Militia Resource Guide 1682-1815

Colonial Period (1682-1776)

RG-27 Appointments File: Military {#27.20} 1775-1790

 

Series contains a record of petitions filed by persons seeking a military commission. Among the data which may be found are the petitioner's name, residence, rank, and the position sought. Information concerning the individual's experience or past military service is also frequently included.

 

RG-21 Executive Correspondence {#21.4} 1682-1775

 

Included are about twenty muster rolls and military returns (on Microfilm Rolls 580-587) relating to the French and Indian War providing such types of information as name and rank of soldier, the military unit or station to which attached and the name of the officer under whom he served. Occasionally, the soldier's date and place of enlistment, age, and brief physical description may also be found. All of these muster rolls and military returns have been published in the Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Volume 1 (Microfilm Roll 2069) and images of the originals appear on Microfilm Roll #580-587. To locate a particular French and Indian War soldier in the Pennsylvania Archives, Fifth Series, Volume 1, consult the index for the entire Fifth Series that is in the Sixth Series, Volume 15 (Microfilm Rolls 2068-2069). For related military records see also Military Manuscripts Collection, 1758-1931 (MG-7), the Pennsylvania Collection, 1626-1970 (MG-8), the Sequestered Baynton, Wharton, and Morgan Papers, 1725-1827 (MG-19), the Burd-Shippen Family Collection, 1715-1834 ((MG-30), the Edward Shippen Collection, 1684-1941 (MG-193), and the Bucher-Hummel Family Collection, 1763-1963 (MG-382).

 

MG-7 Military Manuscripts Collections {#7m} 1758-1931

 

Miscellaneous private papers relating to the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection, World War I, the Pennsylvania National Guard, and peacetime military service. Included are records of individual service, along with related correspondence, and records of militia units.

 

MG-21 Minutes of the Provincial Council {#21.8} 1682-1775

 

Minutes of the proceedings of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania covering the period from March 10, 1682/3 to December 9, 1775. It is believed that the earliest records and minutes of the Provincial Council were kept on loose sheets of paper and only later recorded in books as evidenced by the frequent long intervals of dates and blank spaces left for documents. Many of the loose sheets are in the handwriting of Secretary of Proprietary Affairs James Logan and some of these have been recorded in volumes while others were preserved by members of Logan's family who deposited them among several societies. At a subsequent period, it is believed that an attempt was made to collect and record in volumes as many of these loose sheets as could be obtained. In 1776 Secretary of the Provincial Council Joseph Shippen turned the bound volumes over to John Penn, who in turn delivered them to the Supreme Executive Council in 1780. Commencing in 1837, these minutes were published in the Minutes of the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: 1837, 1838, 1852). The original minute books then passed into the custody of the State Library where they became the nucleus of its Archives Division in 1903. Information provided is date of meeting, names of those present, a description of the business transacted, and transcripts of important correspondence received or sent.

 

Revolutionary War Era (1776-1783)

RG-27 Accounts {#27.7} 1776-1777

 

Series contains a collection of the receipts of the Council of Safety from July 20, 1776 - April 16, 1777. The loose receipts in this collection contain specific information which includes the date of transaction, persons involved, the reason for the transaction and the amount of money or specific description of items exchanged. Information contained in these receipts include orders from officers for men, supplies, rations or meals, guns and ammunition; money paid to soldiers; money paid to clean, mend, appraise, buy, and sell guns; a gunlock factory account; and money given to provide for families of militiamen. In cases where the military is mentioned, the receipt lists the purpose of the transaction as well as the name of the company, commanding officers, and occasionally where that particular group of men was marching.

 

RG-27 Appointments File: Military {#27.20} 1775-1790

 

Series contains a record of petitions filed by persons seeking a military commission. Among the data which may be found are the petitioner's name, residence, rank, and the position sought. Information concerning the individual's experience or past military service is also frequently included.

 

RG- 27 Council of Safety Executive Correspondence {#27.8} 1776-1777 & undated

 



The correspondence of the executive body of the Council of Safety from July 25, 1776- March 14, 1777 and undated. Information appearing in these papers includes letters and petitions to the Council pertaining to the purchase, sale and delivery of provisions, munitions, transportation, and pay of soldiers; civilians working for the province; the recruitment of men to serve as soldiers; depositions of civilians and soldiers; pay schedules of soldiers; orders to be paid; lists of prisoners; and battalion procedures.

 

RG- 27 Committee of Safety Executive Correspondence and Petitions {#27.2} 1775-1776 & undated

 



A collection of the correspondence of and to the Committee of Safety, which also includes the petitions sent by various civilians and soldiers. Types of documents found in this collection include letters sent to or from various members of the Committee; letters to the Council from various suppliers of boats, food and munitions; resolutions or extracts of minutes from Committee of Safety meetings; orders for civilians to appear before the Committee; lists and appointments of officers; lists of men taken prisoner and enemy prisoners of war; and oaths not to bear arms against the United States.

 

RG-27 Committee of Safety Minute Book {#27.3} 1775-1776

 

A daily record of the meetings of the Committee of Safety from July 3, 1775 - July 22, 1776. Entries list the date, location of meetings and names of the members present. Business discussed in meetings included orders of payment for salaries or reimbursement; orders concerning the construction, procurement, delivery, or importation of arms, ammunition and supplies; construction of barracks and boats; enlistment of Continental Soldiers; issues of pay; and rules and regulations concerning enlisted men and officers.

