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The National Archives in Washington, DC are the keepers of all US military records. For very old records, such as the War of 1812, that has always meant handling fragile papers. But since 2012, about 60 percent of the more than 7 million records have been digitized, making them an excellent resource for genealogists tracing their family’s history. Genealogy sites and Fold3 have made the files available for free online, at the latter’s website.

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