South Carolina Military Records
- 1 Forts
- 2 Colonial Wars
- 3 Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
- 4 War of 1812 (1812-1815)
- 5 Mexican War (1846-1848)
- 6 Civil War (1861-1865)
- 7 South Carolina 1869 Militia Enrollments
- 8 Indian Wars (1780s-1890s)
- 9 Spanish-American War (1898)
- 10 World War I (1917-1918)
- 11 World War II (1941-1945)
- 12 Korean War (1950–1953)
- 13 Vietnam War (1964–1972)
- 14 Other Records
- 15 References
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."
- 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; FHL 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) FHL 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)
- Family Search Historical Records has on line United States, Revolutionary War Compiled Service Records, 1775-1783 and United States, Revolutionary War Pensions and Bounty Land Warrant Applications. For more information on South Carolina's involvement in the Revolutionary War, see the wiki article,South Carolina in the Revolutionary War
- South Carolinians in the Revolutionary War at USGenWeb includes:
- Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution. (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983) FHL book 975.7 M2m
Lists of about 26,000 soldiers, and their service and pension records.
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:
- Report from the Secretary of War... Vol. III (Google Books)
- The Pension Roll of 1835, Vol. III (Ancestry) ($)
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) FHL book 975.7 M2r Digital copy at Google Books. (free)
- 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 FHL films 824066-68, fiche 6046914, book 975.7 M2h
- For an alphabetical list of pensioners see Janye C. G. Pruitt, Revolutionary War Pension Applicants Who Served from South Carolina. N.p.: 1946; FHL film 1425646 item 8, book 975.7 M24p Digital version available through FHL catalog entry.
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)
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, South Carolina in the War of 1812, for information concerning military records, histories, links to relevant web sites, etc. for South Carolina.
There are helpful nationwide records for soldiers of the War of 1812. For more information, see United States in the War of 1812.
Mexican War (1846-1848)
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:
- United States, Mexican War Pension Index, 1887-1926 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
- United States, Mexican War Pension Index, 1887-1926 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
- 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.
Civil War (1861-1865)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:
- FamilySearch has the following database: South Carolina, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865
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 booksandInternet Archives. FHL book 975.7 M2d 1976 and fiche 6082618Book also available through various libraries (WorldCat)
- 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 booksand Internet Archives. Also available through various libraries (WorldCat).
- 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 books and Internet Archives. Book available at various libraries (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
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.
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) FHL 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.
Spanish-American War (1898)
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 South Carolina Department of Archives and History has a card file of South Carolina volunteer troops for the Spanish American War.
- United States, General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (NARA T288). (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. 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. (Learn more.)
- United States, Index to Service Records, War with Spain, 1898 (FamilySearch) Free digital copy. (Learn more.)
Click on the link to learn more about the Spanish American War.
World War I (1917-1918)
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. 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) Also available at:
- United States, World War One Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (FamilySearch) - free
United States World War I Draft Records provides additional information.
- 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) At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL fiche 6051244, book 973 M23s Volume 3 Digital version of book is found through the FHL catalog entry.
World War II (1941-1945)
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.
- United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Image Browse) (FamilySearch) - free
- United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (images with partial index) (FamilySearch) - free
- Also available at:
A series of books entitled "Young American Patriots", published shortly after the war, documented the service of soldiers from different states including South Carolina. The series of books included photos and a short biography of some of the soldiers from the state.
World War II United States Military Records provides additional information.
Korean War (1950–1953)
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)
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.
Additional records at the Family History Library include copies of veterans' enrollment records, pension applications of veterans and widows, and pension rolls. These are found in the Family History Library Catalog by using the Place-names search function for:
- VIRGINIA, [COUNTY] - MILITARY RECORDS
The original records are at the local county courthouses.