 

RG-27 Committee of Safety Minutes (Rough Copy) {#27.4} 1775-1776 & undated

 



A loose collection of the draft copies of the minutes and other papers concerning the business of the Committee of Safety from August 2,1775 - July 3, 1776 and undated. Each of the drafts of the minutes are similar to the format used in the final version, listing the date and location of each meeting and the members present. These papers seem to be edited with large sections of text marked through. Contained within the minutes are smaller documents: notes to or written by Committee members, certificates, drafts of proposed motions, letters and letter drafts, and some oaths of allegiance. Also present are copies of appointments to government positions, papers and information concerning sub-committees of the Committee, and a broadside issued by the Continental Congress from April 3, 1776, announcing the resolution on the "registration" of ships in colonial harbors and seas.

 

RG-27 Council of Safety Minute Books {#27.9} 1776-1777

 

Minutes for the Council of Safety from July 24, 1776 through March 13, 1777. Each entry lists the date of the meeting and the names of members present. Information appearing concerning military matters includes orders for supplies, munitions, accommodation and transportation for enlisted men; matters of pay; cases of military courts martial, discharges, desertion, prisoners of war and jails; appointment of officers; formation of regiments; and the raising of local militia and Continental Army regiments from Pennsylvania.

 

RG-27 Council of Saftely Minutes (Rough Copy) {#27.10} 1776

 

Series contains a loose collection of the rough copies of the minutes of the Council of Safety from July 1776 through August 1776, with some undated entries. Besides showing the first drafts and editing done to the original minutes, the record also includes items that are excluded from the final version copied into the minute books. These items include a rough transcript of a man giving evidence to the Council pertaining to a case they were working on, written announcements from the Council of Safety directed to members of the Pennsylvania State Militia and others; and lists of items taken from enemy forces.

 

RG-27 Provincial Convention, Executive Correspondence, 1776 {#27.6} 1776

 

Series contains a record of the correspondence of the short-lived Provincial Convention, from July 24, 1776 through September 28, 1776. Found in this record are extracted minutes from meetings, resolves concerning troops raised, letters and petitions concerning soldier's pay, letters from the Convention asking troops to defend the Pennsylvania frontier and a petition from Delaware and Upper Smithfield Townships asking the Convention for aid in fighting an Indian War.

 

MG-147 John Anderson Papers {#147m} 1684-1904

 

The manuscript group contains correspondence and land papers of Dr. John Anderson (b. 1770, d. 1840) and various family members. It also contains Bedford County Militia records, 1775-1794, and a considerable number of Civil War letters.

  • Papers of George Woods, 1762-1827: Papers of George Woods (d. 1795), colonel of the Second Battalion, Bedford County Militia from 1776 until the end of the Revolution.
  • Papers of David Espy, 1771-1804: Papers of David Espy (b. 1730, d. 1795), colonel of the Bedford County Militia, 1776
  • Papers of William Watson Anderson, 1857-1866: Papers of William Watson Anderson (b. 1839, d. 1865), major, 2nd Pennsylvania Cavalry; killed at Harpers Ferry, 1865. Papers contain Civil War letters, 1861-1865; and military papers, 1861-1865.

 

MG-71 John Hays Collection {#71m} 1777-1783

 

Returns and accounts received by John Hays, county lieutenant of York County, from militia of York County during the Revolutionary War.

 

RG-27 Letter Books {#27.30} 1782-1789

 

Letters are separated into two categories: incoming and outgoing letters. Both sets of letters usually show the addressee's name and destination of the letter as well as the date of the letter, the sender and the origin of the letter.

  • Outgoing Correspondence, November 25, 1782-March 25, 1789: A record of outgoing correspondence of the members of the Supreme Executive Council. Letters pertain to issues including American soldiers imprisoned on British prison ships unable to be traded and petitioning for aid from the Council; sick and wounded soldiers on hospital ships; the dissolution of the Continental Army; the question of benefits for veteran soldiers; mutinous soldiers; and Pennsylvania Militia recruiting instructions and oaths.
  • Incoming Correspondence, November 2, 1782-October 6, 1787: A record of incoming correspondence to members of the Supreme Executive Council. Letters within this record pertain to issues including furnishing soldiers with medicine and supplies; matters concerning recruitment of soldiers; bounties for enlistment.

 

RG-27 Memoranda Book {#27.32} 1780-1787

 

Series contains a record of the memoranda written by members of the Supreme Executive Council from February 23, 1780-October 13, 1787. Entries include information regarding memos of letters written; military enlistment for state militia received from various counties; and commissions for officers. Various copies of letters include addressee's name, residence and the reason the letter was written.

 

MG-7 Military Manuscripts Collection {#7m} 1758-1931

 

Miscellaneous private papers relating to the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection, World War I, the Pennsylvania National Guard, and peacetime military service. Included are records of individual service, along with related correspondence, and records of militia units.

 

RG-27 Military Returns {#27.33} 1777-1790

 

General Returns of the Militia (Continental Line): Not Arranged. Returns for the Pennsylvania Militia. Data provided by these records includes the date of the return of a given regiment; details including where men were from in the state, numbers and names of commanders, commissioned officers, staff and noncommissioned men in the regiment; numbers confirming how many men were present for duty, sick, on furlough or special assignment; and mention of where a given regiment would be in the field.

