Military Records and Sources
Research collections include both primary and secondary source material for Kansas. KSHS collections include sources for non-Kansas records and for historical periods before the establishment of Kansas territory. Records of the office of the Kansas Adjutant General, which include rosters, muster rolls, records of officers' commissions, etc., are in State Archives holdings. Some military records can be found in manuscript collections. The photograph collections include a few unit photographs.
Military records of genealogical value have been identified and are listed in the finding aid Kansas Military that is available on the Kansas reference shelf. Items listed below (by conflict) illustrate the types of materials that are available, but this is not a complete list of holdings.
Our holdings do not include comprehensive U.S. military service records. To request U.S. military service records for the period before World War I contact the National Archives, Washington, D.C., 20408. Request form NATF 86. To request U.S. military service records from World War I to the present contact the National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132. Records of military pensions and bounty lands given to veterans is also available from the National Archives; request form NATF 85. Information on U.S. veterans records may be obtained through the National Archives or the U.S. Veterans Administration, 818 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20420. Information on soldiers buried in national cemeteries may be obtained from the Director of the National Cemetery System, Veterans Administration, Washington, D.C., 20420. Records of U.S. Soldiers' Homes are available through the National Archives.
Official records of the territorial militia (pro-slavery) are limited. However, some muster rolls and lists of free-state forces are in manuscript collections and in the Records of the Territorial Executive Department in state archives holdings.
Both the Kansas militia rolls and the muster rolls for Kansas volunteer regiments are on microfilm. Some descriptive rolls for Kansas volunteer regiments are also on microfilm. The descriptive rolls contain personal information but the muster rolls do not. A printed index to the militia rolls is on the Kansas reference shelf. The militia was called up in response to specific threats and most units served for only a short period. The Kansas Adjutant General's Report, 1861-1865 contains unit histories and rosters for Kansas volunteer regiments. It is available on the Kansas reference shelf, along with an index. Manuscript collections also contain some muster rolls of U.S. volunteers. Private papers (manuscripts) and research collections also include information about and/or lists of individuals and their service. The 1883 enrollment of veterans, their widows and orphans living in Kansas is available on microfilm. It is arranged by county and thereunder by the first letter of the surname. A printed listing of pensioners residing in Kansas in 1883 is on the Kansas reference shelf. It includes pension certificate numbers. Pension records are available from the National Archives.
Grand Army of the Republic (The G.A.R.) was the veterans' organization for Union soldiers. Records of the GAR Department of Kansas, 1879-1936, and individual post records are available. Annual proceedings include lists of deaths indexed in the "Kansas G.A.R. Necrology List" on the Kansas reference shelf. There is an accompanying GAR posts list (which provides the name of the post and the city where it resided) on this same shelf. In addition, there is an 1894 roster of members with an index located on this shelf.
Staff and volunteers are developing the Civil War Veterans In Kansas database from a variety of publications that list Civil War veterans. See the G.A.R. bibliography for a list of publications that include Civil War veterans.
Holdings include copies of National Archives microfilmed post returns. These are cataloged in manuscript collections. These returns list the names of officers at each post. Records of post hospitals are also available as are rosters of the 18th and 19th Kansas volunteer regiments.
The Twelfth Biennial Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kansas includes rosters and unit histories. An index is available in the Kansas Military finding aid. State Archives holdings include muster rolls (on microfilm), descriptive lists, accounts of pay and clothing, casualty returns, and miscellaneous files. Manuscript collections include a few muster rolls and related records, and alphabetical membership cards for the United Spanish War Veterans (USWV), a veteran's organization. Taps, a USWV publication, contains death certificates of members that include service record, name and address of widow, places and dates of birth and death, and place of burial. An index is available. Note: The information about deaths from Taps is available online through our partnership with Ancestry.com. Kansans may access them for free if you verify your Kansas driver's license.
World War I:
Manuscript collections include files on Kansas veterans (primarily 35th and 89th divisions) compiled after the war by the Kansas Historical Society, the American Legion, and other organizations. These files contain biographical information and sometimes family information and photographs. A card index is available. Note: Many of these are available in Kansas Memory. The entire collection is available online through our partnership with Ancestry.com. Kansans may access them for free if you verify your Kansas driver's license.
Registers of soldiers returning through New York City and hospital addresses of the sick and wounded, compiled by the Kansas Welcome Association, are also in manuscripts. Additional manuscript collections are described in the Kansas Military finding aid. State Archives holdings include a 1930 enrollment of veterans (indexed), muster rolls of the Kansas National Guard, photostatic copies of enlistment and discharge papers for members of U.S. armed forces units, filed alphabetically by the first three letters of the surname, and lists of applicants for State bonus payments (unindexed). Alphabetical draft registration cards for Wilson (surnames H-Z), Woodson, and Wyandotte counties, 1917-1918 with address, occupation, personal description, and names of relatives, are on microfilm. Selective Service classification books for Wyandotte County, 1917-1918, arranged by order number, are also on microfilm. A list of Kansas casualties with names of "friends and relatives of deceased soldiers" is included in the printed Adjutant General's Report. The collections include Kansas Casualties in the World War on the Kansas reference shelf, rolls of honor and additional historical material.
World War II:
KSHS holdings include honor rolls for selected counties. Archives records include a list of Kansans who served, arranged by draft board. It is not indexed. Records of Kansas POW hospitals and camps are on microfilm. Information on Camp Concordia may be found in the research collections.
Enrollments exist for 1883, 1889, and 1930. The records of the Kansas State Soldiers Home are in State Archives holdings. Portions of these records are on microfilm. GAR and USWV records are described above.