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Early Militia Georgia

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Early Militia

Georgia's militia had two types of companies: district companies and volunteer companies.

Every man between ages 16 and 60 was required to be a member of his district company and do regular (yearly) drills. Georgia Militia Districts are minor civil divisions that are still used today in most counties.

Volunteer companies where just that, volunteer. Many had a certain amount of prestige associated with them. Some acted very much like a union, taking dues and providing services to their members, like life insurance. Gordon Smith's books focus on the volunteer companies, but only touch on district companies briefly.

Locating the records of an individual member of a district company is possible, but very difficult. First, you must learn the name of the senior officers, Captain, Major, or Lieutenant Colonel. Take that information to the Georgia Archives where a reference specialist will be able to help you locate potential record sources, such as pay rolls and muster rolls.

For volunteer companies, start with Gordon Smith as a way to determine if anything jumps out as a possibility for your ancestor's unit. His books are meant as a sample of the militia across Georgia, so not every county or volunteer company is represented. Again, a reference specialist will be able to help locate resources pertaining to volunteer companies.

Thank you, Paul Graham for this helpful description.

Is there anything on-line about early Georgia Militia?

  • Revolutionary War Information
  • War of 1812 Information
    The War of 1812 in much of Georgia was also known as the Creek Indian Wars 1811-1814, since that is where most of the Militia action was.

    How do I obtain Records?

    Obtain FORM 80 available via e-mail. Be sure to state: 1) Quantity needed 2) Correct Form # 3) your postal mailing address
    Or if you prefer, postal inquiry: 
    National Archives Form NATF Form 80
    Military Services Branch
    National Archives and Records Administration
    8th & Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Washington DC 20408
    When you return the form, they will search certain records for that individual. If you use your credit card, they will proceed to copy and send to you the information they found. If they are unable to find any information you will be notified, and there is NO CHARGE. The cost for a successful search if $17 and depending on the amount of copying, some extra charges.

    Is there an outline to help me with Research Steps?
    This LDS site Research Outline for US Military Records is very thorough.
    Be sure to look at the TABLE showing the various kinds of records and what you are apt to find in each one, i.e. Military Service, Pension, Bounty Land, Draft, Cemetery, Soldier Homes, Lineage Society, Biography.

    Is there anything specific on Georgia that is published?

    How can I find out if my ancestor drew a pension or received Bounty Land?

    Explanation of Pensions, Bounty Land available on microfilm at National Archives

    LDS films also has a CD index of the War of 1812, by state, with participants names listed alphabetically.

    What other tips are there about researching this War?

    Tips on Researching Specific for Georgia

    Todd Frary
    The best source on Georgia units in the War of 1812 is a recently published book "History of the Georgia Militia, 1783 - 186l," by Gordon Burns Smith of Savannah.
    Gordon Burns Smith - Author (published 2000)
    This book is published by Boyd Publishing Co., Milledgeville, Ga.
    History of the Georgia Militia, 1783-1861 v1. Campaigns and Generals. Indexed. An introduction to the components of the General Militia and Volunteers, tracing the militia system from its organization by Oglethorpe in 1733, through the Revolutionary War, and then detailing each of the major conflicts in which the Georgia Militia served afterwords. Eye- witness reports punctuate these heavily documented accounts. Lists of units (identified by county of origin where possible) in active service during these campaigns are appended. For historians, the important Militia Acts of the Legislature are outlined, followed by a selection of General and Special Orders from the chain of command. For genealogists, a list of battalion and regimental designations by county is included, along with a table of organization for the 27 brigades and 13 divisions of the Georgia Militia. The volume closes with the biographies of the 205 Georgia Militia generals. 424 pg $45

    History of the Georgia Militia, 1783-1861 v2. Counties and Commanders, Part One. Indexed. The militia histories of fifteen counties, CHATHAM, BURKE, JEFFERSON, TATTNALL, BALDWIN, MORGAN, JASPER, MONROE, BIBB, WARE, PIERCE, CAMPBELL, SUMTER, COBB, and FLOYD, placing them in the pertinent political and economic contexts in which they existed. Each chapter is richly documented with biographical and genealogical information on men and women residing in the county. Company roster and payrolls are attached in numerous cases. These pages contain a veritable genealogical treasure trove, since some counties have lost most if not all of their early public records. 385 pg $45

    History of the Georgia Militia, 1783-1861 v3. Counties and Commanders, Part Two. Indexed. The militia histories of twelve counties: BLYNN, CAMDEN, EFFINGHAM, WASHINGTON, COLUMBIA, LINCOLN, CLARKE, HABERSHAM, MUSCOGEE, THOMAS, COLQUITT, and LOUNDES, placing them in the same contexts as those in Volume 2. Of these counties, several have lost most if not all of their early public records. Company rosters and payrolls are also attached in numerous cases. 400 pg $45.00

    History of the Georgia Militia, 1783-1861 v4. Companies. Indexed. The histories of twenty-five representative volunteer companies, with rosters where pertinent. Among them are the GEORGIA HUSSARS, REPUBLICAN BLUES, MCINTOSH LIGHT DRAGOONS, MACON VOLUNTEERS, CRAWFORD VOLUNTEERS, FORT GAINES GUARDS, ALBANY GUARDS, and GATE CITY GUARD, and for genealogists include units incounties that have lost their early records, such as Crawford, Dougherty, and McIntosh Counties. Military and political historians will appreciate the account of the filibusters in Georgia: Lopez, Gonzales, the Order of the Lone Star, "the Grey-Eyed Man of Destiny", Henningsen, and the Knights of the Golden Circle. In addition, there is included a chapter on the military history of the Beaufort District, South Carolina. 375 pg $45

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