Militia Returns (1777-1790): Arranged by county. A record of militia returns for counties in Pennsylvania sent to the Supreme Executive Council so that commissions could be made out and statistics recorded accordingly. Information included in these records include election results for elected company officers (captains and lieutenants) which specifically mention the date of election, the officer elected and the names of the judges of the election. Ranked field officers are identified and details to their rank and county of origin provided. Men called to serve in the militia are listed with mention to the name of the company; captain commanding the company; and men included in its ranks.

 

RG-4 Militia Absentee Return Record for Philadelphia City {#4.34} 1777-1791

 

Series contains a record of fines paid by militiamen. Typical information that might be entered includes the name, rank and regiment of the militia member; the fines extracted; and the name of the officer in charge.

 

RG-4 Militia Fine Exoneration Records {#4.36} 1777-1793

 

Statements filed by Pennsylvania residents to demonstrate that they or their kin should be exempt from fines being imposed for not serving militia duty. The data appearing differs from document to document. While some statements only list the person's name, residence and reasons for seeking an exemption, others indicate the individual's age, occupation and parents' names.

 

RG-4 Militia Loan Accounts {#4.37} 1781-1792

 

This series is grouped into the following subseries:

  • Certificate Counterparts, 1784-1792: Contains the stub receipts for interest bearing certificates issued to soldiers in lieu of money.
  • Certificate Books, 1784-1792: Contains the corresponding redeemed certificates can be found in the Certificate Books.
  • Distribution Vouchers, 1784-1785: Includes requests for payment certificates and receipts for certificates received as well as requests for payment by some militiamen.
  • Distribution Ledgers, 1784-1785
  • Interest Paid Receipt Books, 1785-1792: Contains the list the interest paid to militiamen on loan certificates.
  • Pay Rolls, 1781: The pay certificate names and numbers listed in the book correspond to the Certificate Counterparts and Certificate Books.
  • Registers, 1784-1785


RG-13 Militia Officers Index Cards {#13.36} 1775-1800

 

Collect is composed of an index card file of the names of Pennsylvania militia officers who served during the American Revolution. Information provided is name, county, rank, company or battalion, dates of service, township, and occasionally district within township. In rare cases, other pertinent information is provided such as place of burial, wounds received, names of children, names of any expeditions or campaigns, name of person whom they succeeded, and date discharged.

 

RG-13 Militia Unit Identification Cards {#13.37} 1776-1830

 

Identification cards for militia units serving from the American Revolution and through the War of 1812. Information provided is name of military unit, active dates, and name of commander. Occasionally noted is location where served, names of previous commanders, names of succeeding officers, previous names of the military unit, and other details.

 

RG-17 Muster Rolls (Actually Lists of Unpaid Militia fines for Absentee Soldiers) {#17.167} 1782-1834

 


Despite the title given to this series in Donna Munger's Pennsylvania Land Records, A History and Guide for Research , it primarily contains lists compiled by regimental captains of the names of absentee soldiers whose fines were not paid. Entries proving honorable service on Revolutionary War muster rolls were used to qualify applicants for Donation and Depreciation lands. Information generally given on the absentee militia fines lists is the date the list was compiled, the name of the captain who submitted the list, the name of the regiment, the name of the soldier who was absent, and the amount of the fine. Also present are letters submitted concerning conduct unbecoming an officer and similar items that were apparently filed with the Land Office to challenge or disqualify potential applicants.

 

RG- 4 Philadelphia City General Muster Roll Books {#4.42}
1777-1784

 

In these volumes, only the names of the officers and militiamen are given who enlisted in the Philadelphia city militia. They are listed according to the company in which they served and the class in which they ranked.

 

RG-4 Philadelphia City Lieutenant's Office General Return Book of Militia Called into Actual Service {#4.43} 1777-1782

 

This volume is a roll book of men who enlisted with the Philadelphia city Lieutenants office during the Revolutionary War. Information provided by each entry in this volume includes the men's names, their private or public substitute (if any), and remarks pertaining to the man's service such as whether he served his tour or deserted, when he was paid, whether he was killed or if he was excused on appeal.

 

RG-4 Revolutionary War Associators, Line, Militia, and Navy Accounts, and Miscellaneous Records Relating to Military Service {#4.51} 1775-1809

 

Associators Accounts, 1775-1777: Grouped by county, and thereunder arranged chronologically.

Line Accounts, 1775-1809: Grouped by regiment, and thereunder arranged alphabetically by surname of soldier.

Militia Accounts, 1777-1809: Grouped by county, and thereunder arranged by company and battalion.

Navy accounts, 1775-1794: Grouped according to stations of duty, and thereunder arranged chronologically.

 

RG-13 Revolutionary War Military Abstract Card File {#13.50} 1785-1893

 

Abstract card file containing transcriptions of data extracted from original records in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Archives concerning Revolutionary War service in the Pennsylvania Militia, Pennsylvania Line, and the Navy. All pertinent information has been included on the cards and accurately reflects the information contained in the original records. (Note that duty after November 1783 is not considered Revolutionary War service.) Information provided contains the name and rank of the soldier, whether they are were on active or inactive duty, county of residence, battalion in which they served, and a record from which information was extracted. Also noted are whether soldier was delinquent and fined or whether militia fines were abated.

