Kentucky Military History

Resources for information about KY Military History
(If you know of information in the public domain that might be appropriate for this page, please contact email BMAC to provide a brief description and sources.)

KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT FOR LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
Website

  • Union Service Records These records contain the name, rank, and unit of each Union soldier, as well as information abstracted from original muster rolls, regimental returns, hospital rolls, descriptive book, lists of deserters, and any other papers related to a soldier. (Note - These records do not contain information on Kentuckians who served in the U.S. Regulars, the U.S. Colored Troops, the Navy, or the Marines.)
  • Confederate Service Records These records contain the name, rank, and unit of each soldier, as well as abstracts from entries found in muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, Union prison registers, parole records, and inspection reports. (Note - these records do not contain information on staff officers, or pro-Confederate citizens.)
  • Confederate Pension Applications Generally, each application contains the veteran's date and place of birth, his unit designation, and term of service.
  • 1890 Census of Union Veterans and Widows These records include name, rank, unit, length of service and the nature of any service-related disability, as well as information about surviving spouses.
    (Note - Congress authorized this special census in an effort to locate individuals entitled to pensions or disability benefits; many ex-Confederates were accidentally included in this census, also.)
  • Adjutant General's Roster of the War of 1812 These records show the soldier's name, rank, regimental unit (usually showing the last name of the regimental commander), the company commander's name, dates of service and pay, whether the soldier was a substitute, date of discharge, and sometimes, distance to the soldier's home from place of discharge. Other information such as date of death, if applicable, and periods of sickness, if recorded on the muster rolls, is noted.
  • Adjutant General's Roster of the Mexican War These records provides the name, rank, unit and length of service for all volunteers who served in Kentucky units during the conflict. The "remarks" column may contain additional data on military service, including, but not limited to: wounds, capture or death.
  • Adjutant General's Roster of the Civil War These records mostly contain Kentucky units mustered into the Federal service, U.S. Colored Troops, Kentucky State Troops, and Enrolled Militia. The brief Confederate report contains many errors and omissions, but can be used for basic research.
  • Adjutant General's Roster of the Spanish-American War These records provide the name, rank, unit and length of service for all men who served in Kentucky volunteer units during the conflict. In addition to other service-related data, this source includes: age, birthplace, occupation, residence, and next of kin.
    (Note: The military records for those Kentuckians who served in the regular U.S. Army or Navy are available at the National Archives.)
  • World War I Draft Registration Cards This series includes the records of those Kentuckians registered for the three draft calls held in 1917 and 1918. It is important to note that not all men who registered for the draft saw military duty. Each card contains the following general information: date and place of birth, race, citizenship, occupation, and physical description.
  • World War I Record of Service Cards Used by the federal government to track soldiers, these cards contain name, serial number, race, residence, place of birth, and age or date of birth, organizations served in (with dates of assignments and transfers), grades (with date of appointment), engagements, wounds or other injuries received in action, service overseas, discharge notations, and general remarks.
  • World War I Casualty Cards This list alphabetized by county contains a service member's name, next of kin, address of next of kin, branch of service (if other than army), race (if other than white), nature of casualty; some cards show date of casualty and home county.
    (Note: POW, MIA, and KIA records are available for only Meade - Woodford counties.)
  • Word War I Casualty ListingThis record series contains two groups of index cards listing Kentucky Casualties 1915-1919, arranged alphabetically by service members last name. Each card contains the following general information: home of record both city and county, Branch of service if other than army, next of kin, nature of casualty, and in cases unit designation and date of casualty.

Kentucky's Military Governors: Website

HISTORY OF KY NATIONAL GUARD: Website

CIVIL WAR SITES IN KENTUCKY

Perryville Battlefield and State Historic Site - The largest battlefield in Kentucky, Perryville is part of the Kentucky State Park system. It is the location of a battle between 40,000 Confederates and Yankees that took place on October 8, 1862. Perryville includes a museum, gift shop, battlefield monuments and some of the best undisturbed and undeveloped views of a Civil War battlefield. For more information on the battlefield, http://www.perryvillebattlefield.com/ ; for more information on the reenactment, Website)

Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park - Located near Nicholasville, Camp Nelson commemorates, preserves and tells the story of the Civil War from the unique perspective of a major Union quartermaster and commissary depot. The original former officers' quarters building still exists. The site a wartime refugee camp for displaced African-Americans. Adjacent to the Park is a small federal cemetery with graves dating back to 1863. (For more information, visit Website.)

Middle Creek National Battlefield - On January 10, 1862, 2,000 Confederate troops faced 1100 Union troops, and each side fought for control of Kentucky. This battle established the reputation of James A Garfield, who at the time was a Union Colonel. Garfield, who later became the 20th president of the United States. For more information, visit Website.