Monday, January 11, 2010

Anatomy of a Military Pension File, Part 7

Previously, I reported on the acquisition of my great-great-great grandfather's military pension file. The documents contained within pant a picture of a man and his family about which I knew very little. I've decided to share this 103-page treasure chest of information with you a few pages at a time.

Page 17a (left): Document pertaining to an "Old War Invalid" pension. Possibly a cover for a file.

Page 17b (right): Document pertaining to Max's Civil War service pension.

Though document 17a refers to the "Old War," the information provided refers to Max's service in the Mexican War. It provides his name and current address in Milwaukee. It says he was a private in the 15th U.S. infantry. He enlisted 15 August 1847 and was discharged 20 April 1848. He filed his pension application on 8 October 1885, claiming "yellow fever and disease of eyes" as disabilities. A secondary notation says Max re-enlisted "I 26 Wis. Inf. Late War."

Page 17b is the same format. Max's name and address are provided again. His service is listed as "Private 'I' 26. Wis. Inf. [and] Mex War." He enlisted on 15 August 1862 and was discharged on 13 June 1865. He filed a pension application on 10 July 1890 citing "old age, disease of eyes, deafness."

It may seem confusing, but Max was a veteran of two different wars and sought pensions for both.

Page 18 contains two documents that appear to be the backs of the pages above. There are some notations, but they don't provide any valuable genealogical information.

Page 19 contains most of the same information as page 17.

The date of receipt for the Mexican War pension application is 25 March 1887. It is unclear of the difference in dates is due to a problem with the application or just part of government bureaucracy.

Page 19b (below) is another cover for an application. This time, Amelia Baerecke's name is on the front. The date of Max's death (15 Dec 1904) is on this page. This document may possibly be the cover to Amelia's widow's pension application. The date of filing is 23 December 1904.

What do these documents tell me? They show the grounds on which Max was requesting a pension. It is interesting that Yellow Fever is mentioned in the earlier document on page 17, but not later. I wonder why? Perhaps there is correspondence or records deeper in the pension file that will explain the change of heart.

Coming up, documents submitted to turn this veteran's pension into a widow's pension. Stay tuned...


  1. I love military pension files. The information contained in them is absolutely priceless!

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  4. I am so pleased to find your blog entries on this pension file. I know this would be a good thing for me to add to my Hoffman family blog. Thanks for the idea!

  5. I am giving you the Happy 101 Award ==>