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Virginia Military Dead Database Introduction


The primary purpose of the Virginia Military Dead Database is to honor those Virginians who have given their lives in defense of freedom. The database pulls together information from a wide variety of sources to make it more accessible.

The database currently contains the following information on approximately 54,189 Virginia men and women:
Name with Prefix and/or Suffix
Rank, Unit (Company, Regiment, Ship, Squadron, etc.)
Branch of Service (Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard, Merchant Marine, Red Cross, etc.)
Conflict (See Conflict Codes list for an explanation of the codes appearing in this column.)
Race, Gender
Date, Place, and Cause of Death (See Cause of Death list for an explanation of the codes appearing in this column.)
Residence (Town/City/County)
Source(s) of Data
Notes/Additional Information (e.g., alternative residence, burial location, conflicting information, etc.)
Links to other databases

The user can query the database by name, by conflict, by location, or by branch of service. Ultimately, this database will contain information on Virginia’s military personnel (full- and part-time, quasi-military, and civilian employees) who have died in service in peacetime and in war since 1607.

The database retains contemporary terminology and usage. Obvious errors have been corrected. Users should check the database periodically for updates.

The database has been compiled from approximately 1,110 different sources. Inevitably, some of the sources conflict with one another. Likewise, the absence of data from any field of the database conveys no meaning except that that information was not included in the cited source(s). All sources cited are from the collections of the Library of Virginia, except where noted. Questions and error reports may be submitted to refdesk@lva.virginia.gov.

Work on the following conflicts is progressing steadily and announcements will be made as updates become available to the public, although we plan to release major segments of data semiannually on or about the two major veterans’ holidays, Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Conflict Number of Entries Number of Sources Time Period
French & Indian War 163 12 1754-1763
Dunmore's War 48 4*** 1774
American Revolution 1,675 53 1775-1783
Indian Wars 47 24*** Various
War of 1812 707 45 1812-1815
Seminole Wars 31 9*** 1812-1818,
1835-1842,
1855-1858
Texas Revolution 29 12 1836
Mexican War 160 22 1846-1848
Civil War 32,380 200 1861-1865
Spanish American War 112 17* 1898
Philippine Insurrection 52 13* 1899-1902
China Relief Expedition 0 3 1900-1901
Mexican Border Punitive Expedition 10 4** 1916-1917
World War I 3,696 108** 1914-1918
World War II 11,447 314 1939-1945
Cold War 6 7 1945-1991
Korean War 979 48 1951-1953
Vietnam War 1,490 53 1961-1975
Grenada 1 2 1983
Persian Gulf War 16 14 1990-1991
War in Iraq 185 33 2003-
War on Terrorism 218 33 2000-
Peacetime/Interwar/Peacekeeping 737 76 Various

 *   Sources for these conflicts are shared and appear on a combined Sources List.
**  Sources for these conflicts are shared and appear on a combined Sources List.
*** Sources for these conflicts are shared and appear on a combined Sources List.

French & Indian War, 1754–1763

This struggle between the British and the French, along with their respective Indian allies, began in America to decide who would control the interior of the continent. It soon spread around the world and would become known in Europe as the Seven Years’ War. Thus far, we have identified 163 Virginia military personnel killed in this conflict; many more Virginia civilians also died.
 

Dunmore’s War, 1774

Dunmore’s War was a conflict between the Colony of Virginia and the Native Americans of the Ohio Valley. Following increased raids and attacks on frontiersmen in this region, the Royal Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, organized a large force of militia and marched to Fort Pitt arriving at the end of August 1774. Dunmore also ordered Colonel Andrew Lewis, commander of the southwestern Virginia militia, to raise an army in the south and meet Dunmore’s force along the Ohio River. After Colonel Lewis’ victory at the Battle of Point Pleasant, Dunmore successfully negotiated a peace treaty with the Delaware, Mingo, and Shawnee chiefs that prevented them from settling or hunting south of the Ohio River. Forty-eight deaths have been listed thus far.

Indian Wars, Various

Since the first arrival of white men in Virginia, conflicts have occurred between them and most, if not all, of the Native American tribes they encountered as the flood of immigrants spread across the continent. Our research on Virginians (including Indians/Native Americans when possible) killed in these encounters is ongoing. So far, we have identified 47 Virginians who died in these conflicts.

American Revolution, 1775–1783

In the war that brought about the birth of our nation, Virginians played pivotal roles and, thus far, 1,675 who paid the price of freedom have been identified.

