Iowa Military Records

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This entry was originally written by Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

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


Military records at the State Archives, a division of the State Historical Society of Iowa, include the State Adjutant General’s records of Iowa volunteers in the Mexican War, Civil War, and Spanish-American War. Included among those records are regimental muster rolls, enlistment papers, roster books, reports, pay books, and correspondence with indexes for some of these records. Index entries can be copied for a fee. There are no pension records for Iowa volunteer units. Records of the Grand Army of the Republic posts for many Iowa communities are available at the state archives. Casualty files for World War I and II have information, and sometimes photographs, of individual servicemen. Published sources include:

  • Iowa Adjutant General’s Office. Persons Subject to Military Duty, ca. 1862–1920. 94 microfilm reels. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978.
  • Iowa Adjutant General’s Office. Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers in the War of the Rebellion: Together with Historical Sketches of Volunteer Organizations, 1861–1866. 6 vols. Des Moines: E. H. English, State Printer, 1908–11.
  • Revolutionary War Soldiers and Patriots Buried in Iowa. Marceline, Mo.: Walworth, ca. 1978.
  • Snedden, Howard E. “A Unique Iowa Resource: The G.A.R. Card Index File,” Hawkeye Heritage 21 (Summer 1986): 70:1.
  • ——. “A Neglected Source: A Case in Point: The Civil War Draft Rolls of Iowa’s Fifth Congressional District,” Hawkeye Heritage 19 (Winter 1984): 185-89.

Although covering only the southwest quarter of the state, “consolidated lists” of eligible men are available with names and descriptions of men drawn for the draft, as well as an interesting array of additional genealogical information. As indicated by the author, remarks such as “Gone to Nebraska City,” “In Holmes Co., Ohio,” or “deserted across the plains” will certainly give direction to research. These lists are part of Record Group 110, Provost Marshall General’s Bureau (Civil War) at the National Archives.

  • United States Adjutant General’s Office. Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Iowa. Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1964.

The State Historical Society of Iowa lends the Civil War Roster and Index for all Iowa regiments from its Iowa City library.

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