Delaware Military Records

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This entry was originally written by Roger D. Joslyn, CG, FUGA, FGBS, FASG, in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the Delaware Family History Research series.
History of Delaware
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The Delaware Archives, 5 vols. (1911'16; reprint, New York: A.M.S. Press, 1974), contains military rolls, pensions, and other records from colonial soldiers of 1744 through militia lists of 1815. Material for an unfinished sixth volume at the Delaware Public Archives covers nonmilitary records of the Revolutionary War era. Background information on the early period is well covered in Colonial Military Organization in Delaware, 1638'1776, by Leon de Valinger, Jr. (Wilmington: Delaware Tercentenary Commission, 1938). Colonial Delaware Soldiers and Sailors, 1638'1776, by Henry C. Peden, Jr. (Westminster, Md.: Family Line Publications, 1995) was compiled from various sources. William Gustavus Whiteley compiled The Revolutionary Soldiers of Delaware, Papers of the Historical Society of Delaware, 14 (Wilmington: Historical Society of Delaware, 1896). Christopher L. Ward, The Delaware Continentals, 1776'1783 (Wilmington: Historical Society of Delaware, 1941) should be read for proper historical background, and Harold Bell Hancock, The Delaware Loyalists (1940; reprint, Boston: Gregg, 1973) should be consulted for information about those on the other side of the conflict. Revolutionary Patriots of Delaware '¦, 1775'1783 (Westminster, Md.: Family Line Publications, 1996) has a genealogical focus. Scharf included a list of Delaware Civil War soldiers in an appendix in volume one of his History of Delaware (see Background Sources for Delaware). The National Archives'Mid-Atlantic Region has a microfilm index of names of Delaware Civil War soldiers.

Lists of Confederate prisoners at Fort Delaware are in the Delaware Public Archives. The archives has a detailed guide to its Civil War collection on its website. At the archives are several card indexes of those called or who volunteered for federal service in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and the Mexican Border Campaign (1916'17). The archives also has a card file of World War I service medal applications, giving service information and often the date of death and place of burial. Delaware's Role in World War II, 1940'1946, by William H. Conner and Leon de Valinger, Jr. (Dover, Del.: Public Archives Commission, 1955) does not list all military personnel, although thousands of names are mentioned. De Valinger's collection of World War II photographs, letters, and lists of deceased soldiers should also be consulted at the archives. Much military material is also found at the Historical Society of Delaware. has a variety of collections available for free online: