Find your ancestors in United States Army Enlistments 1798-1914

What can these records tell me?

There are over 1.3 million entries in this record set. Each entry includes a transcript and an image of the original register. The amount of information listed varies, but the records usually include the following information:
  • Name of enlistee
  • Age at time of enlistment
  • Physical description
  • Birthplace
  • Occupation
  • Date and place of enlistment and by whom
  • Rank, company and regiment
  • Date and cause of discharge
  • Remarks on death, desertion, or apprehension

Discover more about United States Army Enlistments 1798-1914

This record set contains enlistments in the U.S. Army from 1798 to 1914 as well as several separate registers for the following: Mounted Rangers 1832-1833, Indian Scouts 1866-1914, Post Quartermasters 1884-1890, Sergeants Appointed Under an Act of July 5 1884, Ordnance Sergeants 1832-1890, Commissary Sergeants 1873-1891, Philippine Scouts 1901-1913, Puerto Rican Provisional Infantry 1901-1914, Hospital Stewards, 1854-1899 and Prisoners 1872-1902.

The army register consists mainly of career soldiers. Thus, it is unlikely that you will find those who enlisted as part of a reserve or during wartime for short periods, or as part of a state-raised military unit.

Regarding the organization of the collection, the registers from 1798-June 30, 1821 are arranged alphabetically. Registers dating from July 1, 1821-1913 are arranged chronologically by time period and then alphabetically by surname.

Note that some of the images of the original records are difficult to read due to poor quality scans. However, efforts have been made to decipher handwriting where possible.

In addition, make sure to search a range of years as some ages may have been falsified in these records. Birth year is estimated based upon age given and enlistment year.

Notable persons contained within these records

Curly, a Crow scout, was enlisted by Lieutenant Bradley on April 10, 1876. He was most known for being a survivor of Custer’s Last Stand, or the Battle of Little Bighorn. Under remarks for his entry we read, “The only survivor of the Custer Massacre.”

United States Army Enlistments 1798-1914 is sourced from FamilySearch