South Dakota Military Records

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This entry was originally written by Laura Hall Heuermann and Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FUGA, FASG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the South Dakota Family History Research series.
History of South Dakota
South Dakota Vital Records
Census Records for South Dakota
Background Sources for South Dakota
South Dakota Maps
South Dakota Land Records
South Dakota Probate Records
South Dakota Court Records
South Dakota Tax Records
South Dakota Cemetery Records
South Dakota Church Records
South Dakota Military Records
South Dakota Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
South Dakota Archives, Libraries, and Societies
South Dakota Naturalizations
Native Americans of South Dakota
South Dakota County Resources
Map of South Dakota

Microfilmed copies of Union volunteers from the Dakota territories during the Civil War are available from the National Archives and other interlibrary loan resources. They also may be searched at the South Dakota State Historical Society.

A publication that may be useful to the genealogist with early pioneer ancestors is Memorandum and Official Records Concerning Dakota Militia, Organized in 1862 for the Protection of the Frontier Settlements from the Hostile Sioux Indians, compiled by R.E. McDowell in connection with Senate Bill No. 5353, Doc. 241, 58th Congress, 2nd session, Washington, DC, 1904.

A roster of soldiers from the First Infantry Regiment, South Dakota Volunteers in the Spanish-American War, has been published in Doane Robinson's History of South Dakota, 2 vols. (Chicago: B.F. Bowen & Company, 1904).

South Dakota World War II History Commission records may be used at the archives, and although there are some restrictions, World War II service records from South Dakota may also be researched there.

Some soldiers' discharge papers may be found in the register of deeds office.

The South Dakota State Archives holds a few military records and military benefit records of interest to the genealogist. These include mothers' pension records for Deuel (1913'40), Hughes (1923'40), Kingsbury (1922'40), Lawrence (1918'40), McCook (1917'31), Mellette (1914'40), Minnehaha (1913'40), Union (1922'40), and Walworth (1926'40) counties. These records do have restricted access. They also hold militia lists for Edmunds (1918'19) and McCook (1889'1920). has a variety of collections available for free online: