Texas Military Records

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This entry was originally written by Wendy Bebout Elliott, Ph.D. FUGA for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the Texas Family History Research series.
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The largest collection of military and related records pertaining to Texans is housed in the Texas State Archives, Adjutant General Record Group. Since 1919 military discharge records are filed at the local county courthouse. An extensive array of military records, too numerous to list here, has been published. The list would include Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veterans who died in Texas, as well as World War I and II veterans.

Earliest Texas military records begin in 1835. Texas War of Independence veterans, or widows or heirs, were eligible for bounty and donation land grants and pensions from the Texas government. Published lists are available of soldiers and sailors of the Republic of Texas, of participants in battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto, and of men in the Texas Rangers, minutemen, and home guard units. Lists of those who served in the Indian Wars have been published. See www.mindspring.com/~dmaxey for a listing organized by H. David Maxey of muster rolls for troops 1835'36.

A large collection of Confederate pension applications is available at the Texas State Library and Archives in Austin. These are arranged in numerical order and are indexed. Both indigent veterans and widows of veterans were allowed pensions. The applications contain some genealogical information. Copies can be obtained through correspondence once the assigned number is known. Confederate scrip was awarded veterans who were permanently disabled or killed, entitling the veteran or his widow to 1,280 acres.

In addition to the National Archives military records (see page 8), other military records are housed in the Texas State Archives and Library; these include Confederate claims (1861'65); Confederate home records (1886'1954); Confederate indigent families list (1863'65); general service records (1836'1902); muster rolls (1836'1917); and payment records (1836'46). Under the Adjutant General Record Group in the state archives are many additional records, including various muster rolls (1836'1911) and service records (1836'1902). Records may be as little as one small piece of paper or as large as a complete file.

The Texas Military Forces Museum at Camp Mabry, 2200 W. 35th St., Austin, TX 78703 www.kwanah.com/txmilmus has an extensive library and archives including records of the Texas National Guard.

Among the numerous printed sources that exist for Texan veterans are the following:

  • Barron, John C., et al. Republic of Texas Pension Application Abstracts. Austin, Tex.: Austin Genealogical Society, 1987.
  • Fay, Mary Smith. War of 1812 Veterans in Texas. New Orleans: Polyanthos, 1979. From notes compiled by Mae Wynne McFarland, this is a compilation of names, places, and dates associated with veterans of the War of 1812. Original material is in the library of the Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, arranged alphabetically.
  • Ingmire, Frances Terry. Texas Frontiersman, 1839'1860: Minute Men, Militia, Home Guard, Indian Fighter. St. Louis: the author, 1982. Contains officers index and alphabetically arranged entries taken from military records.
  • . Texas Ranger Service Records, 1830'1846. St. Louis: Ingmire Publications, 1982. Includes index of officers.
  • , comp. Texas Rangers: Frontier Battalion, Minute Men, Commanding Officers, 1847'1900. 6 vols. St. Louis: Ingmire Publications, 1982. Each volume separately indexed.
  • Kinney, John M. Index to Applications for Texas Confederate Pensions. Rev. ed. Austin, Tex.: Archives Division, Texas State Library, 1977.
  • Leiker, James N. Racial Borders: Black Soldiers along the Rio Grande. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2002.
  • Manarin, Louis H., ed. Cumulative Index: The Confederate Veteran Magazine, 1893'1932. 3 vols. Wilmington, N.C.: Broadfoot Publishing, 1986. Every name index to the Confederate Veteran. Includes a comprehensive list of Confederate military organization arranged by local designations.
  • White, Virgil. Index to Texas CSA Pension Files. Waynesboro, Tenn.: National Historical Publishing, 1989.

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