Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Armed Forces Retirement Home


(Record Group 231)
1803-1943 (bulk 1851-1943)

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 231.1 Administrative History
  • 231.2 Records of the U.S. Soldiers' Home 1803-1960 (bulk 1851-1960)
    • 231.2.1 Correspondence and orders
    • 231.2.2 Records relating to inmates
    • 231.2.3 Records relating to employees

231.1 Administrative History

Established: Established, effective November 5, 1991, by the Armed Forces Retirement Home Act of 1991, Title XV of the National Defense Authorization Act of 1991 (104 Stat. 1722), November 5, 1990. The Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) consists of the Armed Forces Retirement Home Board, which exercises general oversight over the two AFRH retirement homes; and the two homes themselves: the U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home (Washington, DC) and the U.S. Naval Home (Gulfport, MS).

Predecessor Agencies:
  • Military Asylum, Washington, DC (1851-59)
  • U.S. Soldiers' Home (1859-1972)

Functions: Provides independent living facilities for male and female veterans.

Finding Aids: Patricia Andrews, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the United States Soldiers' Home," NM 61 (1965).

Related Records:
Record copies of publications of the United States Soldiers' Home in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.
Records of the U.S. Naval Home in record groups 24, 45, 52, 71, and 181.
Records of the Veterans Administration, RG 15.
Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's-1917, RG 94.

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231.2 Records of the U.S. Soldiers' Home
1803-1960 (bulk 1851-1960)

History: Established as the Military Asylum, Washington, DC, by an act of March 3, 1851 (9 Stat. 595), with branches (1851-58) in New Orleans, LA, and East Pascagoula (Greenwood's Island), MS, and at Western Military Asylum, Harrodsburg, KY. Administered by a governor, who in turn was responsible to Board of Commissioners. Redesignated U.S. Soldiers' Home by an act of March 3, 1859 (11 Stat. 434). Accepted air force personnel as part of the army establishment, 1917-47, and continued to do so following establishment of the U.S. Air Force as a separate service, by the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 502), July 26, 1947, implemented by Transfer Order 1, Secretary of Defense, September 26, 1947. Redesignated U.S. Soldiers' and Airmen's Home, effective September 7, 1972, by order of the Secretary of Defense, November 4, 1972.

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231.2.1 Correspondence and orders

Textual Records: Letters, 1868-99, 1902-30, and endorsements, 1879-1902, sent by the governor. Proceedings of the Board of Commissioners, and letters sent by the board secretary, 1868-83. Letters and endorsements sent by the office of the attending surgeon, 1881-1912. Letters received, 1899-1903, with index. Reports, memorandums, and orders, 1851-1930.

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231.2.2 Records relating to inmates

Textual records: Registers of men admitted and discharged, 1851- 1941. Muster rolls of inmates, 1870-79. Monthly and quarterly reports, 1857-1927. Registers of sick inmates, 1872-1943. Records relating to deceased inmates, 1852-1942, including registers, death certificates, statements of service, and descriptions. Warrants and records relating to confined prisoners, 1869-1927. Personal papers of various inmates of the Military Asylum, 1803-58.

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231.2.3 Records relating to employees

Textual Records: Reports of civilian and inmate employees, 1851- 62. Monthly reports of persons employed at East Pascagoula, MS, 1853, and Harrodsburg, KY, 1853-58. Register of employee transfers, discharges, absences, and resignations, 1938-41.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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