Military Monday – Civil War Pension Files

Last week I received two Civil War Pension Files in the mail. These files are for my friend’s family. He very kindly ordered them for me so I could dig into his family more and learn more about pension files. I have no Civil War soldiers in my family. When the files arrived, NARA attached an invoice to each stating one file for Milton T. McCoy had an additional 75 pages and the other for Henry A. Hayes has 50 pages! Wow! A quick phone call to NARA paid for those copies and now I wait for them to be prepared and mailed. I’m dying to know what else they contain. With the arrival of these two I now have three. The other is for James E. Shannon. James is related to my friend’s sister in-law.

All three of these men fought for the Union. All three ended up living in Missouri and applying for pensions while living in that state. All applied at different times. Henry A. Hayes hired a lawyer to handle his pension affairs and it seemed he had an easier time receiving increases. Milton T. McCoy did not hire a lawyer and I’m still not sure what to think of him (mentally and physically) and his experience. Maybe the last 75 pages will make this more clear.

There are some major differences between the files and some similarities. I will blog more in depth about those after I receive the additional pages so you have the complete story.

Do you have Civil War pension files? What’s in them? Have you read through them and wondered as to the mental state of the pensioner? Did you find he had a difficult time receiving assistance or answers? Did he seem to breeze through the whole process? Please share your findings in the comments.

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5 thoughts on “Military Monday – Civil War Pension Files

  1. I’ve ordered and received three pension files, all for soldiers who fought in Ohio regiments. One was 184 pages and the other two a bit smaller. All three spent a lot of time proving their disabilities and petitioning for increases. One widow spent years trying to prove her eligibility because she couldn’t produce a marriage record. They are fascinating to read, particularly if you find an eyewitness account of how the soldier first became sick or injured. I look forward to hearing more about what you discover!

    • Jennifer Holik-Urban

      Yeah these two guys spent a lot of time, one more than the other proving too. Crazy. I need to look at the laws and changes compared to their submissions. I did get the rest of both men’s papers yesterday. Sorted by date. Now I need to make my table of contents for each file so I know what I have. No eyewitness accounts though. Wish I had some! You are lucky!

  2. Interesting. I have contemplated ordering pension records but wasn’t sure it would be worth the fees. I’ll be interested to read what you come up with.

    • Jennifer Holik-Urban

      Thanks for your comment Heather! I’ll be posting the results of what I found the next two Mondays on Military Monday.

  3. Pingback: Military Monday – Henry A. Hayes Pension File « Generations

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