Native American Heritage

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Indian Companies

Records of U.S. Regular Army

  • Visit Military Service Records to learn about American Indians who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Read the article " Lead the Way" from Prologue for more information on Regular Army Indian companies.

Issued March 9, 1891, the War Department General Order No. 28 authorized the U.S. Army to enlist American Indians to serve in Indian companies within infantry and cavalry regiments. Collectively, these companies often acted as scouts for their regiments.

Please note, these records have not yet been digitized. For more information about these records contact the National Archives at Washington, DC.

Records Created by the U.S. Regular Army Mobile Units

These records include descriptive books and muster rolls related to Indian companies. Descriptive books contain lists of noncommissioned officers and those who were discharged or had died. They can also show the individual’s name, age, physical description, birthplace, enlistment date and location, and payroll information.

Examples of these records:

  • Descriptive Books for Companies A-C and F of Indian Scouts, 1872-1886
    (National Archives Identifier: 3098724)
  • Descriptive Lists for a Battalion Consisting of Companies A-D of Indian Scouts, 1882-1884
    (National Archives Identifier: 3099478)
  • Descriptive Rolls of Warm Spring and Chiricahua Indian Bands, 1884-1885
    (National Archives Identifier: 3103751)
  • Descriptive Book for a Detachment of Seminole Indian Scouts, 1889-1893
    (National Archives Identifier: 3103753)

Records Created by the War Department

Regular Army Muster Rolls, 1866-1912

The Regular Army muster rolls include Indian companies. These records provide the company's locations during the reporting period, but also names of those individuals who had deserted, died, or been discharged.

Knowing the state or territory in which a scout served, and preferably his company or military post, can make the research process easier.

Visit the National Archives Catalog for the full archival records description and contact information:
National Archives Identifier 654583.