Guide to Civil War Resources at the Missouri State Archives
Office of the Adjutant General
The Office of the Adjutant General, a constitutional office, was created in 1820 to oversee the state militia; it was transferred to the Department of Public Safety in 1974. The Adjutant General is appointed by the governor and serves as the administrative head of the state's military establishment. Responsibilities include administration, discipline, mobilization, organization, and training of guard forces. The Missouri National Guard is available for national emergencies and can be activated by the governor for state emergency duty.
The Missouri State Archives holds records from the Adjutant General's office reflecting the service of Missourians in foreign and domestic wars between 1812 and World War II. Included in the collection are service records/cards, muster rolls, payrolls, descriptive rolls, and miscellaneous information such as oaths, orders, reports, commissions, and more. The bulk of the collection includes materials relating to the Civil War.
Record Group 133: Office of the Adjutant General, Civil War, 1861-1865, Civil War Military Records, 1845-1865; various arrangements, including by regiment and alphabetically by surname.
This collection contains over 750 cubic feet of original documents relating to military activity in Missouri during the Civil War. It is a wide-ranging body of material, encompassing both Union and Confederate records. Much of the collection has been largely unexplored, representing an unusual opportunity to engage in original research. The collection includes various series, such as muster rolls for the state's artillery, cavalry, infantry, etc. divisions; service index cards (Union and Confederate); muster cards for enrolled militia regiments, provisional enrolled militia regiments, United States Reserve Corps Infantry, etc. Also included are records dealing with some CSA units and regiments with reports from the War Department; the Home Guards; general orders; the Six Months Militia; and more. Some records for the Seminole War and the Mexican War are included in this collection, and can be useful for researching military actions that preceded the Civil War.
Record Group 133: Office of the Adjutant General, Civil War, 1861-1865, Union Military Records, (undated); arranged by unit designations and unit numbers.
This collection is comprised of Union military records concerned with the daily operation of the unit. Included in these records are loyalty oaths, resignations, enlistments, discharges, regimental histories, general and special orders, court martial procedures, and requests for commissions to positions as officers. Military units include the Enrolled Missouri Militia, the Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia, Missouri Volunteer Infantry, Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, Missouri Light Artillery, Missouri State Militia (infantry and cavalry).
Record Group 133: Office of the Adjutant General, Civil War, 1861-1865, Enrolled Missouri Militia Claims, c1870s; arranged alphabetically by county, therein chronologically.
This series contains the records of claims filed on behalf of the Enrolled Missouri Militia after the war, primarily during the 1870s and beyond. Included are claims for damages, replacement of horses and equipment, food, and miscellaneous goods.
Record Group 133: Office of the Adjutant General, Civil War, 1861-1865, Enrolled Missouri Militia: Union Military Records, (undated); arranged numerically by number of unit, therein by letter of company.
These are Union military records of the Enrolled Missouri Militia containing power of attorney and oath of allegiance forms signed by men who served in the EMM.
Record Group 133: Office of the Adjutant General, Civil War, 1861-1865, Union and Confederate Materials, (various sub-series, undated).
This collection contains a variety of materials, divided into several sub-series. Included are the oath of allegiance and power of attorney forms signed by individuals who served in independent county units during the Civil War. The information primarily contains name, rank, company, and amount of pay due; some proof of death forms are also included.
In addition, miscellaneous correspondence from various regiments and divisions of the Union Army in Missouri comprises part of the collection, as well as scattered correspondence relating to events within specific counties. A separate sub-series includes correspondence concerning the involvement of the Enrolled Missouri Militia in the war.
Another sub-series contains a variety of material on military units, citizen groups, and post-Civil War organizations, both Union and Confederate. Correspondence, military bills, military telegraphs, list of commissioned officers, and information about Baldknobbers are just a few of the topics. The sub-series also contains Cross of Honor applications for Confederate service and oaths of loyalty signed by officers in the county units of the Missouri Militia, among additional miscellaneous materials.
The collection also includes a sub-series comprised of commissions issued by various branches of the Union Army during the war. These commissions are listed in numerical order, with divisions for different branches of service and years of issues. Military units include the Missouri Volunteers, the Missouri Militia, the Enrolled Missouri Militia, and the Missouri State Militia Cavalry, in addition to some miscellaneous commissions.
