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Source Information

Ancestry.com. U.S. Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, 1821-1916 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data:

Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, June 1821–December 1916. NARA microfilm publication M665, rolls 1–244, 262-292, 297–300 of 300. Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1780's–1917, Record Group 94, and Records of United States Regular Army Mobile Units, 1821–1942, Record Group 391. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

About U.S. Returns from Regular Army Infantry Regiments, 1821-1916

This database primarily contains monthly returns from U.S. Regular Army infantry regiments received by the Adjutant General’s Office from June 1821 to December 1916. It also includes other forms and correspondence filed with these returns.

The Regular Army monthly returns reported on the strength of each regiment, including total numbers of men present, absent, sick, or on extra daily duty, as well as giving a report of officers and some categories of enlisted men by name. Later returns included an accounting of strength in terms of horses and artillery.

What Can I Find?

These records can be searched by name, year, and regiment. They can be browsed by regiment or year.

Forms changed several times over the years, so the information recorded about regiments and individuals will vary. However, the type of information generally found on the returns includes

  • names of regimental commanders
  • names of all officers and reasons for the unit’s loss or gain of officers, if applicable
  • names of company commanders
  • stations of the regiment and companies
  • names of absent enlisted men, 1857–1904, and reason for absence
  • names of enlisted men the unit lost and gained, 1821–1914, and reasons
  • names of enlisted men on extra or daily duty, 1857–1873, and nature of duty
  • record of events, 1832–1916
  • total strength of both officers and enlisted men by rank, 1819–1857
  • total strength of horses by company, 1846–1916
  • total strength of artillery pieces by company, 1857–1912

Other record types filed with the returns include

  • “Historical Data” files (miscellaneous correspondence and records)
  • annual and quarterly returns of alterations and casualties
  • monthly returns of battalions, companies, and detachments
  • special field returns and field returns
  • returns of casualties
  • tri-monthly field returns

Some of the above information was taken from the Descriptive Pamphlet of National Archives Microfilm Publications M665, National Archives, Washington, D.C. Please consult this pamphlet for a more detailed description and history of these records. You can find a copy using the Browse function.

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