Mississippi Military Records
This entry was originally written by Kathleen Stanton Hutchison for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Revolutionary War. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the region that was later to become Mississippi Territory was a province of Great Britain. In 1779 a patriot by the name of James Willing led attacks along the Mississippi, confiscating and destroying property belonging to the British. The significance of this action foreshadows later events that led to the Spanish taking control of British West Florida. Primary source material regarding these events may be uncovered through the British Provincial records found in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Of special interest is the Fifth Series (covering America and the West Indies), 582-97. Another helpful source from the National Archives is the Oliver Pollack Papers from Record Group 360, Records of the Continental Congress. These records were obtained in London through the British Public Record Office. For a better understanding of the period, see Robert V. Haynes, The Natchez District and the American Revolution (Jackson, Miss.: University Press of Mississippi, 1976).
Veterans of the Revolutionary War pioneered their way into this land, and some can be traced through Family Records: Mississippi Revolutionary Soldiers, published by the Mississippi Society of the DAR. Information found here is not considered official proof but does offer good leads to what may otherwise have been lost. This publication does have errors, but it is well indexed. Because Mississippi was not part of the United States at the time, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History has no official Revolutionary War records on file. The grave registrations, however, include Revolutionary soldiers who are buried in Mississippi (see Mississippi Cemetery Records).
War of 1812. Research about the War of 1812 in Mississippi should begin with Eron O. M. Rowland’s article, “Mississippi Territory in the War of 1812,” found in volume four (Centenary Series) of Dunbar Rowland, ed., Publications of the Mississippi Historical Society (Jackson, Miss.: the society, 1921). The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has available copies of National Archives microfilm of both index and service records for Mississippians who served in this war. In addition, grave registrations should be checked (see Cemetery Records).
Mexican War. For an overview of the Mexican War as it related to Mississippi, see Lynda J. Lasswell, “First Regiment of Mississippi Infantry in the Mexican War” (master’s thesis, Rice University, 1969). National Archives microfilm of Mississippians’ service records for the war is available at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, along with Mississippi grave registrations (see Mississippi Cemetery Records).
Civil War. Of particular value are the chapters in Rowland’s Military History… (see Background Sources for Mississippi). They include the numerical listing of the state’s units that served in the army of Northern Virginia, and the other listing of those that served in the Western Theater of Operations, Army of Tennessee. For a publication citing original materials pertaining to the Civil War, see Patti Carr Black and Maxyne Madden Grimes, comps., Guide to Civil War Source Material in the Department of Archives and History, State of Mississippi (Jackson, Miss.: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1962).
National Archives microfilm of Mississippi Confederate military records, which include both muster rolls and some pension applications, are found at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The military record gives the name, rank, and organization of Mississippi soldiers who served in the Confederate States Army; the pension application, made by the veteran or widow of a veteran, gives more genealogical data. There is also a listing of Union volunteers from Mississippi. All of these compilations are indexed. The state archives also has a microfilm copy of “Selected Records of the War Department Relating to Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861–1865,” which is part of the War Department Collection of Confederate Records, Record Group 109.
Some county courthouses conducted and kept an enumeration of confederate soldiers in 1907. The Vicksburg National Military Park, Park Historian, 3201 Clay St., Vicksburg, MS 39183-3495, has a listing of all known Union soldiers buried in their National Military Cemetery along with some family members who were buried there after 1866. This list is available at the park and at the Old Courthouse Museum in Vicksburg. Confederate soldiers are buried at the Cedar Hill Cemetery, whose office has recorded lot purchasers beginning in 1840 and has a listing arranged alphabetically by state of Confederate soldiers buried there. Inquiries may be addressed to P.O. Box 150, Vicksburg, MS 39180.
FamilySearch.org has a variety of collections available for free online:
- Mississippi, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865
- Mississippi, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers
Later Wars. With privacy restrictions placed on some later military records, availability becomes more difficult. Some records found in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History include World War I records (which include an alphabetical typescript index of Mississippi veterans). The National Archives—Southeast Region has World War I draft registration cards. The state’s archives has an alphabetical index to Mississippi soldiers who fought in the Korean Conflict (Record Group 33), and in Official Records, Mississippians killed in World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam Conflict. Grave Registrations for those buried in Mississippi include the following wars: Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian Wars, Mexican War, Civil War, Philippine Insurrection, World War I, World War II, and the Korean Conflict. Though helpful, the source is not exhaustive.