Stubs with record of payments made on behalf of the state for supplies furnished and personal services, printed hardbound volumes of the Adjutant General reports, bounded volumes of Union military orders issued by Curtis, general orders, an Army register, and a Register of the Navy, miscellaneous loyalty oaths, and assorted correspondence complete the collection.
Record Group 133: Office of the Adjutant General, Civil War: 1861-1865, United States Colored Troops, Muster Rolls; arranged numerically by regiment.
This collection, also available on microfilm, includes Muster-In Rolls as well as Muster & Descriptive Rolls for persons serving in the Unites States Colored Troops (USCT). The rolls are for infantry troops (13th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 52nd, 55th, 56th, 60th, 63rd, 65th, 68th, 72nd). Muster-In Rolls indicate name, rank, age, when and where enrolled, remarks; captain's name, company, regiment, and date. Muster & Descriptive Rolls indicate name/number of regiment, name, rank, nativity information, age, occupation, when and where enlisted, color of eyes, color of hair, color of complexion (brown, copper, black), height, clothing account, and remarks.
Record Group 133: Office of the Adjutant General, Civil War: 1861-1865, United States Colored Troops, Service Records; arranged chronologically.
These records, also available on microfilm, encompass service in the United States Colored Troops (Infantry: 16th, 17th, 18th, 56th, 60th, 62nd, 65th, 67th, 68th). Information includes name, rank, age, name of captain, when and where enlisted, when and where mustered in, remarks, and when and where mustered out. The card of George W. Reynolds is provided as an example.
Record Group 133: Office of the Adjutant General, Civil War: 1861-1865, United States Colored Troops
This collection of miscellaneous records includes oaths, orders, reports, commissions, etc., regarding the United States Colored Troops.
Record Group 133: Office of the Adjutant General, Court-Martial Papers, 1862-1877; arranged alphabetically by surname of prisoner.
This collection consists of handwritten military correspondence, printed and handwritten courts-martial records, special orders, rolls of sentenced prisoners, prisoners' referral letters, prisoners' statements regarding their crimes, military pardons and commutations, and numerous other papers concerning the transfers of prisoners between the Alton, Illinois military prison, and others, and the Missouri State Penitentiary at Jefferson City .
The documents in this collection are connected with the courts-martial and incarceration of military prisoners in the Missouri State Penitentiary from 1862 to 1877. The Union Army's primary military prison, located at Alton, Illinois, had proved grossly inadequate, holding both Confederate prisoners of war as well as an increasing number of Union Army criminals; overcrowding and contagious disease were alarming. The impetus to use the Missouri State Penitentiary came from a smallpox epidemic in 1862.
The collection begins with the transfer of the Union prisoners from Alton to Jefferson City and the documentation that supported the move, including courts-martial records, prisoners' statements, loyalty oaths, transfer orders, and descriptive rolls. The text of the courts-martial records and the prisoners' statements provide a fascinating look into military life in the nineteenth century, as well as a social history of the era. Further, the presence of women and civilians among the military prisoners provides evidence of the complexity of the times and politics of the era, which often resulted in some extraordinary legal issues.
For example, Martha Cassell was found guilty of "encouraging warfare and insurrection" because she wrote letters to and was familiar with some alleged rebels; she was sentenced in August 1864 for the duration of the war. The collection also contains the documents regarding the case of Reverend Fountain Brown, convicted of violating the Emancipation Proclamation - likely the only individual to have been so censured. Most military prisoners began to receive executive pardons beginning in June 1865 and were released, with the exception of those found guilty of first-degree murder or rape. However, soldiers continued to commit crimes and were prosecuted and sentenced by military tribunals after the war's formal end. The Army used the Missouri State Penitentiary as a military prison until 1877.
See also Record Group 213: Department of Corrections for the Index of Prisoners and Register of Military Prisoners . These records contain further information about the prisoners, including physical descriptions, nativity, age, and date of release.
Record Group 133: Office of the Adjutant General, Missouri Veterans Home (St. James): Applications, 1912-1994; arranged alphabetically by surname; indexed.
The Missouri Veterans Home (St. James) was originally a home for Union soldiers and was known as the Federal Soldiers Home of Missouri until 1977. The Women's Relief Corps and the Grand Army of the Republic established the home in 1896.
This incomplete series contains original applications and re-admission documents.