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Requesting Military Records from the National Archives

The National Archives will search for military records if you can provide the following information about the individual:

  • Full name
  • The war in which the individual served
  • The state from which the individual entered the military
  • The branch of service -- whether Army, Navy, or the Marine Corps
  • Other identifying information, such as birth and death dates and locations, is helpful, but not required. It is likely that there will be many files with the same name as your ancestor, and this information can help determine which is the correct file.

Requests for copies of military records at the National Archives need to be submitted on NATF Form 80. You may only make one request per form and they do not accept reproductions of the form, so be sure to order one copy of Form 80 for each request that you want to make. If you are sending for copies of bounty land warrant applications, you will need Form 26. To obtain a copy of either form, write to:

Reference Services Branch (NNIR)
National Archives and Records Administration
7th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408

For a faster response, you can request Form 80 via email. In the body of the message, include your name and mailing address, as well as the number of copies of Form 80 you need. The National Archives will send you an e-mail message confirming receipt of your request.

Once you return the completed form, the National Archives will conduct a search. If they are able to locate what they believe is the correct file, they will photocopy it and send you a bill. Once you return the payment, they will send the copies. For larger files, they will not photocopy every page unless you specifically ask request this. Instead, they will photocopy the pages that they deem most useful. If they cannot determine which is the correct file, they will notify you of this.

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