State of South Carolina," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Spring 1987):110. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 15

Many of the Statutes at Large of South Carolina are available online, see: South Carolina Law and Legislation.

War of 1812 (1812-1815)

  • An index to service records of volunteer soldiers who served in South Carolina units is available at the Family History Library (Family History Library films 882812-18). The library also has an index to pensioners, but the actual service and pension records are at the National Archives.

Civil War (1861-1865)

Attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, USA, April 1861
See South Carolina in the Civil War for information about South Carolina Civil War records, web sites, etc. with links to articles about the South Carolina regiments involved in the Civil War. The regimental articles 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 the families of the soldiers.

For information about African American troops, see United States Colored Troops in the Civil War to learn about the regiments and units that served from South Carolina.

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System allows name searching for soldiers. The result set gives the regiment for each soldiers. Then you can check the regiment page to determine counties. Often knowing the counties that had men in a regiment will help you determine if a soldier was your ancestor.

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Many books have been published about South Carolina in the Civil War Period, including:

  • Dickert, D Augustus. History of Kershaw's Brigade : With Complete Roll of Companies, Biographical Sketches, Incidents, Anecdotes, etc (Dayton, Ohio : Press of Morningside Bookshop, 1976), 583 pages. Includes a description of activities of Kershaw's Brigade in the South Carolina 8th Infantry Regiment. Includes a roster on pages 545-583. Digital Copies at Google andInternet Archives. .FHL book 975.7 M2d 1976 and fiche 6082618Book also available through these libraries.
  • Caldwell, James Fitz James. The History of a Brigade of South Carolinians, Known First as Gregg's Brigade and Subsequently as McGowan' Brigade  ( Marietta, Ga., Continental Book Co. 1951) Confederate States of America. Army South Carolina Infantry ,Gregg's Brigade, included infantry regiments; 1st, 12th, 13th, 14th and 1st Rifles (Orr's Regiment). Digital copies Google and Internet Archives.  Libraries where book is found.
  • Hagood, Johnson. Memoirs of the War of Secession   ( Columbia, S.C., State Co., 1910), 496 pages. From the original manuscripts of Johnson Hagood, Brigadier-general, C.S.A.I. Hagood's 1st 12 months S.C.V. II. Hagood's brigade.  Includes: SC Infantry. 1st Regiment (Hagood's) 1861-1862; Hagood's Brigade, C. S. A; South Carolina Infantry. 11th Regiment, 1861-1865; South Carolina Infantry. 21st Regiment, 1861-1865; South Carolina Infantry. 25th Regiment, 1862-1865; South Carolina Infantry. 27th Regiment, 1863-1865; South Carolina Infantry. 7th battalion, 1862-1865; Confederate States of America. Army. South Carolina Infantry Regiment, 1st;  Personal narratives, and regimental histories.   Digital copies at Google and Internet Archives. Book at WorldCat.

South Carolina 1869 Militia Enrollments

The 1869 Militia Enrollments are available online through The South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH). African-American males between eighteen and forty-five do appear in this repository.

Access the online index and available images here: SCDAH Online Records Index

Visit the following link for a description of this holding: Militia Enrollments, 1869

Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)

Creek War (1813-1814)

A card index of Indian War soldiers is:

  • Alabama. Department of Archives and History. Indian War Service, 1812–1814. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988. (Family History Library film 1462786 item 3.) This includes alphabetically arranged, typed cards for the Indian wars of 1813–1814 and the War of 1812. The films include each soldier’s name, age, residence, rank, and date enrolled and the date and amount of his pension payments (usually for the years of 1833–1834). Includes records of Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina soldiers, as well as Indian names.

Search for male ancestors who would have been between 18 and 45 in 1869. This repository may help to establish which county an ancestor was living. The record gives the name, age, occupation, residence, and color. Different races are listed together not separately. It is possible that this holding may also help to establish the location of the family in 1865 if they did not migrate previously.

South Carolina Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Spanish American War

The South Carolina Department of Archives and History has a card file of South Carolina volunteer troops for the Spanish American War.

World War I (1917-1918)

United States Military Records provides more information on federal military records and search strategies.

  • A published roster of soldiers who died in World War I is W.M. Haulsee, F.C. Howe, and Alfred C. Doyle,Soldiers of the Great War, Three Volumes (Washington, DC: Soldiers Record Publishing Association, 1920; Family History Library book 973 M23s Volume 3; fiche 6051244).

World War I draft registration cards for men age 18 to 45 may list address, birth date, birthplace, race, nationality, citizenship, and next of kin. Not all registrants served in the war. For registration cards for South Carolina, see:

  • United States. Selective Service System. South Carolina, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. National Archives Microfilm Publications, M1509. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1987-1988. (On Family History Library films beginning with film 1852489.)

To find an individual's draft card, it helps to know his name and residence at the time of registration. The cards are arranged alphabetically by county, within the county by draft board, and then alphabetically by surname within each draft board.

Most counties had only one board; large cities had several. A map showing the boundaries of individual draft boards is available for most large cities. Finding an ancestor's street address in a city directory will help you in using the draft board map. There is an alphabetical list of cities that are on the map. For a copy of this map see:

  • United States. Selective Service System. List of World War One Draft Board Maps. Washington, DC: National Archives. (Family History Library film 1498803.)

World War II (1941-1945)

Other Records

Additional records at the Family History Library include copies of veterans' enrollment records, pension applications of veterans and widows, and pension rolls. These are described in the catalog under the name of the county. The original records are at the local county courthouses.

Web Sites

FamilySearch Historical Record Collections

An online collection containing this record is located in

A wiki article describing this collection is found at: