South Dakota Military Records
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).
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