Thursday, February 9, 2012

Revolutionary War Service

How did a person qualify for a Revolutionary War Soldier? Did they submit paperwork or any type of document?   Are there applications available for Revolutionary War Soldiers?  If so where are they located?

 A person did not really have to qualify to be a revolutionary war soldier. There were various kinds of service. You probably, before the war, spent time practicing in the militia. The age varied but generally it was 18 to 21. You could serve on multiple occasions through out the war. Then there was the Continental Line, either raised by a state at the request of the Continental Congress. Like the First Virginia Regiment or the Third Virginia Regiment. Then there were regiments raised by the Continental Congress, like the 23rd Continental Regiment. There were rifle regiments, there are artificers (guys who fixed stuff), and then there were also specialty regiments, like Lee's Legion. Then there were State Navies and the Continental Navy and Marines.  

For enlisted men there probably won't be paperwork for enlistment. They would be called enlistment papers. Some do exist, but I have no memory of every seeing but one and it was a recruit muster roll.

For officers, if there are officer appointments you will find reference to them in county court minutes for militia and in state archives, usually the executive branch records. For Continental Line you may find correspondence in the Papers of the Continental Congress available on Fold3. Appointment Letters or Warrants may also be found in the personal papers of the officer if they survive. I do not have any samples of any letters of appointment in my collection.

What is available for Revolutionary War soldiers are compiled military service records, company muster rolls, payrolls and other information. The best place to look for these if you are not in the National Archives is Fold3.

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