 

RG-2 Revolutionary War Pension File {#2.60} 1809-1893

 

Certifications prepared by the Orphans' Court or the State Supreme Court entitling Revolutionary War veterans or their wives to obtain state compensation such as that provided for in the Act of September 22, 1785. Information found varies with each document. While some certifications only list a soldier's name, place of residence, and military unit, others include information on rank, age, date of enlistment and wounds suffered. In those cases where the pension was paid to a veteran's widow it is not unusual to find additional information about the family and the date of the veteran's death.

 

RG-4 Revolutionary War Pension Files and Related Accounts {#4.52} 1785-1809

 

Pension registers are grouped chronologically by year. Invalid payroll files are grouped chronologically by date of payment (January 1789 - February 1792 and 1805-1809). Other miscellaneous files are unarranged. Records pertain to various militia men or their widows petitioning for pensions from the Commonwealth. Many times, the court petitions give descriptions of the injuries and the battle at which they occurred.

 

RG-28 Revolutionary War Pension List Book {#28.82} 1834-1838

 

A record of pensions, "due to Act of Assembly passed 14 April, 1834 'An Act Authorizing and Directing County Treasurer to Pay Gratuities and Pension to Soldiers and Widows of Revolutionary Soldiers Residing within the Commonwealth.'"Besides giving the date, the list shows the names of soldiers or widows of soldiers, gratuities now payable, annuity for life, and amount of accrued annual annuity.

 

RG-33 Revolutionary War Soldiers' Claims and Related Papers {#33.98} 1786-1789

 

Petitions for veterans' pensions submitted to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. According to the Statutes at Large for 1785, these petitions were normally filed in the local county Orphans' Court. By law, applications for pensions were only allowed within three years of the two acts. Information provided by the applications may include name, rank and regiment of soldier; residence; occupation; and age. The depositions normally show name of commanding officer; the battle fought in; and the type of wound received. Other documents sometimes included are commission and enlistment papers. Related information may be found in the Orphans' Court Dockets for the respective counties.

 

RG- 27 Second Council of Safety Executive Correspondence {#27.14} 1777

 

The executive correspondence to and from the Second Council of Safety from October 17, 1777 through December 4, 1777. File contains letters from the Council to military leaders such as William Bradford and George Washington, as well as active revolutionary figures like Robert Morris, and the Board of War. Also included is a summons to appear before the council, a warrant to impress wagons, an order for an arrest, and orders to county commissioners to collect blankets and supplies.

 

RG-27 Second Council of Safety Minute Books {#27.15} 1777

 

Series contains a record of the meetings of the Second Council of Safety, established and working as a temporary governmental authority during the British invasion of eastern Pennsylvania in 1777. The purpose for the creation and work of the Second Council of Safety is clearly stated in an introductory general proclamation. Business discussed in meetings included what to do with men who would neither join nor send a substitute into the army; defense of frontiers; and the raising of companies of men for militias.

 

RG-27 Second Council of Saftey Minute Books (Rough Copy) {#27.16} 1777

 

Series contains rough copies of the minutes of the Council of Safety. The volume contains edited notes and corrections not in official minutes. Entries span the period from October 17, 1777 through December 4, 1777, though they do not contain all of the entries made in the official recorded minutes.

 

RG-27 Supreme Executive Council Minute Books {#27.34} 1777-1790

 

A daily record of the minutes of the meetings of the Supreme Executive Council from March 4, 1777 through December 20, 1790. Each entry records the date, day of the week and occasionally the location of the meeting. Information found within the pages of each volume pertain to the general daily business the Council had to deal with in order execute the laws of the state: letters sent or received by the Council, mention of proclamations made by Council, petitions brought before Council by officers or their families as well as ordinary citizens; money, supplies or munitions allocated by a decision by Council; returns of elected county officials or officers in the army; arrangement and commissions for Pennsylvania regiments in service to the Continental Army; appointments to political office; warrants to arrest prisoners or impress supplies; and enemy movements or perceived threats due to circumstances of the enemy in the State.

 

RG- 27 Supreme Executive Council Minute Books (Rough Copies) {#27.35} 1777-1790

 

A record of the rough copies of the minutes of the Supreme Executive Council. The rough copies differ little from their final copies. One can see that portions of text in these rough copies have been struck. As with the final copies of the minutes, each entry lists the day of the week, date and location of meeting. Only these rough copies contain the details as to the time of day a meeting was held, morning or evening, as well as the note that a meeting was adjourned until the next specified time and place.

 

RG- 27 Supreme Executive Council Executive Correspondence and Petitions {#27.28} 1777-1790 & undated

 

Executive correspondence of the Supreme Executive Council and petitions presented to Council. Most of the documents are dated, and mention of the recipient and sender, origin of letter or petition and occasionally the particular title or office of the recipient or sender, and the business of the correspondence. Information found in this record includes but is not limited to: lists of British soldiers captured by capitulation; examinations of prisoners or witnesses in cases before the Council; returns and receipts of supplies and money exchanged; lists of men seeking commissions, extracts or requests for copies of minutes of meetings for Supreme Executive Council, General Assembly or Congress; resolutions of the Council, General Assembly or Congress; warrants made for arrest or seizure of goods, court martial sentences handed down by the Council, and prisoners of war; and proclamations made by the President of Council or the Council.

