Military Records

The American Revolution

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The National Archives holds records relating to military service during the Revolutionary War, including both Continental troops and state troops that served as Continental troops.  You may want to start by searching for a person's Military Service Records and Pension and Bounty Land records.  See an An Overview of Records at the National Archives Relating to Military Service.


Many of the bounty land application files relating to Revolutionary War and War of 1812 service have been combined with the pension files. There is also a series of unindexed bounty land warrant applications based on service between 1812 and 1855, which includes disapproved applications based on Revolutionary War service. This series is arranged alphabetically by name of veteran.

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Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (Microfilm Roll # M804, Record Group 15)

U.S. Revolutionary War Bounty Land Warrants Used in the U.S. Military District of Ohio and Relating Papers (Acts of 1788, 1803, and 1806), 1788-1806 (Microfilm Roll #M829, Record Group 49)

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Miscellaneous Papers of the Continental Congress (Microfilm Roll #M332, Record Group 360)

Papers of the Continental Congress  (Microfilm Roll # M247, Record Group 360)

Foreign Letters of the Continental Congress and the Department of State, 1785-1790 (Microfilm Roll # M61, Record Group 59)

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The Revolutionary War Prize Cases: Records of the Court of Appeal in Cases of Capture, 1776-1787 (Microfilm Roll # M162, Record Group 267)

Revolutionary War Service, 1775–1783, a reference report

Regular and Volunteer United States Military Service Between the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, a reference report

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Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 (Microfilm Roll #M246 , Record Group 93)

Compiled Service Records of American Naval Personnel and Members of the Departments of the Quartermaster General and the Commissary General of Military Stores Who Served During the Revolutionary War (Microfilm Roll #M880, Record Group 93)

Compiled Service Records of Soldiers who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War (Microfilm Roll #M881, Record Group 93)

Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Units During the Post-Revolutionary War Period, Compiled 1899 - 1927, documenting the period 1784 - 1811 (Microfilm Roll #M905, Record Group 94)

Numbered Records Books Concerning Military Operations and Service, Pay and Settlement of Accounts, and Supplies in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records (Microfilm Roll #M853, Record Group 93)

Miscellaneous Numbered Records (The Manuscript File) in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, 1775-1790's (Microfilm Roll #M859, Record Group 93)

The Revolutionary War pension files, numbering around eighty thousand, consist of applications the federal government received in response to pension legislation enacted in various laws between 1818 and 1878. The pension's amount depended on the serviceman's military rank and length of service. Widows of men who provided service received the right to apply for pensions beginning in 1836.

Revolutionary War pension files can be a gold mine of information for genealogists searching for ancestors from the era of the nation's birth.  Read Using Revolutionary War Pension Files to Find Family Information, a Prologue article, by Jean Nudd.

See also, "Remember Me, Six Samplers, a Prologue article, by Jennifer Davis Heaps 

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Final Revolutionary War Pension Payment Vouchers: Delaware (Microfilm Roll # 2079, Record Group 217)

Final Revolutionary War Pension Payment Vouchers: Georgia   (Microfilm Roll # M1746, Record Group 217)

Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files  (Microfilm Roll #M804, Record Group15)

Virginia Half Pay and Other Related Revolutionary War Pension Application Files  (Microfilm Roll #M910, Record Group 15)

U.S. Revolutionary War Bounty Land Warrants Used in the U.S. Military District of Ohio and Relating Papers (Acts of 1788, 1803, and 1806), 1788-1806

Prisoners during the Revolutionary War, 1776–1783, a reference report

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Revolutionary War Service and Imprisonment Cards (Digitized from original records, Record Group 45)

Images of the American Revolution, lesson plan

 Pictures of the Revolutionary War, selected pictures among the audiovisual holdings of the National Archives.

The American Revolution: Military History
Bibliography compiled in 1996 by Janet L. Seymour, Air University Library.
The American Revolution and its Era: Maps & Charts of North American and the West Indies, 1750-1789
This Library of Congress site represents an important historical record of the mapping of North America and the Caribbean.
"The Decisive Day is Come": The Battle of Bunker Hill
Personal accounts, eyewitness descriptions, and contemporary maps and drawings fill this Massachusetts Historical Society site, designed to commemorate the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill.
The History Place: American Revolution
The History Place offers timelines of early American from the first explorations through the establishment of the new nation.
Liberty! The American Revolution
PBS Online and Norwest Corporation present this official online companion to their series of six one-hour documentaries originally broadcast on PBS in November 1997.
Religion and the American Revolution
A Library of Congress online version of an exhibit on religion and the founding of the American Republic.
Revolutionary War & War of 1812 Historic Preservation Study
The web site of the study of the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Service “1) to gather current information about the significance of, current condition of, and threats to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 sites, and 2) to present preservation and interpretation alternatives for the sites.”
Spy Letters of the American Revolution
Sponsored by the School of Information at the University of Michigan, this site features the Sir Henry Clinton Collection of the Clements Library.