War of 1812, 1812–1815

Following the end of the Revolutionary War and extending into the early years of the United States’ history, relations with Great Britain remained strained. When war broke out in Europe in 1803 and Britain set a blockade on neutral countries—including the U.S.—and began seizing American sailors, relations became even more tenuous. President James Madison, a Virginia native, and Congress declared what is sometimes referred to as the Second War of Independence. Action in Virginia during the War of 1812 included Great Britain’s attempt in June 1813 to capture Norfolk and numerous raids on Virginia towns and plantations on Chesapeake Bay. The constant threat of attack kept Virginia militia active throughout the war until the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814. Thus far, we have identified 707 Virginians who died during this war.

Seminole Wars, 1812–1818, 1835–1842, 1855–1858

These wars were the result of U.S. government desire to acquire Florida from Spain and remove the Indians. Some Virginians in the regular army participated; thirty one of whom have been identified as having died as a result.

Texas Revolution, 1836

Chafing under the harsh rule of the Mexican government, Texans, including many emigrants from Virginia, fought for their independence in a series of battles, skirmishes, and massacres. Our research has identified sixteen Virginians killed at the Alamo, seven more killed later at Goliad, plus six killed elsewhere.

Mexican War, 1846–1848

The Mexican War was in several ways a continuation of the conflict over issues precipitated, or not fully resolved, by the Texas Revolution ten years earlier. Hundreds of Virginians in both the regular army and the Virginia militia participated and at least 160 died.

Civil War, 1861–1865

The conflict commonly referred to as the Civil War cost Virginia dearly. This installment adds 151 entries including casualties from both sides of the war, and brings the current count to 32,380. Work on this portion of the database will continue for the foreseeable future.

Spanish-American War, 1898

The Spanish-American War portion of the Virginia Military Dead Database currently contains 111 entries. Although the United States did not declare war against Spain until 25 April 1898, the database includes the names of fifteen Virginia sailors killed or missing in action as a result of the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898. “Remember the Maine” became the battle cry for those Americans who held Spain responsible for deaths of American sailors; two months later the war officially began.

Most of the data in this portion of the database was transcribed from the Reports of the Adjutant-General of the Commonwealth of Virginia for the years 1898–1899. Virginians served in four volunteer regiments, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th Virginia Regiments. Few of the Virginians who volunteered for active service as a part of the Volunteer Army of the United States ever reached Cuba. Only the 4th Regiment was sent to Cuba, and only for a short time following the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which officially ended the war. For a detailed account of the service of the Virginia Volunteers during the Spanish-American War, see the United Spanish War Veterans, Annual Report of the Department Historian.

The most common cause of death for Virginia soldiers during the Spanish-American War was disease. With the exception of those killed as a result of the explosion of the USS Maine, so far only one Virginian is known to have been killed in action during the Spanish-American War. There are several cases in which only the date and not the cause of death is known.

For further information, consult "Virginia’s Participation in the Spanish American War, 1898; the Philippine Insurrection, 1899–1901; and the China Relief Expedition, 1900–1901: Selected Resources in the Library of Virginia” (pdf). Contact refdesk@lva.virginia.gov or call 804-692-3777 to request a copy.

Philippine Insurrection, 1899–1902

The Philippine Insurrection began in February 1899, following the United Statespurchase of the Philippine Islands by the United States from Spain and refusal of the United States to recognize a sovereign government there. It ended in July 1902 when President Theodore Roosevelt declared the Philippines pacified. The Philippines is the place of death for only five of the fifty-two Virginia military personnel who died during the period of the Philippine Insurrection.

As in the case of the Spanish-American War entries, most of the data in the Philippine Insurrection portion of the database was transcribed from the Reports of the Adjutant-General of the Commonwealth of Virginia for the years 1900–1902. In many cases the place of death and place of residence were not recorded in those reports.

For further information, consult "Virginia’s Participation in the Spanish American War, 1898; the Philippine Insurrection, 1899–1901; and the China Relief Expedition, 1900–1901: Selected Resources in the Library of Virginia” (pdf). Contact refdesk@lva.virginia.gov or call 804-692-3777 to request a copy.

China Relief Expedition, 1900–1901

In June 1900, a coalition of eight major military powers, including the United States, entered Peking (Beijing), China, to rescue foreigners threatened by the Boxers, a Chinese secret society that sought to drive all foreigners out of China. The coalition became known as the China Relief Expedition. The American contingent reported thirty-three deaths as a result of this military conflict, but, thus far, no references to Virginians among those who lost their lives have been found.

For further information, consult "Virginia’s Participation in the Spanish American War, 1898; the Philippine Insurrection, 1899–1901; and the China Relief Expedition, 1900–1901: Selected Resources in the Library of Virginia” (pdf). Contact refdesk@lva.virginia.gov or call 804-692-3777 to request a copy.

