War of 1812
Dillon and Marion
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Marion Soldiers
Muster Rolls
Getting the Records

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A bit fuzzy on what this war was about? The U.S. Army Center of Military History has a good overview of the
history of the War of 1812.

1812 Newspaper editorials speaking against the War


The U.S. Army was under unified field command prior to June 14, 1798. From that date until May 14, 1800, Maj. Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney commanded a district that embraced GA, TN, NC, SC, and VA, with Brig. Gen. James Wilkinson commanding troops in the north and west. After Pinckney's district was abolished, Wilkinson assumed command of the army and divided it into 11 geographical districts, with an informal alignment into western and eastern departments. Reorganized February 15, 1809, into Northern, Southern, and Western Military Districts. Southern and Western Districts consolidated as Southern Department, June 1810, and Northern District designated Northern Department.

The United States was divided into 9 military districts by War Department General Order, March 19, 1813; increased to 10, July 2, 1814; reduced to 9 by consolidation of 4th and 10th Districts, January 1815. Military districts abolished, May 17, 1815, and superseded by 10 military departments, divided equally between Divisions of the North and South.

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Soldiers of Old Marion County

Two companies commanded by Captain Elisha BETHEA, who later became a colonel, were mustered at Kirby's Crossroads and served during a part of the War of 1812 at Georgetown. Bethea's command was stationed there from June 29 until September 28, 1812, as a part of Major John Keith's 5th Regiment, South Carolina militia. The companies were again assigned to the same post from September 24 until December 5, 1814, in Major Lovelass Gasque's battalion of the 27th Regiment, South Carolina militia.


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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. Recommended: 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.

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