South Carolina Military Records, Part One: Revolutionary War

This is a guide to a few of the most popular sources available in the SC Room for researching individual soldiers that served in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War.  In addition to many helpful books that contain lists of troops and officers, there are primary source documents on microfilm.


Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the Revolution. This book provides an alphebetical listing of the soldiers who served, what organization they served with, length of service, and enlistment dates.  Some entries also list birth dates and spouses when the information is available.

South Carolinians in the Revolution. Sara Ervin’s book provides a listing of some persons involved in the war, including women.  It includes abstracts of service information, a partial list of pension applicants, and lists of officers.

There are also books that include history and rosters for specific battles (such as American Revolution Roster, Fort Sullivan), lists of military leaders from the state (like Officers who Served in South Carolina Regiments), and books that provide abstracts of information that is found in primary source military records (such as Revolutionary War Pension Applicants).  Patrons may also want to use the biography section and history books on the Revolution to find additional information about individual troops.


The Revolutionary War Rolls.  This collection was filmed by the National Archives in 1957.  They consist of two rolls of microfilm, an index roll that includes all the colonies/ states and their military organizations during the Revolution, and a second roll of actual records, which only includes the information for South Carolina units.  These records have not been transcribed and are sometimes hard to read, as the film is comprised of duplicates of the original records.

 Roll 1C:  This roll of film contains the index for the second roll of material.  It is indexed by the name of the organization or unit, which are then given a corresponding number, 1-12.  The index also lists the commanding officers for each organization.  The second roll of film is organized by military organization, 1-12, and then is broken down further by commanding officer and his regiment/ unit.  To find an individual on Roll 2C, a researcher must know what unit/organization the soldier would have served in, since there is no index for individual troops.

 * If the researcher doesn’t already know what unit the troop was in, they can refer to Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, which is cataloged as 973.3457 MOSS.  The book lists all known SC patriots in alphabetical order and also lists what organization they served in.  With this information, patrons can check the index on Roll 1C to see if that unit is included on the film.

 Roll 2C:  This roll is also not transcribed and does not have page numbers; it is organized by military organization, 1-12.  It includes muster rolls, which are organized alphabetically and usually appear at the start of  each organization’s section.  Roll 2C also has an assortment of pay rolls, ‘strength returns’, casualty listings, and other miscellaneous information on the personnel. 


Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War. These rolls are organized by regiment, and alphebetically by the troop’s surname within each spereate military unit/ organization.  The quickest way to determine what unit the troop is in is by consulting the Roster of South Carolina Patriots book.  Each record consists of a cover sheet that lists the name, rank, and unit in which the individual served.  There is more information for some troops than others (and there is generally more information on officers of higher ranking soldiers), but the records contain an assortment of information including muster rolls, payrolls, provision returns, reciepts for pay and bounty, and correspondence.   Please note that this is not a complete collection for all troops who served in the state; a fire in 1800 destroyed a large amount of reocrds that were inthe War Department’s possession at the time.


Accounts Audited for Claims Growing Out ofthe Revolution in South Carolina (a.k.a. Revolutionary Service Claims.)  This set of untranscribed records is a listing of soldiers or their dependents who had applied to the government to recieve the soldier’s pension or back wages.  The rolls often include correspondence about receiving pensions. The amount of pension that each individual recieved depended on rank and the length of service, so these records are useful in proving revolutionary service and for provindg an idea of the length and type of service for each troop was involved in. These rolls of film are organized alphabetically by the surname of the person making a claim (who may be the veteran or a dependent such as a wife, child, or widow.)


There are also some limited sources such as roster listings and abstracts of records for other neighboring states and for South Carolina loyalists, but the bulk of material available in the collection is for South Carolina patriots.