Maine State Archives
Mailing Address:
84 State House Station,
Augusta, ME 04333-0084
Phone: (207) 287-5788
Fax: (207) 287-5739
E-mail: anthony.douin@maine.gov

 

Military Records and Related Sources

Researchers who are interested in Nineteenth Century military history as it affected citizens at the State and local level, and in Maine's participation in national military affairs, will find extensive resources available to them at the Maine State Archives. Here are some of the most prominent record series relating to this subject.

Military Records to Statehood in 1820

Researchers interested in the military history of Maine prior to Statehood should consult the Archives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Boston. The Maine State Archives does have custody of Maine Militia Rolls and Rolls of Maine men serving in the U.S. Regular Army for the War of 1812; also Annual Inspection Returns, Orders and Schedules, 1810-1817. Between 1835 and 1838, the Maine Legislature enacted several Resolves providing compensation in the form of either land or money for veterans of the American Revolution or their widows. Applications filed for these bounty lands and records of the issued bounty land certificates are available among the records of the Maine Land Office in the Maine State Archives.

Office of the Adjutant General, 1820-1900

The records of this Office present a comprehensive picture of the complexity of organizing, equipping, drilling and maintaining an effective militia during the years when it was the responsibility of the States to provide trained troops in time of local or national need. Records of General Orders and of Special Orders and the Official Correspondence of the Office of the Adjutant General are particularly important in providing an overview of the exercise of this responsibility by the State of Maine, since they represent record series that were continuously maintained throughout the century. Militia rolls and rosters are generally complete for the period 1820-1861. In addition to providing insight into the peacetime administration of the State militia, these records also reveal Maine's response to the border troubles that led to the Aroostook War of 1839; to the Mexican War, 1846-1848; to the Civil War and to the Spanish-American War of 1898. Files relating to Spanish-American War veterans are also available; although proof of such service must be obtained from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Other Records Relating to Military History

The accompanying papers to the original Acts and Resolves of the Maine Legislature, together with records of legislation that failed of enactment, provide insight into the reactions of Maine people toward the great social, political and economic issues of the Nineteenth Century; as well as establishing the authorizations and limitations for State participation in any resulting military conflict. For example, a series of Legislative Resolves exchanged between Maine and other States relating to the extension of slavery in the western territories reflect the intensification of the issue from the Missouri Compromise through the Congressional debates over the admission to the Union of Kansas and Nebraska; and may provide a more accurate measure of the real attitudes of the people of Maine toward this question than does any other source.

The records of the Maine Land Office contain information about the Aroostook War; most particularly the Diary and Letterbook of William Parrot , the Land Agent in charge of the civil force in Aroostook County during the dispute. See also The Record of Provender for Men Going to Aroostook County ; and Copies of Letters and Papers Relating to the Aroostook Volunteers and the Governor .

Researchers should also consult the published Annual and Biennial Reports of the Adjutant General of Maine for the general background of the records of the Office.

OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST

Brunswick War Memorial Committee, Pejopscot Historical Society US Veterans Collection (1900-2000), Stockholm Historical Society
World War II Collection World War II Links