The uses and significance of Minnesota military records in genealogical research for ancestors who have been veterans are evident but Minnesota military records can also be essential to researchers whose direct ancestors weren’t soldiers in any war. Because of the quantity of genealogical information contained in a number of Minnesota military pension records they should never be disregarded all through the research process.
If you are trying to research a Civil War volunteer then you should definitely start your search with the Board of Commissioners on Publication of History in Civil and Indian Wars’ Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861-1865. It is a two-volume compilation. The first one is full of narratives and rosters for various regiments. The second one is full of various types of correspondence and reports. The WPA created an index for the rosters in 1936 and that index can now be found on microfilm at the Minnesota Historical Society.
The reference library at the Minnesota Historical Society contains a file with information regarding veterans in the Minnesota area during wartime, as well as those who moved to the area after the war. However, the file is an incomplete work in progress. Some of the information contained within the file includes names of widows, pension numbers, company and regiment information, place of residence and date of death. Pension registers, the 1890 Federal Census of Veterans, GAR parade participant lists, biographical sketches and death reports have all been utilized in order to create the file.
There are many Civil War veteran diaries housed at the Minnesota Historical Society Research Center as well. Service card microfilms for the Minnesota State Militia, records for the Grand Army of the Republic and Adjutant General’s letters regarding Civil War Pension Registers from 1877 to 1949 can also be found at the Research Center. Each card includes the amount, date and name of the veteran in question. The Research Center is also home to Board of Auditors files on the Dakota Conflict (Sioux Uprising), which includes certificates, registers of claims and minutes from 1862.
The Research Center also houses Minnesota National Guard service cards for World War I, as well as Soldiers’ Bonus Records, original draft lists and lists of inductions. Over 120,000 medical personnel, sailors, soldiers and marines from Minnesota are listed in the World War I bonus applications. There is no index for the application lists, but they include 51 detailed questions. Some of those questions are: Name, Birthplace, Birth Date, Nearest Relative’s Name and Residence, Draft Information, Occupation, Residence, Business Address, Employer Name, Parental Address At Time Of Enlistment, Length Of Time residing In Minnesota, Marital Status
The Minnesota Historical Research Center also has the Gold Star Roll Records for the Public Safety Commission on file. Those contain death information regarding those who died during World War I. Each form is four pages long and might include various forms of letters, clippings and pictures.
The Minnesota Historical Research Center also has Early twentieth century Mexican border service payroll records, Minnesota Soldiers’ Home Records from 1891 onward, Records for 1842 and 1843 for Camp Ripley, Spanish-American and Mexican-American War information and Sons of the American Revolution applications for membership all safely filed.
Minnesota in the Civil War
Civil War Website Links
- Research in the Civil War 1861-1865
- Civil War links from fold3.com with original data from the National Archives:
- Minnesota Civil War Infantry Regiments and Units
- Minnesota Civil War Cavalry Regiments and Units
- Minnesota Civil War Artillery Regiments and Units
- Civil War links from ancestry.com:
- U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865
- U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865
- Minnesota, Civil War Records, 1861-1865 – This database contains muster rolls and other documents related to soldiers enlisted into or discharged from Minnesota units during the Civil War.
- Minnesota Civil War Soldiers – This database is a list of nearly 26,100 men inducted into the army from the state between 1861 and 1865. Researchers will find the soldier’s name, rank and induction date. Additionally, where available, information regarding discharge date, residence, and age when inducted is provided.
- Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861-1865
- History of the Fourth Regiment of Minnesota Infantry Volunteers during the Great Rebellion, 1861-1865
- History of the Ram Fleet and the Mississippi Marine Brigade in the War for the Union on the Mississippi and its tributaries
- The story of a regiment : being a narrative of the service of the Second Regiment, Minnesota Veteran Volunteer Infantry
- Minnesota Civil War Books (amazon.com)
Minnesota Modern Wars
War Website Links