U.S., Registers of Deaths in the Regular Army, 1860-1889

This record collection includes death registers for U.S. Army Regulars. American soldiers during the 1860-1889 period could be:

1. Regulars (part of the federal army; commanded by the President; could be sent anywhere in the U.S.)
2. Volunteers (part of the army of a state; commanded by the Governor; could only serve in that state unless sworn into federal service during an emergency)
3. Militia (local arm of a state’s military; commanded by the Governor; generally served on a stand-by basis in the county where recruited; could be sworn into federal service in case of a dire emergency)

Member of the U.S. Colored Troops (LOC.gov photo)
Member of the U.S. Colored Troops (LOC.gov photo)

These registers were compiled by a regimental clerk; completed registers were then sent to the Adjutant General’s Office in Washington, DC. Content of the registers varies somewhat by time period, but may list the following:

length of service
date, place, and cause of death
race or nationality

Note: White and African American soldiers appear in separate lists in the registers.

A particular cause of death can be denoted in one of several ways. Gunshot wounds, for example, may appear as:

Gunshot wound
G.S. wound
Volnus Sclopet

Note: Volnus Sclopet is an abbreviation of “Volnus Sclopeticum”, Latin for “gunshot wound”.

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