Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Office of the Paymaster General

(Record Group 99)
559 cu. ft.

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 99.2 RECORDS OF THE OFFICE OF THE PAYMASTER GENERAL 1791-1917 531 lin. ft.
  • 99.2.1 Correspondence
  • 99.2.2 Fiscal records
  • 99.2.3 Personnel Records


Established: In the War Department by the act creating the Pay Department (3 Stat. 297), April 24, 1816.

Predecessor Agencies:

  • Paymaster of the Army (1792-1816)
Functions: Paid the army.

Abolished: By consolidation of the Pay Department with the Quartermaster Department and the Subsistence Department to form the Quartermaster Corps under provisions of the army appropriation act for FY 1913 (37 Stat. 591), August 24, 1912.

Successor Agencies: Office of the Chief, Quartermaster Corps (1912-14); Office of the Quartermaster General, Quartermaster Corps (1914-18); Office of the Director of Finance, Finance Department, Purchase, Storage, and Traffic Division (PS&TD), War Department General Staff (WDGS, 1918-19); Office of the Director of Finance, Finance Service, PS&TD, WDGS (1919-20); Office of the Chief of Finance, Finance Department (1920-42).

Finding Aids: Roland C. McConnell, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Office of the Paymaster General, PI 9 (1948); Patricia Andrews, comp., "Supplement to Preliminary Inventory No. 9, Records of the Office of the Paymaster General," NM 34 (1964).

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Paymaster General in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government. Records of the Office of the Chief of Finance (Army), RG 203.

Top of Page

531 lin. ft.

History: Position of paymaster of the Army established by act of May 8, 1792 (1 Stat. 280). A previous position of that name under the Articles of Confederation lapsed with the death of the incumbent in 1788, and its functions were consolidated with those of the Commissioner of Army Accounts, which position continued under the Federal Government. The Paymaster of the Army was superseded by the Paymaster General, 1816. SEE 99.1.

Top of Page

99.2.1 Correspondence

Textual Records: Letters sent, 1808-89, with indexes. Press copies of letters sent, 1808-48, 1864-1912. Letters received, 1799-1894, with registers and indexes. Correspondence, 1894-1912, with indexes. Circular letters, 1861-1900. Endorsement books, 1860-69, 1899-1901, with indexes, 1899-1901. Telegrams sent and received, 1894-1912. Related records, 1818-1912.

Top of Page

99.2.2 Fiscal records

Textual Records: General ledgers, 1791-1814, 1864-77. Department ledgers, 1871-89. Appropriation ledgers, 1871-1912. Registers of estimates of funds, 1871-1910. Registers of requests for funds, 1854-1912. Registers of requests for credit, 1876-1908. Records of paymasters' collections, 1866-1915. Records of approved disbursements, 1870-1909. Records of suspended disbursements, 1891-1911. Recruiting accounts, 1801-9. Journal of remittances at posts, 1812-19. Miscellaneous account books, 1835-1917.

Top of Page

99.2.3 Personnel Records

Textual Records: Personal histories of paymasters, 1848-89, and additional paymasters, 1861-1910. Registers of paymasters, 1815- 68. Order books, 1863-94. Monthly returns of officers of the Pay Department, 1862-64, 1899-1910. Miscellaneous personnel records, 1799-1914.

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.

Top of Page

Guide to Federal Records >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272