Mexican Border Punitive Expedition, 1916–1917

Approximately 3,000 men from the following Virginia National Guard units were mobilized at Richmond, Virginia, in June 1916 for duty on the Mexican border at Brownsville, Texas: 1st and 2nd Infantry Regiments; 1st Battalion Field Artillery and Separate Battery C; Company A, Signal Corps; Company A, Engineers; Field Hospital No. 1; and the 1st Squadron Virginia Cavalry. The database includes the names of ten National Guard and Regular Army soldiers from Virginia who died during this conflict.

World War I, 1914–1918

The World War I portion of the Virginia Military Dead Database currently contains 3,969 entries including a few duplicate entries. An unknown number of Virginians who died in World War I are not included.

Data contained in this portion of the database was transcribed from the Reports of the Adjutant-General of the Commonwealth Virginia for the years 1920–1921 and from more than eighty other sources.

Four hundred eighty-eight of the military dead are also represented in the online World War I History Commission Questionnaires database and links to that database have been provided.

For further information, consult “Virginia’s Participation in World War I: Selected Resources in the Library of Virginia.” (pdf). Contact refdesk@lva.virginia.gov or call 804-692-3777 to request a copy.

World War II, 1939–1945

The World War II portion of the Virginia Military Dead Database currently contains 11,447 entries including many duplicate entries.

Cold War, 1945–1991

The Cold War between the free world and the forces of international communism was conducted often in secret by personnel conducting human and electronic intelligence gathering and military reconnaissance, usually aboard ships and aircraft. One of the early “battles” of this war was, however, humanitarian in nature, the Berlin airlift. Thus far, only six Virginians have been identified from among the many who lost their lives in this war.

Korean War, 1951–1953

In addition to those who died in theater, data for this conflict also includes Virginia National Guardsmen who died closer to home during this period. Furthermore, since, technically, the Korean War has not yet ended, those Virginians who have died in Korea since the truce was signed in 1953 are also included in this portion of the database. There are currently 979 entries in this portion of the database.

For further information, consult “Virginia’s Participation in the Korean War 1950–1953+: Selected Resources In The Library of Virginia.” (pdf). Contact refdesk@lva.virginia.gov or call 804-692-3777 to request a copy.

Vietnam War, 1961–1975

In addition to those who died in theater, data for this conflict also includes Virginia National Guardsmen who died closer to home during this period. 1,490 Virginians were killed in this conflict.

For further information, consult “Virginia’s Participation in the Vietnam War 1961–1975: Selected Resources In The Library of Virginia.” (pdf). Contact refdesk@lva.virginia.gov or call 804-692-3777 to request a copy.

Grenada, 1983

The United States launched Operation Urgent Fury in October 1983 to protect U.S. citizens in the Caribbean nation of Grenada and to restore the lawful government from the Marxist-Leninist, Cuba-connected People’s Revolutionary Government. Among the nineteen Americans killed was one Virginian.

Persian Gulf War, 1990–1991

Of the hundreds of Virginians who participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, sixteen lost their lives in action or accidents.

For further information, consult “Virginia’s Participation in the Persian Gulf War 1990–1991: Selected Resources In The Library of Virginia.” (pdf). Contact refdesk@lva.virginia.gov or call 804-692-3777 to request a copy.

War on Terrorism, 2000

Data for this conflict includes those killed in the attacks on the USS Cole on October 12, 2000, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon (no Virginia military personnel are known to have died on Flight 93 in Pennsylvania) on September 11, 2001, and in Afghanistan and elsewhere since those dates. Currently, 218 Virginians have been killed in this war.

War in Iraq, 2003

Of the hundreds of Virginians participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom, so far, 185 have been killed in action or died of wounds or accidents.

Peacetime/Interwar/Peacekeeping, Various

This heading covers those Virginia military personnel who have died in service during those periods between the conflicts listed above or during peacekeeping operations at any time; 737 have been identified so far.

Conflict Codes

The following abbreviations/acronyms/codes are used in the Conflict column of the Virginia Military Dead Database to denote the corresponding conflict.
 

Code Conflict
1812 War of 1812
ACW American Civil War
Cold Cold War
FrIN French & Indian War
CRE China Relief Expedition
Gulf1 Persian Gulf War / Operation Desert Shield / Operation Desert Storm
Gulf2 War in Iraq/Operation Iraqi Freedom
Indian Indian Wars
IWDW Indian Wars - Dunmore's War
Korea Korean War
MBPE Mexican Border Punitive Expedition
MexWar Mexican War
OEF Operation Enduring Freedom / War on Terrorism
OUF Operation Urgent Fury / Grenada
Peace Peacetime / Interwar / Peacekeeping
PhIns Philippine Insurrection
RevWar American Revolution
Seminole Seminole Wars
SpAm Spanish-American War
TexRev Texas Revolution
Viet Vietnam War
WW1 World War I
WW2 World War II