 

Early Republic (1784-1812)

RG-27 Appointments File: Military {#27.20} 1775-1790

 

Series contains a record of petitions filed by persons seeking a military commission. Among the data which may be found are the petitioner's name, residence, rank, and the position sought. Information concerning the individual's experience or past military service is also frequently included.

 

MG-66 Edward Hand Papers {#66m} 1777-1788

 

Edward Hand (b. 1744, d. 1802) served with distinction as George Washington's adjutant general during the Revolutionary War. Active in organizing the Lancaster County Associators, he participated in engagements at Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, and Princeton. Promoted in 1777 to the rank of brigadier general, Hand was dispatched to western Pennsylvania to mobilize the militia against the Indians and Tories. Late in 1778 he assumed command at Albany and in 1779 aided Sullivan's expedition. Papers relate primarily to the Revolutionary War.

 

MG-72 Hiester Family Papers {#72m} 1750-1865

 

Included here are Pennsylvania Militia records and other papers of Thomas Elder (b. 1767, d. 1853), lieutenant colonel and commandant of the 66th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Militia (1799). Also included are 8 folders of the papers of Gabriel Hiester, Jr., reflecting his duties in the 2nd Brigade, 6th Division of the Pennsylvania Militia, 1809-1815. Other papers consist of Augustus O. Hiester's copies of letters, 1864, to Colonel J. V. Rumford pertaining to the Civil War obligations of Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County; 1 folder of company officer elections of the Dauphin County Militia, Colonel Thomas Forster, commandant, 1793; 1 folder of officer elections in the Harrisburg Light Infantry, 1793; 1 folder relating to subscribers to rifle companies in the 66th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Militia, 1800-01; 1 folder of brigade and company officer elections, 1st Brigade, 66th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Militia, 1800; 7 folders of the regimental papers of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Elder, commandant of the 1st Brigade, 66th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Militia, including records and certifications of the elections of officers, letters between Elder and his officers, 1799-1804, and the procedure of a court martial in the brigade in 1800.

 

RG-27 Letter Books {#27.30} 1782-1789

 

Letters are separated into two categories: incoming and outgoing letters. Both sets of letters usually show the addressee's name and destination of the letter as well as the date of the letter, the sender and the origin of the letter.

  • Outgoing Correspondence, November 25, 1782-March 25, 1789: A record of outgoing correspondence of the members of the Supreme Executive Council. Letters pertain to issues including American soldiers imprisoned on British prison ships unable to be traded and petitioning for aid from the Council; sick and wounded soldiers on hospital ships; the dissolution of the Continental Army; the question of benefits for veteran soldiers; mutinous soldiers; and Pennsylvania Militia recruiting instructions and oaths.
  • Incoming Correspondence, November 2, 1782-October 6, 1787: A record of incoming correspondence to members of the Supreme Executive Council. Letters within this record pertain to issues including furnishing soldiers with medicine and supplies; matters concerning recruitment of soldiers; bounties for enlistment.


RG-27 Memoranda Book {#27.32} 1780-1787

 

Series contains a record of the memoranda written by members of the Supreme Executive Council from February 23, 1780-October 13, 1787. Entries include information regarding memos of letters written; military enlistment for state militia received from various counties; and commissions for officers. Various copies of letters include addressee's name, residence and the reason the letter was written.

 

RG-26 Military Commission Books {#26.65} 1800-1944

 

Record of military commissions issued for officers. Information given is name, county of residence, rank, date of taking rank, military unit, regiment, company, and date of commission. Notations also reveal information concerning discharges, transfers, and deaths during service.

 

RG-26 Military Commission Books Card Index {#26.142} 1800-1860

 

Index to Military Commission Books, 1800-1944 {series #26.65} for the period through 1860. The index gives the names of officers commissioned in both voluntary and compulsory militia organizations for the period 1800-1849 and for officers commissioned under voluntary service only for the period 1849-1864. Information provided is name and rank of commissioned officer and the volume and page number in the militia books where the entry will be found.


RG-26 Military Commission Files {#26.66} 1790-1860

 

Commissions, militia returns, and resignations of officers elected to head militia units, lists of names of persons mustered into service, and correspondence from military commanders to the Governor reporting lapses in the conduct of elected officers. Information generally given is date commissioned, name of officer commissioned, and military unit to which commissioned. Includes records for Bedford through Washington Counties, 1790-1793; the Western Expedition, 1794; the Mexican War, 1846-1848; and the 1st through 20th Divisions, 1793-1860; as well as commission books, 1845-1860; and a few commissions for uniformed and drafted militia, 1862-1863.

 

MG-7 Military Manuscripts Collection {#7m} 1758-1931

 

Miscellaneous private papers relating to the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection, World War I, the Pennsylvania National Guard, and peacetime military service. Included are records of individual service, along with related correspondence, and records of militia units.

 

RG-2 Military Pension Accounts and Related Papers {#2.53} 1789-1883

 

The file consists of various pension books and lists of the names of Pennsylvania veterans who served between 1795 and 1883. Most of the accounts concern pensions granted by special legislative acts and usually provide the pensioners' names and counties of residence, dates on which pension payments were either due or made, the amounts of money paid, and the act governing the allotment. Sometimes the claimants' approximate dates of death are also recorded. These records are continued from a series of Comptroller General Records, Revolutionary War Pension Files and Related Accounts, 1785-1809 {#4.52}.

