1862 Military Census

Civil War - 1861 to 1865

Clinton County, Illinois



Transcribed and copyrighted by Laura Cordingley and proofed by Dorothy Falk


Illinois State legislation passed in 1861 required township assessors to compile lists of able-bodied male residents from the ages of 18 through 45. (See "AN ACT to amend Chapter 70 of Revised Statutes, entitled 'Militia'"). Within townships were two categories of eligible young men. The voluntary militia consisted of those individuals who had organized themselves into companies and elected officers for the purpose of military enlistment. Voluntary militia lists give the township of residence, soldier's name, age, birthplace, occupation, if they had already entered the service and appropriate remarks. The reserve militia, on the other hand, was composed of those eligible men who chose not to volunteer but who were liable to being drafted. Reserve militia lists generally provide township and men's names only. These lists were composed over 1861-1863.

The President called for 300,000 men to be inducted into military service with an order issued August 4, 1862 and the War Department established regulations for the enrollment and drafting of these men. The resulting record was an 1862 federal census conducted by enrolling officers of the men eligible for drafting.

As usual, the names were transcribed as spelled on the document, the way we saw it. Two brothers' surnames might be spelled one way, the third brother, on the next line, might be spelled a different way. If you can't find the name you think should be here, the capitals L, S and G were hard to tell apart and seemed to have changed over the course of the census. The small n and the small u were sometimes impossible to tell apart. The little a looks a great deal like ei. Some t's weren't crossed, so they could be l's here. And all of the other usual problems with early 1860 penmanship. Some of the entries have been included, and marked, under two or three spellings in the hopes that one might be close to being right.

The census form only listed the coordinates of the townships, we added the names of the townships. The 1876 plat, closest we have to 1863, is here and the current plat is here.

This early in the immigration of the Germans had to have brought many diction problems and made it more of a challenge for the enumerator. Many of the Americans probably didn't know how to spell their own names and might have agreed to anything the enumerator suggested. One of the biggest surprises was the many names on this listing that do not appear in either the 1860 or the 1870 Clinton County censuses – the US migration must have been in full force during this volatile time period. Many of the names look ridiculous, but we did our best to transcribe what is there, not to correct spellings.

State censuses are described here (.pdf file on external server).  Even though they list an 1855 census for Clinton Co., it might not be there.




1862 Military Census Fun Facts


Voluntary and Reserve Militia List by Surname

A Ba - Bi Bl - Bu C D E F G Ha
He - Hi Ho - Hu I - J K L Ma - Mc Me - My N - O P - Q
Ra - Ri Ro - Ry Sa - Se Sh - Sm Sn - Sw T - V Wa - We Wh - Wo Y - Z



The description of this census is from the book "Descriptive Inventory of the Archives of the State of Illinois", paragraph 301.029. The Belleville Public Library has a copy in ACR 016.353 IL.

The military census is on microfilm at the Illinois State Historical Library and may be borrowed through any local lending library. If you have a question if the spelling could be something else, send your suggestions/questions to the proofer, Dorothy, who has the printed microfilmed pages 1,000 miles away from the transcriber. If you need a copy of a page for DAR certification, etc., just ask, perhaps we'll get something useable.




Clinton County Civil War Regiment List

Searchable Database of Illinois' Civil War Veterans

Includes  "How to obtain copies of original Illinois Civil War records."


 Clinton County ILGenWeb Page

This page modified 31 May 2014