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Saturday, July 27, 2013

MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR SERVICE RECORDS




fold3: Military records
This month's featured content: Mexican-American War Service Records
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Mexican-American War Service Records

Two of the newest titles on Fold3 expand our collection of Mexican-American War service records. Previously comprised of service records for Mississippi, the Mormon Battalion, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, the newest titles include service records for Arkansas regiments plus the Mexican War Service Record Index.
A soldier's compiled military service record (CMSR) is created from muster rolls, pay rolls, receipts, and other military documents created for each unit. Therefore, his file will contain information about how much he was paid, where he served, his rank, promotions, furloughs, casualties, and sometimes a physical description.
The Mexican War Service Record Index will tell you if a particular man served in the Mexican-American War. If so, it will lead you to the unit in which he enlisted. It contains over 220,000 cards indexing the compiled service records of volunteer soldiers who served in the war. They're arranged alphabetically by state or territory, and then by soldier's last name.
When we search the index for Nathaniel T. Gaines, we learn that he served in the Mounted Regiment of Arkansas Infantry, Company B. The index card also indicates that he enlisted as a sergeant and was promoted to lieutenant. We can then locate his CMSR within the Arkansas regiments. A card with information from the Company Muster-in Roll indicates he was 26 when he mustered in as a sergeant for one year on July 2, 1846, at Washington, Arkansas. His horse was valued at $100 and equipment for the horse was valued at $15.
Gaines was absent on furlough by order of Col. Yell on the muster roll for August 31, 1846. (Yell enrolled as a private but was promoted to colonel. He was killed in battle six months later at Buena Vista.) Sgt. Gaines was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on November 14, 1846, and $4.68 3/4 was withheld from his pay for subsistence forage for his horse between Little Rock and Washington. His horse was "stolen by Mexicans at Saltillo on Jany. 12." He mustered out at Camargo, Mexico, on June 20, 1847.
You can learn more about the activities of a regiment by navigating to the browse menu where you'll see Unit Information at the top of the "Surname Starts With" list. The cards detail the movement of troops, if they were in battle, and other events while on the march from one location to another. The reports furnished by the Arkansas regiments are rather uneventful, but the First Tennessee Infantry engaged in battle as evidenced by a Regimental Return which recorded participation "in the battle of Cerro Gordo on the 18 in which one Private was killed and 3 officers and 5 men wounded."
The Mexican-American War ultimately determined the southwest border of the United States when peace was negotiated in 1848. As Fold3 continues to add to the Mexican-American War collection, you'll discover more documents and learn the stories of the soldiers who served in battles south of the border in this oft-forgotten conflict.
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Nathaniel T. Gaines Muster Roll

Nathaniel T. Gaines Muster Roll

Archibald Yell Service Record

Archibald Yell Service Record

Regimental Return

Regimental Return

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