South Carolina
War of 1812
"Mr. Madison's War"

American flag - 1812
Fifteen star flag of 1812

During the War of 1812 there were 15 states in the Union, Vermont and Kentucky having been added to the original 13.
An enormous version of this flag, commissioned by
Major Armistead, flew over Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore and inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star Spangled Banner".


South Carolina Department of Archives and History

South Carolina Archives & History Center
8301 Parklane Road
Columbia, SC 29223

What's available at SCDAH in Columbia:

  • Records of the War Department
    F 602006 United States. Army. Sixth Military District. Order and court martial book for South Carolina troops in U.S. service at Charleston 1814-1815
    F 602008 United States. Army. S.C. Militia in Federal Service. War of 1812 muster rolls of South Carolina Militia in Federal Service, 1813-1815 (transcripts) ca. 1937-1941
    F 602009 United States. Army. S.C. Militia in Federal Service. Typescripts of compiled service records, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Regiments, South Carolina Militia in Federal Service, 1814-1815 ca. 1928-1930
    F 602003 United States. Army. Paymaster of the 2nd Regiment, S. C. Militia. Accounts, receipts, claims, discharges, and settlements with the Third Auditor 1814-1820

  • Records of the National Archives
    F 602781 United States. National Archives and Records Administration. Index to War of 1812 service records, South Carolina (Microcopy No. M652) 1812-1814

  • Records of the Military Department
    S 192070 Military Dept. Adjutant and Inspector General. War of 1812 muster rolls and payrolls 1812-1814
    S 192071 Military Dept. Adjutant and Inspector General. War of 1812 accounts 1814-1815

National Archives

National Archives and Records Administration
Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408

The National Archives has an Online version of their Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States which describes the records they hold. The page has a search function, and if you input "War of 1812", you will see a number of records, including:

98.2.1 Records of geographical commands, 1798-1813
Textual Records: Letters sent and received by Maj. Thomas Cushing, commanding Troops on the Mississippi, 1799-1800. Order book, General Pinckney's district, 1800. Orders and muster reports of an expedition to the international boundary between the United States and New Spain (Mexico), along the Sabine River, LA, 1806-7. Order book, Northern Department, 1812-13. Issuances, Southern Department, 1812-13.

98.2.2 Records of military districts, War of 1812
Textual Records: Discharge and furlough book and list of officers, 1st Military District, 1813-15. Order book, 2d Military District, 1814-15. Letters received, order books, courts-martial proceedings, registers of furloughs and discharges, lists of officers, and company returns, 3d Military District, 1813-15; and order book, Commander of the Defense of the City and Harbor of New York, 1812-13. Letters sent and issuances, 4th Military District, 1813-14; and issuances and reports of the adjutant and inspector general, 4th and 10th Military Districts (consolidated), 1815. General orders issued by Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton, commanding 5th Military District, April-May 1813. Letters sent and order books, 6th and 7th Military Districts, 1813-15. Letters sent, issuances, order books, and miscellaneous records of the 9th Military District and Right Wing (1st Division), Northern Army (under unified command), 1814-15; records of the Left Wing (2d Division), Northern Army, 1814; and consolidated order book, 4th Brigade of Detached Militia, 1812- 13, and District of Oswego, Sackett's Harbor, and Ogdensburg, 1813. Detail orders, 10th Military District, 1814.

Once you are certain your ancestor served in the military, you will want to get a copy of their service record. You will need Form 80 to obtain service and/or pension records.
Go to the NARA Genealogy page or telephone the 800 number to request some forms: 1-800-234-8861
While you are ordering the forms to use, you may also want to get some free publications sent to you:
General Information Leaflets (GILs)

  • GIL 5. "Using Records in the National Archives for Genealogical Research," 27 pp.
  • GIL 7. "Military Service Records in the National Archives," 14 pp.
  • GIL 30. "Information About the National Archives for Prospective Researchers," 24 pp.

A free catalogue, "Aids for Genealogical Research", describes publications by NARA and various commercial sources.

To see what books are available from the National Archives, visit their Book Store. Of particular interest and very helpful: The Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives.

Bureau of Land Management

Bureau of Land Management
Eastern States
7450 Boston Boulevard
Springfield, VA 22153

The Bureau of Land Management holds records of land given to War of 1812 soldiers. BLM records are available on CD Roms which may be ordered directly from BLM, or may be accessed from their Federal Land Patent Records Site , where you can view digital copies of records. Be sure to copy down all the information, including the state, so you can order a copy of the documentation. If you have ancestors who migrated from South Carolina to states like Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana, be sure to check this site.

Library of Congress

(202) 707-5000

The options at the Library of Congress web site can be overwhelming. Try using the Online Catalog but be sure to explore the whole site to see what's available. The Online Catalogue is a database of approximately 12 million records representing books, serials, computer files, manuscripts, cartographic materials, music, sound recordings, and visual materials in the Library's collections. The Online Catalog also provides references, notes, circulation status, and information about materials still in the acquisitions stage. Text-only users, please see special information on an alternative interface for the online catalog.

You will surely enjoy browsing the LOC American Memory Collection. Try using the search page and search on either "War of 1812" or a family name.

This page created and maintained by
Victoria Proctor
Copyright © 1999, 2014. All rights reserved.

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