Thursday, December 10, 2009

Anatomy of a Military Pension File, Part 4

Previously, I reported on the acquisition of my great-great-great grandfather's military pension file. The documents contained within paint 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 13: Mexican War Pension Survivor's Brief

Max Baerecke was a veteran of two wars. This document is a survivor's brief from his time in the Mexican War. It provides his name, current address, rank, company and regiment.

The recognized attorney is listed, along with law office location and fee ($25).

Max's dates of service are as follows: enlisted on August 15, 1847 and was discharged on April 30, 1848. There is also a notation of Max's service in the Civil War (O(ld) W(ar)) in Wisconsin from 1862-1865.

The length of time Max served in the Mexican war was 8 months and 15 days, per this document.

Max Baerecke was born August 24, 1827 and is 60 years old at the time of this document's creation on February 5, 1887.

There is a printed section that says, "Rate: EIGHT DOLLARS per month, commencing January 29, 1887...." but the lines below it are blank.

Signatures for the Examiner, Pension Searcher and Bounty Land Searcher are provided.

At the bottom of the paper, there is the handwritten notation "disabled," an approval date of 11 April 1888 and a signature of a reviewer. To the right is another approval date of 12 April 1888 and a signature of a re-reviewer.

What does this document tell me?

1. I already knew the residence of Max Baerecke, but this paper reiterates these facts. The exact dates of service in the Mexican War are new to me and will be added to his timeline in my genealogy software program.

2. This document has Max's birthday! And since it is a survivor's brief, it's pretty safe to say Max knows his own birth date! Yay! A birth fact!

3. I know that Max was deemed disabled and approved for a Mexican War pension. I'm guessing the amount was eight dollars a month, given the printed form, but can't tell for sure since the portion below was left blank.

What does the next page hold? More questions and answers of course. Stay tuned....


  1. First Mexican War pension paper I've seen. Glad the birthdate was listed.

  2. Wow, that is neat to have! How did you get it/find it?

  3. Astrid, here's a post that explains how I got the file: