Illinois Adjutant General Records, 1817-1826


Illinois Adjutant General Records, 1817-1826


Illinois Adjutant General


Records, 1817-1826, 1859-1927 [1861-1866]


1.68 linear feet (4 manuscript boxes)


Office of the top military officer of the state, created by an 1819
law that also established the state militia.
Under that law every
white male between the ages of 18 and 45 was required to enroll
in the militia (with some exceptions). The adjutant’s first duty
was to keep a list of eligible men sent from each county. The
state was divided into two military divisions, which were broken
down into regiments and these regiments each had ten
companies. Not everyone in the militia had to join an active
company. When a company was organized, a muster roll was
created with the name of each soldier. This was filed with the
adjutant general. The adjutant general appointed an election
clerk for each company, who oversaw the election of company commander. The results were sent in a sealed envelope to
the adjutant, who counted them and announced the winner
who was then appointed by the governor. When ten companies
were formed, a regiment was organized with an election clerk and
the same process was completed for the regiment, but with
the company commanders choosing the regimental
commander who was appointed a colonel by the governor. The required length of service was three months. The first Adjutant General of the state was William Alexander. Thomas Mather was the Adjutant when Fort Sumter was fired on. He immediately sent orders for divisions, brigades and companies to begin drilling and Governor Yates received a dispatch from the Secretary of War requesting six regiments of militia. Since the war went on longer than first
believed the adjutant general began keeping more specific
records which included town and congressional district of each
soldier, which helped later in the war to meet quotas. This officer
was also responsible for recruiting the soldiers to ensure quotas
were met, paying the regiments, appointing the surgeons and supplying the food, uniforms and weapons to the
regiments. It also accounted for each man and knew his approximate location. They also answered letters and helped anxious families of soldiers. Allen C. Fuller was the second Adjutant during the Civil War and Isham Haynie the third. Haynie worked very hard to get the Federal government to reimburse the state for the money spent on soldiers to supply the federal armies. After the war, the adjutant continued to head the Illinois Militia, supply information to veterans to help them with their claims and work for federal reimbursement.


Correspondence, poll lists, vouchers, militia reports, requisitions, bond certificates, petitions for arms, commission, accounting papers, receipts and cancelled checks. The material from 1817-1826 includes mostly letters regarding the formation of companies, guards or regiments and includes poll lists for elections of municipal guards, officers and regiments and commissions. Some are original documents and some are copies. The bulk is from the war years and includes many letters from families requesting information about specific soldiers or requesting some kind of assistance. Letters from soldiers requesting information or help. Letters from possible recruits with questions. Requisitions for clothing, food, weapons, vouchers for specific items, accounting lists with cost and totals. Many of these supplies are for Camp Butler. Assessments for claims by civilians for property or damages incurred by the army. List of prisoners in Illinois hospitals with number from each confederate state. Bond certificates. After the war there are many letters from veterans requesting copies of their discharge or other information regarding their service. War claims letters, Militia reports. Letters with questions regarding the militias.



Access:            Open for Research

Acc. No:          73-36, 73-57

Processed by:  Paul Spence, 1973 Connie Butts, August 2002


                                                Illinois Adjutant General’s Office                                          Page 2                                                             Container List


Box     Folder


1          1          Illinois Militia, 1817-1826

            2          1844-1858

            3          January-May 1859

            4          June-December 1859

            5          1860

            6          January-April 1861

            7          May-June 1861

            8          July 1861

            9          August-December 1861


2          1          January-April 1862

            2          May-June 1862

            3          July 1-July 24, 1862

            4          July 25-31, 1862

            5          August 1-5, 1862

            6          August 6-7, 1862

            7          August 8-11, 1862

            8          August 12-31, 1862

            9          September-December 1861


3          1          January-December 1863

            2          1864

            3          1865

            4          January 1866

            5          February-March 1866

            6          April-December 1866

            7          1867-1869


4          1          1870-1872

            2          1882-1885

            3          1886-1888

            4-5       1889

            6          1890-1891

            7          1892

            8          1895-1899

            9          Letters; 1907, 1917, 1918, 1924, 1927 (1 From Each Year)

            10-12   Letters; No date, No Regimental Reference

            13        Miscellaneous



“Illinois Adjutant General Records, 1817-1826,” Chronicling Illinois, accessed March 19, 2019,