South Dakota Military Records Research Guide

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military recordsThe applications and value of South Dakota military records in family history and genealogical research for ancestors who have been veterans are evident but South Dakota military records can also be essential to researchers whose primary ancestors weren’t soldiers in any war. Because of the amount of genealogical details contained in several South Dakota military pension records they should not be ignored during the research process.

The National Archives, the South Dakota State Historical Society, and several other organizations have copies of Civil War Union volunteer records for South Dakota military members. The archives also offers restricted access to service records from World War II, as well as access to History Commission records from World War II. The Register of Deeds offices hold some records of military discharge papers.

Some military records, including military benefit records, can be found at the South Dakota State Archives. Included are mothers’ pension records for the following counties: Deuel (1913-1940), Hughes (1923-1940), Kingsbury (1922-1940), Lawrence (1918-1940), McCook (1917-1931), Mellette (1914-1940), Minnehaha (1913-1940), Union (1922-1940), Walworth (1926-1940)

Those records do have some restrictions. However, the archives also holds some genealogically interesting militia lists for McCook County from 1889 to 1920, and for Edmunds County from 1918 to 1919..

South Dakota Modern Wars

War Website Links

  • Memorandum and Official Records, Concerning Dakota Militia, Organized in 1862 for the Protection of, the Frontier Settlements from the Hostile Sioux Indians, compiled by, R.E. McDowell in connection with Senate Bill No. 5353, Doc., 241, 58th Congress, 2nd session, Washington, DC, 1904
  • A roster of soldiers from the First Infantry Regiment, South, Dakota Volunteers in the Spanish-American War, has been, published in Doane Robinson’s History of South Dakota, 2 vols., (Chicago: B.F. Bowen & Company, 1904)

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