State of Illinois
Military Records Research

American military heritage in Illinois started with the creation of the colonial militia early in the seventeenth century primarily to battle to prevent assaults from native inhabitants. The benefits and importance of Illinois military records in family history and genealogical research for ancestors who have been veterans are apparent but Illinois military records can also be crucial to researchers whose immediate ancestors just weren't soldiers in any war. Because of the volume of genealogical information covered in some Illinois military pension files they should not be ignored all through the research process.

The Allen County Public Library and the Newberry Library (NARA microfilm publication M539) hold copies of the "Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers who Served in Organizations from the State of Illinois."

A set of 898 microfilm reels containing Revolutionary War records of navy, marine, enlisted, and other military groups has recently been added to the collections at the Illinois State Archives. Most of those records are from National Archives Record Group 15, "Selected Records from Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files," M805 and cover the years of 1800 to 1900. The collection is available at the Illinois State Library or through inter-library loan programs. The collection is organized according to the veteran's surname.

Indexes of men who served from Illinois in the following wars can be found at the Illinois State Archives: Indian Wars, Black Hawk War, Mexican War, Civil War and Spanish-American War.

A multi-volume set called the "Honor Roll of Veterans Buried in Illinois" is also housed at the Illinois State Archives. It is organized according to county and lists each veteran's name, service, and cemetery and grave location. The Illinois State Archives website also lists many different databases containing military records.

In 1898 Danville, Illinois became home to a National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (Veterans Administration Center). The National Archives record groups 15 and 131 hold records from that facility.

The Illinois State Archives is home to microfilmed World War I Selective Service Draft Registration Cards. The records from the Selective Service Board for 1917 to 1919 in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois can be found at the National Archives - Great Lakes Region in Record Group 163. Those records also include a Delinquent and Deserter Form index, although it is not complete.

The National Archives - Great Lakes Region is home to World War II Selective Service Draft Registration card manuscripts. They list men born between April 28, 1877 and February 16, 1897.

Illinois in pre Statehood Wars

Illinois in the War of 1812

War of 1812 Website Links

Illinois in the Mexican American War

War of 1812 Website Links

Illinois in the Civil War

Though no battles were held in Illinois during the Civil War, Illinois was a major source of troops for the Union army and provided a number of important war leaders. The state supplied food, clothing, iron products, and grain to help to ensure the Union Army's victory.

Civil War Website Links

Illinois Post Civil War

War Website Links

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