 

RG-27 Military Returns {#27.33} 1777-1790

 

General Returns of the Militia (Continental Line): Not Arranged. Returns for the Pennsylvania Militia. Data provided by these records includes the date of the return of a given regiment; details including where men were from in the state, numbers and names of commanders, commissioned officers, staff and non-commissioned men in the regiment; numbers confirming how many men were present for duty, sick, on furlough or special assignment; and mention of where a given regiment would be in the field.

Militia Returns (1777-1790): Arranged by county. A record of militia returns for counties in Pennsylvania sent to the Supreme Executive Council so that commissions could be made out and statistics recorded accordingly. Information included in these records include election results for elected company officers (captains and lieutenants) which specifically mention the date of election, the officer elected and the names of the judges of the election. Ranked field officers are identified and details to their rank and county of origin provided. Men called to serve in the militia are listed with mention to the name of the company; captain commanding the company; and men included in its ranks.


RG-4 Militia Absentee Return Record for Philadelphia City {#4.34} 1777-1791

 

Series contains a record of fines paid by militiamen. Typical information that might be entered includes the name, rank and regiment of the militia member; the fines extracted; and the name of the officer in charge.

 

RG-2 Militia Accounts {#2.54} 1809-1864

 

Contains payrolls for officers and militia, pay receipts, and records of militia fines collected or imposed. The type of information found includes names of militiamen receiving pay or paying fines, the amount received or remitted, and the date of the transaction.

 

RG-24 Militia Certificates Received from the Receiver General {#24.14} 1789-1793

 

Series contains a listing of warrants payable to the militia as indicated by the Receiver General. Information provided includes certificate number, name of person to who certificate was issued, number of years interest was paid, principal of the individual debt, interest allowed in the land office, and a dollar amount. The principal is totaled at the bottom of each page.

 

RG-26 Militia Election Returns {#26.67} 1790-1863

 

The series contains the returns for the election of officers to lead state militia units. Information given is date of election, where election was held, name of person elected, rank to which elected, militia unit in which elected, and names of those serving in the unit.

 

RG-4 Militia Exemption Books {#4.35} 1801-1813

 

This series provides information about men exempt from militia duty. Data provided for each regiment includes the number of the regiment, the county to which it belonged, the captains in the regiment, the number exempt according to class, and the total number exempt in each regiment. Also included are accounts of exempt fines which are listed according to county, and lists of exempted men by county. The names or numbers of the militia units in which men served is also given.

 

MG-4 Militia Fine Exoneration Records {#4.36} 1777-1793

 

Statements filed by Pennsylvania residents to demonstrate that they or their kin should be exempt from fines being imposed for not serving militia duty. The data appearing differs from document to document. While some statements only list the person's name, residence and reasons for seeking an exemption, others indicate the individual's age, occupation and parents' names.

 

RG-13 Militia Law Chronological Index Cards {#13.35} 1791-1870

 

The series contains a chronological index containing the same information as Militia Law Index Cards by Unit [ca.1782-1870] {#13.34} .

 

RG-13 Militia Law Index Cards by Unit {#13.34} 1791-1870

 

Index of militia laws passed by the General Assembly giving the subject of the law, date passed, occasionally names of persons affected by the law, and the volume and page number where the law is recorded in the Pamphlet Laws (P.L.) or the Statutes at Large (S.L.). These laws have been published under the titles Laws of the General Assembly of the State of Pennsylvania and The Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania. Types of information given include troop payments, dates and names of individuals for whom resolutions were passed and any restrictions, and the authorization of new military units together with the number of troops to be raised. Also noted are former names of military units, the scheduling of new election for military officers, quantity of arms furnished, promotions of officers, and special privileges granted.

 

RG-4 Militia Loan Accounts {#4.37} 1781-1792

 

This series is grouped into the following subseries: Certificate Counterparts, 1784-1792; Certificate Books, 1784-1792; Distribution Vouchers, 1784-1785; Distribution Ledgers, 1784-1785; Interest Paid Receipt Books, 1785-1792; Pay Rolls, 1781; Registers, 1784-1785. Certificate Counterparts are the stub receipts for interest bearing certificates issued to soldiers in lieu of money. The corresponding redeemed certificates can be found in the Certificate Books. Distribution Vouchers include requests for payment certificates and receipts for certificates received as well as requests for payment by some militiamen. Interest Paid Receipt Books list the interest paid to militiamen on loan certificates. The pay certificate names and numbers listed in the book correspond to the Certificate Counterparts and Certificate Books.

 

RG-26 Militia Muster Rolls and Inspection Returns {#26.21} 1792-1794

 

Muster rolls and inspection returns for riflemen, rangers, and frontier defense forces in the service of the Commonwealth. Information provided on the muster rolls is name of company, name and rank of soldier, date of enlistment, date of muster, whether present at muster, and remarks frequently revealing changes in command. The monthly inspection returns for the detachments of Pennsylvania State Troopers under the command of Captain Ebenezer Denny at Fort Le Boeuf give the numbers of each type of commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates present and absent on the Artillery, Allegheny, Washington, and Westmoreland detachments. Also present is a 1794 payroll for the Presque Isle Detachment giving the name of each soldier, their rank, date service commenced, expiration of service or term of pay, duration of service, rate of pay per month, and total amount paid.

