Tennessee Military Records

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This entry was originally written by Wendy Bebout Elliott, Ph.D. FUGA for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Tennessee Family History Research series.
History of Tennessee
Tennessee Vital Records
Census Records for Tennessee
Background Sources for Tennessee
Tennessee Maps
Tennessee Land Records
Tennessee Probate Records
Tennessee Court Records
Tennessee Tax Records
Tennessee Cemetery Records
Tennessee Church Records
Tennessee Military Records
Tennessee Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Tennessee Archives, Libraries, and Societies
African Americans of Tennessee
Native Americans of Tennessee
Tennessee County Resources
Map of Tennessee


Numerous Internet sites are available for Tennessee soldiers (for all ethnic groups) from the Civil War through Vietnam. In addition to sources cited on page 9, another website is www.tennessee-scv.org for Confederate soldiers.

Tennessee began granting pensions for military service to resident Confederate veterans in 1891 and to veterans’ widows in 1905. The TSLA has the applications and many additional records relating to military and naval service during the War between the States on microfilm. Indexes for Revolutionary War pensioners; muster rolls for soldiers of the War of 1812, Indian wars of 1818 and 1836, Mexican War, Civil War, and Spanish-American War; and service records for Tennesseans who served during the Mexican War and Civil War (both Confederate and Union) are among the archives’ collections.

Considerable material exists in the manuscript collection at the state archives. Their Register Number 10 includes an index and list of some holdings for Confederate and Union soldiers. A valuable source is the Confederate and Union veterans’ questionnaires sent by the Tennessee Historical Committee. Containing details about military and personal data, these have been published without index in five volumes in Gustavus W. Dyer and John Trotwood Moore, Tennessee Civil War Questionnaires (Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1985). An unpublished index is available at the state archives.

A card index to the Confederate Veteran magazine and a card index to Lindsay, Military Annals of Tennessee(Confederate), are maintained in the state archives, as are National Archives indexes for service in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, and hundreds of monographs concerning the War between the States.

FamilySearch.org has a variety of collections available for free online:

Printed sources abound in the state for military service and pension records. A few are the following:

  • Allen, Penelope Johnson. Tennessee Soldiers in the Revolution: A Roster of Soldiers during the Revolutionary War in the Counties of Washington and Sullivan, Taken from the Revolutionary Army Accounts of North Carolina. 1935. Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1967.
  • Armstrong, Zella. Some Tennessee Heroes of the Revolution. 3 parts. Chattanooga, Tenn.: n.p., 1933–35.
  • ———. Twenty-four Hundred Tennessee Pensioners—Revolution, War of 1812. Chattanooga, Tenn.: n.p., 1937.
  • ———. Tennessee Soldiers in the War of 1812: Regiments of Col. Allcorn and Col. Allison. Chattanooga, Tenn.: Tennessee Society U.S. Daughters of 1812, 1947. Taken from the Tennessee State Archives photostats of original records in Washington, D.C.
  • Brewer, Alberta, and Carson Brewer. Divided Loyalties: Fort Sanders and the Civil War in East Tennessee. 1963; Reprint. Knoxville: East Tennessee Historical Society, 2002. This third edition includes new maps, illustrations, and appendixes. Details people who lived and fought and community struggles.
  • Lindsley, John B. The Military Annals of Tennessee. 1886. Reprint. Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., 1974.
  • McCown, Mary Hardin, and Inez E. Burns. Soldiers of the War of 1812 Buried in Tennessee. Johnson City, Tenn.: Tennessee Society U.S. Daughters of the War of 1812. 1959. Reprint. Johnson City, Tenn.: Overmountain Press, 1977. A standard published source on the subject of Tennessee soldiers.
  • Mills, Gary. Civil War Claims in the South: An Index of Civil War Damage Claims Filed before the Southern Claims Commission, 1871–1880. Laguna Hills, Calif.: Aegean Park Press, 1980.
  • Sistler, Byron, and Barbara Sistler. 1890 Civil War Veterans Census—Tennessee. Nashville: Byron Sistler and Assoc., 1978.
  • Special Presidential Pardons for Confederate Soldiers: A Listing of Former Confederate Soldiers Requesting Pardon from President Andrew Johnson. 2 vols. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 1999.
  • Tennessee Civil War Centennial Commission. Tennesseans in the Civil War, A Military History of Confederate and Union Units with Available Rosters of Personnel. 2 vols. 1964–65. Reprint. Nashville: Civil War Centennial Commission, 1981–84.
  • Tennessee State Library and Archives. Index to Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications. Nashville: State Library, 1964.
  • Wright, Marcus J. Tennessee in the War, 1861–65. Lists of Military Organizations and Officers from Tennessee in Both the Union and Confederate Armies... New York, 1908.
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