Saturday, March 27, 2021

Info from Military Discharge Records

Soldiers were encouraged to file a copy of their military discharge papers with the county clerk of the county in which they lived.  Some of these are available online at  These are a great and often overlooked resource for those who were enlisted during WWI and WWII.

A quick check of some of the counties in which I'm interested:  
  • Bedford Co TN--Military discharge records, Vol. 1-3, Sept 1919-Feb 1946 & Vol. 4-6, Feb 1946-Dec 1964
  • Davidson Co TN--Military discharge records, 1919-1945 v. 544  & 1927-1946 v. 789
  • Dickson Co TN---Military discharge records, 1920-1964
  • Rutherford Co TN--Military discharge records, Vol. 1-3, 1919-1945 & Vol. 4-6, 1945-1962
  • Williamson Co TN--Index, v. A-Z 1918-1946  Discharges, v. 1-4 Aug 1918-Feb 1946 Discharges, v. 5-7 Feb 1946-Mar 1966
  • White Co TN--Military discharge records, 1943-1966

Every soldier didn't follow this suggestion but if someone in your research did and you can locate it, you'll  find it contains a wealth of information.

Some of the different types of information that you can find on Military Discharge Records. 
  • Full Name
  • Serial Number
  • Branch (and unit within that branch etc.) 
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Age when enlisted
  • Date and place of enlistment & discharge
  • Occupation / Vocation prior to enlistment
  • Physical Description at enlistment
  • Pay Rate
  • Battles, engagements, skirmishes or expeditions involved in
  • Decorations, Service Medals, Citations
  • Wounds received
  • Physical condition when discharged
  • Vaccinations and Immunities: (Typhoid prophylaxis, Diphtheria, smallpox etc)
  • Character
  • Marital Status
Check your counties of interest to see what is available.  They will be under the Military Records Category within that counties list.

If you don't know how to search the catalog by place and online availability see this blog post. 

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