 

RG-13 Militia Officers Index Cards {#13.36} 1775-1800

 

Index card file of the names of Pennsylvania militia officers who served during the American Revolution, in Indian campaigns in northwestern Pennsylvania, and in quelling the Whiskey Rebellion. Information provided is name, county, rank, company or battalion, dates of service, township, and occasionally district within township. In rare cases, other pertinent information is provided such as place of burial, wounds received, names of children, names of any expeditions or campaigns, name of person whom they succeeded, and date discharged.

 

RG-13 Militia Unit Identification Cards {#13.37} 1776-1830

 

Identification cards for militia units serving from the American Revolution and through the War of 1812. Information provided is name of military unit, active dates, and name of commander. Occasionally noted is location where served, names of previous commanders, names of succeeding officers, previous names of the military unit, and other details.

 

RG-4 Revolutionary War Associators, Line, Militia, and Navy Accounts, and Miscellaneous Records Relating to Military Service {#4.51} 1775-1809

 

Associators Accounts, 1775-1777: Grouped by county, and thereunder arranged chronologically.

Line Accounts, 1775-1809: Grouped by regiment, and thereunder arranged alphabetically by surname of soldier.

Militia Accounts, 1777-1809: Grouped by county, and thereunder arranged by company and battalion.

Navy accounts, 1775-1794: Grouped according to stations of duty, and thereunder arranged chronologically.

 

RG-13 Revolutionary War Military Abstract Card File {#13.50} 1785-1893

 

Abstract card file containing transcriptions of data extracted from original records in the custody of the Pennsylvania State Archives concerning Revolutionary War service in the Pennsylvania Militia, Pennsylvania Line, and the Navy. All pertinent information has been included on the cards and accurately reflects the information contained in the original records. (Note that duty after November 1783 is not considered Revolutionary War service.) Information provided contains the name and rank of the soldier, whether they were on active or inactive duty, county of residence, battalion in which they served, and record from which information was extracted. Also noted are whether soldier was delinquent and fined or whether militia fines were abated.

 

RG-4 Western Expedition (Whiskey Rebellion) Accounts {#4.71} 1794-1804

 

This series contains account books of payments to Pennsylvania regiments. Typical information within these books might include the names of commanders, duration of service, the payment amount and the payment date. The counties from which the military units originated are also listed. Bounty accounts of military officers are included as well as receipts from unit commanders for pay received by them for their troops from the paymaster. The series also contains ledgers recording fines imposed on enlisted men for failure to perform duties, the amount of the fine imposed, and the outstanding amount due on the fines. Militia accounts for individual counties are also included. Typical information in these volumes might include the rosters of county militia units and the bounty paid to each man, receipts of commanders for payment by the state and a list of fines imposed in each regiment. Transportation accounts for the Western Expedition included in this series are listed alphabetically according to the commander of the military unit or the person conducting the transportation. Information in these accounts includes the amounts charged; numbers of horses, wagons, and carriages used; miles traveled; encampments; amount of supplies used; and the names of waggoners.


War of 1812 (1812-1815)

RG-19 Brigade Inspector's Returns {#19.6} 1812-1862

 

Series contains returns of officers and men in service by brigade between the War of 1812 and the second year of the Civil War. The returns provide names and ranks for each company, the number of commissioned and staff officers; the number of non-commissioned officers, musicians, and volunteers; and a record of military hardware and supplies. Only one division has a return for 1862, all of the rest stop in 1861. The level of detail is somewhat variable, with later reports printed on forms that generally give the counties from which the division was raised, the names of companies, aggregates of regiments, number of companies in each regiment, and the number of each corps (cavalry, artillery, infantry, or rifles).

 

MG-72 Hiester Family Papers {#72m} 1750-1865

 

Included here are Pennsylvania Militia records and other papers of Thomas Elder (b. 1767, d. 1853), lieutenant colonel and commandant of the 66th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Militia (1799). Also included are 8 folders of the papers of Gabriel Hiester, Jr., reflecting his duties in the 2nd Brigade, 6th Division of the Pennsylvania Militia, 1809-1815.

 

MG-405 McQuaide Family Papers {#405m} 1813-1864

 

The collection contains correspondence and related records largely pertaining to Thomas McQuaide, 1813-1864. These items include militia records of the Second Brigade which saw action at Fort Meigs and Upper Sandusky, Ohio, January-March 1813; letters to McQuaide as a state representative from Westmoreland County, 1827-1830, and as a member of the State Board of Canal Commissioners, 1830-1840, covering topics such as the construction of state highways and canals, political infighting and family matters.

 

RG-26 Military Commission Books {#26.65} 1800-1944

 

Record of military commissions issued for officers. Information given is name, county of residence, rank, date of taking rank, military unit, regiment, company, and date of commission. Notations also reveal information concerning discharges, transfers, and deaths during service.

 

RG-26 Military Commission Books Card Index {#26.142} 1800-1860

 

Index to Military Commission Books, 1800-1944 {series #26.65} for the period through 1860. The index gives the names of officers commissioned in both voluntary and compulsory militia organizations for the period 1800-1849 and for officers commissioned under voluntary service only for the period 1849-1864. Information provided is name and rank of commissioned officer and the volume and page number in the militia books where the entry will be found.



