Soldiers' Records: War of 1812 - World War I

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World War I Military Service Cards: Guidelines for Use

In July 1919, the United States Congress passed an act providing that a record of service for each soldier, sailor, and marine who served between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1919, be created and furnished to the adjutant general of the individual states. Clerks in the Department of the Army and the Department of the Navy created these cards; the project continued into the 1920s. (See "World War I Service Cards: A Brief History" for more information.)

The World War I Military Service Cards Database includes ONLY the names of men and women who served in the regular United States Army, the National Guard, the United States Marine Corps, or the United States Navy.

The service cards and database include only the names of men and women who entered the service from the state of Missouri, either by enlistment or through the state National Guard. If a person entered the service from another state or country, but resided in Missouri in later years, his or her service record will not be included in the service card collection or in this database. Researchers should consult the state from which entrance into the service was gained for military service information.

Original draft record information for Missouri veterans is available on microfilm at the St. Louis Public Library; original draft record information is also available through the National Archives and Records Administration (

The original service cards for Missouri and other states were created from war service records maintained by the federal military departments of the Army and Navy. Some of those original records were incomplete and inaccurate, making the resulting service card as well as the database entry incomplete and inaccurate as well.

In the event that errors and discrepancies occur, Missouri State Archives staff will consult the original service card. If the error or discrepancy is the result of a typographical data entry mistake, the database will be amended to reflect the accurate information. If the error or discrepancy is part of the original service card, though, staff will not amend the database information. That information is abstracted from an original archival record and cannot be altered.

It is possible that additional information about these soldiers is available through other sources. Archives staff cannot, however, alter the original existing record by introducing additional military information into the database.

A note about additional military records:
The Missouri State Archives does not maintain military service records for wars after World War I. Regrettably, it is not possible to create a database for military personnel after World War I.

For information about military personnel in wars following World War I, researchers should contact the National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Boulevard, St. Louis MO 65132. The National Personnel Records Center will not accept requests for military personnel records or information from them by e-mail at this time.

A fire at the National Personnel Records Center in 1973 destroyed many military records. An estimated 80% of the U.S. Army personnel records created from 1912 to 1963 were destroyed. The fire did not damage U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps personnel files.