Pennsylvania Deserters Roster


1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Apr 18, 2019
Wandering thru the net this morning and came across this unique database - a searchable list of all the soldiers from Pennsylvania who were listed as deserters. There are over 24,000 records, searchable by name, rank, unit, and dates of enlistment or desertion. The records for the listed soldiers include birthplace, age, occupation and other valuable genealogical info.

The list was created in 1866 by the Provost Marshal General's Office at the request of the Pennsylvania Legislature. When the list was complete it was printed on large sheets which were posted at courthouses across the state. The Legislature had enacted a law in 1866 denying the vote to deserters and the posted lists were there to help identify those who should be denied. The law was ruled unconstitutional in 1868 but the information gathered remains and could be a of great use to people looking for information on Pennsylvania soldiers.