RG-26 Military Commission Files {#26.66} 1790-1860

 

Commissions, militia returns, and resignations of officers elected to head militia units, lists of names of persons mustered into service, and correspondence from military commanders to the Governor reporting lapses in the conduct of elected officers. Information generally given is date commissioned, name of officer commissioned, and military unit to which commissioned. Includes records for Bedford through Washington Counties, 1790-1793; the Western Expedition, 1794; the Mexican War, 1846-1848; and the 1st through 20th Divisions, 1793-1860; as well as commission books, 1845-1860; and a few commissions for uniformed and drafted militia, 1862-1863.

 

MG-7 Military Manuscripts Collection {#7m} 1758-1931

 

Miscellaneous private papers relating to the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, Philippine Insurrection, World War I, the Pennsylvania National Guard, and peacetime military service. Included are records of individual service, along with related correspondence, and records of militia.

 

RG-2 Military Pension Accounts and Related Papers {#2.53} 1789-1883

 

The file consists of various pension books and lists of the names of Pennsylvania veterans who served between 1795 and 1883. Most of the accounts concern pensions granted by special legislative acts and usually provide the pensioners' names and counties of residence, dates on which pension payments were either due or made, the amounts of money paid, and the act governing the allotment. Sometimes the claimants' approximate dates of death are also recorded.

 

RG-2 Militia Accounts {#2.54} 1809-1864

 

Contains payrolls for officers and militia, pay receipts, and records of militia fines collected or imposed. The type of information found includes names of militiamen receiving pay or paying fines, the amount received or remitted, and the date of the transaction.

 

RG-26 Militia Election Returns {#26.67} 1790-1863

 

Grouped chronologically by dates of elections, and arranged thereunder sequentially by division and brigade. The series contains returns for the election of officers to lead state militia units. Information given is date of election, where election was held, name of person elected, rank to which elected, militia unit in which elected, and names of those serving in the unit.

 

RG-4 Militia Exemption Books {#4.35} 1801-1813

 

This series provides information about men exempt from militia duty. Data provided for each regiment includes the number of the regiment, the county to which it belonged, the captains in the regiment, the number exempt according to class, and the total number exempt in each regiment. Also included are accounts of exempt fines which are listed according to county, and lists of exempted men by county. The names or numbers of the militia units in which men served is also given.

 

RG-19 Militia Officers Index Card File {#19.222} 1800-1861

 

An index card file created by the Department of Military Affairs to the Militia Books, 1800-1861 found in the series Military Commission Books , 1800-1944 {#26.65} . The Militia Books, arranged by division, brigade, regiment and company, contain name lists of officers commissioned in the Pennsylvania Militia from the time of its organization on a statewide basis by Act of April 9th, 1799 until the Civil War. The index cards show the name and rank of each officer, and the volume and page number in the Militia Books where his record can be found.

 

RG-2 War of 1812 Index of Soldiers {#2.61} undated

 

Series contains an undated list of soldiers who served during the War of 1812. The index lists each soldier's name, term of service, and the name of the company commander. Written remarks noting desertions or the name of the battalions in which a militiaman served are also sometimes found.

 

RG-2 War of 1812 Militia Accounts {#2.62} 1812-1827

 

Series contains general accounts of Deputy Quartermaster Frederick Foering and paymaster accounts of various companies, brigades, and regiments. Also present are documents relating to the paying of, or exoneration from, fines by members of the Pennsylvania Militia and a copy of a General Order of 12 May 1812 providing for the recruiting of a militia. In most cases the materials are dated and give only the militiaman's name and military unit, though in some cases the county and township of residence and the names of commanding officers also appear.

 

RG-2 War of 1812 Militia Accounts: Final Settlements with the United States {#2.63} 1812-1838

 

General accounts and orders, receipts, pay vouchers, muster rolls, and payrolls for Pennsylvania militia on active duty during the War of 1812. Although most documents provide only the names, ranks, and regiments of soldiers, in those instances where muster rolls are found information such as dates of enlistment, discharge, promotion, or death also appears.

 

RG-2 War of 1812 Partial List of Pensioners {#2.64} 1868

 

A list of claims filed by veterans of the War of 1812 and their widows for the annuity provided under the Acts of March 30, 1866 and March 24, 1868. The list gives the name of the veteran, place of residence, and occasionally the amount of the annuity.

 

RG-2 War of 1812 Pension File {#2.65} 1866-1896

 

A record created as a result of the Legislative Act of April 30, 1866 (together with subsequent supplemental amendments) that granted annuities, gratuities, or pensions to Pennsylvania soldiers (or their widows) who had served at least two months duty, or who had been wounded or otherwise disabled during the War of 1812. Files usually contain either of the following two types of notarized documents:

  • Applications of Soldiers
  • Applications of Widows
  • Published muster rolls and payrolls for the War of 1812

 

RG-2 War of 1812 Pension Receipts for Philadelphia City and County {#2.66} 1871-1876

 

Receipts for pensions paid to veterans and their widows for service in the War of 1812 under the provisions of the Acts of March 30, 1866 and March 24, 1868. The pension receipts contain the name and signature of the person receiving payment, the place of residence, the amount of pension received, and the date of the receipt.