Guide to African American History

Office of the Adjutant General of Missouri

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.

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.

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, World War II, Report of Separation, 1941-1945; arranged alphabetically

The Report of Separation (Form 167) was used to obtain information to ensure that each local board was debited for men from that area who became separated from the service. This information was also used to reclassify men. Information includes full name, rank or rating, race, date entered service, serial or service number, home address, date of discharge or separation, discharge certificate, cause of discharge/separation, local board of origin, signature and rank of reporting officer.

Additional military records, including service cards for the Spanish-American War (1898) and World War I (1917-1918) are available for research. The information in those records does not indicate race or nationality, and therefore are not listed separately in this section. However, information about particular African American soldiers can be obtained in these collections, which are arranged alphabetically by surname.