United States Indian Wars, 1780-s-1890-s
|Date ||Indian Wars, 1780s to 1890s |
|1785-1795||Northwest Indian War|
|1817-1818||First Seminole War|
|1832||Black Hawk War|
|1836-1837||Second Creek War|
|1836-1839||Cherokee Disturbances and Removal|
|1835-1842||Second Seminole War|
|1855-1858||Third Seminole War|
States Involved in the Indian Wars
The United States military protected the expanding western frontier from the 1780s to the 1890s. Military personnel surveyed land; enforced government policy; protected settlers; and guarded stage, mail, and telegraph routes. Expanding settlement led to conflicts with the many Indian nations. Military conflicts with Indians are listed in the following:
- Peters, Joseph P., compiler. Indian Battles and Skirmishes on the American Frontier, 1790–1898 Comprising Record of Engagements with Hostile Indians within the Military Division of the Missouri from 1868 to 1882; Chronological List of Actions, etc. with Indians from January 1, 1866 to January 1891; and a Compilation of Indian Engagements from January 1837 to January 1866. New York, New York: Argonaut Press, 1966. (FHL 1686002) (Worldcat) A chronological list which includes dates, places, and units involved; number of killed and wounded; and remarks that may include names of officers.
- Chronological List of Engagements between the Regular Army of the United States and Various Tribes of Hostiles Which Occurred during the Years 1790 to 1898, Inclusive. 1939. Reprint, New York, New York: AMS Press, 1976. (FHL 973 M2ww) (Worldcat) Identifies place; military unit involved; and number of soldiers and American Indians killed, wounded, and captured.
For information about forts where soldiers were garrisoned, see the following:
- Historical Information Relating to Military Posts and Other Installations, ca. 1700–1900. National Archives Microfilm Publication M661. (FHL 1466009–16) (Worldcat)
- Returns from U.S. Military Posts, 1800–1916. National Archives Microfilm Publication M617. (FHL 1663081–4630) (Worldcat) This source contains extensive rolls and reports listing soldiers stationed at forts and posts.
Service records for the Indian conflicts are available at the National Archives. They consist of abstracts from original muster rolls, pay rolls, and medical records.
Service Records after 1784-1811
- Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served from 1784 to 1811. National Archives Microfilm Publication M905. (FHL 1205385–401) (Worldcat) These records are indexed in:
- Index to Compiled Service Records 1784-1811 National Archives Microfilm Publication M694 (FHL CD #9, part 146; films 1205437–45) (Worldcat)
- This microfilm index has been transcribed and the information partially abstracted in the following two books:
Service Records after 1811
Listed below are the only service records for Indian wars after 1811 that have been filmed:
- Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Florida during the Florida Indian Wars, 1835–1858 National Archives Microfilm Publication M1086. (FHL films 6019538;1303446-500;1303296-297;1313918-23) (FHL 63 films) (Worldcat)
- "Index to Compiled Military Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served during Indian Wars and Disturbances, 1815–58" (NARA M629). This index includes the soldier’s name, rank, and unit along with the name of the war or disturbance.
- Creek War -- 1813-14
- Seminole War 1817-1818 (First Seminole War)
- War of 1818 (First Seminole War)
- Winnebago War -- 1827
- War of 1832 (Black Hawk War)
- protection of Sabine Frontier 1836
- Cherokee Disturbances and Removal (Cherokee War) -- 1836-39
- Florida War (Second Seminole War) -- 1835-42
- Seminole War (Third Seminole War) -- 1855-58
- U.S. Army Indian Campaign Service Records Index, 1815-1858 (Ancestry) ($) (note: browsable only - includes M243, M256, M629, M907)
Regular Army Soldiers
In addition to volunteer soldiers, many soldiers involved in the Indian wars enlisted in the regular Army. For information on regular Army soldiers, see:
- United States, Registers of Enlistments in the U. S. Army, 1798 - 1914 (FamilySearch) NARA M233 (FHL 47 films)
- Wiki articles describing this collection is found at:
When researching Army officers, consult Francis B. Heitman's Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, From Its Organization, September 29, 1789, to March 2, 1903, available in two volumes (FHL book 973 M2hh) (FHL film 2229899) (Worldcat). Volume one (Google Books), a register of army officers, provides a brief history of each man's service. Volume two (Google Books) contains a "chronological list of battles, actions, etc., in which troops of the Regular Army have participated.
Indexes for Specific Wars
Cherokee Disturbances and Removal, 1836 to 1839
Individual state indexes are available for:
- Alabama. National Archives Microfilm Publication M243 (FHL film 0368685) (Worldcat)
- Georgia. National Archives Microfilm Publication M907 (FHL film 1205402) (Worldcat)
- North Carolina. National Archives Microfilm Publication M256 (FHL film 0368686) (Worldcat)
- Tennessee, including field and staff of the Army of the Cherokee Nation. National Archives Microfilm Publication M908 (FHL film 1205384) (Worldcat)
The pension files in the National Archives relate to service performed between 1817 and 1898. Soldiers killed or disabled during the Indian wars were initially covered by existing pension laws. The first pensions based on Indian war service were granted in 1892, but they were limited to specifically named wars. By 1902 pensions were extended to cover all service between 1817 and 1858. Later acts continued extending coverage for service to 1898. The files are alphabetically arranged by the veteran’s name.
The index to these records is the following:
- Index to Indian Wars Pension Files, 1892–1926. National Archives Microfilm Publication T318. (FHL films 0821610–21) (FamilySearch) (Worldcat) The index gives name, names of dependents, rank, dates of enlistment and discharge, military unit, application and certificate numbers, date and state of filing, and the pension act it was filed under.
A published version of this same index is listed below:
- White, Virgil D. Index to Pension Applications for Indian Wars Service between 1817 and 1898 Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, 1997. (FHL book 973 M22whv) (Worldcat) Includes name of veteran or widow or both, applicant pension number, date of filing, name of conflict, date of service, and military unit. Some entries have death date and place. This is a revision of the 1987 edition.
Pensioners of the Indian Wars are also included in United States, Veterans Administration. Old War Index to Pension Files, 1815–1926. Washington, District of Columbia: National Archives. Central Plains Region, 1959. NARA T316 (FHL films 821603-09) (Worldcat) For more information, see National Archive Microfilm Publication T316 on page 56.
- Military Records: Pre-WWI Pension Applications (16 minute online video) FamilySearch Research Classes Online, 2010.
- U-S-history.com - Histories of all Indian Wars, 1622-1890
Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:
- Wikipedia contributors, American Indian Wars, (accessed 2 April 2012).
- Dates differ depending on source.
- List is only partial