Monday, January 18, 2010

Anatomy of a Military Pension File, Part 8

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 20 - Notations on the back of another page. It is difficult to read the handwriting. On top of that, someone has crossed out what was written. This looks like a note regarding information needed for Max's veteran pension to turn into Amelia's widow's pension. There are comments regarding marriage and proof of marriage.

Page 21 - Examination cover page. This document (photo below) appears to be an introductory page regarding a physical examination of Max Baerecke for pension application purposes. Part of the small print reads: It is desired in this case that the examination be made with special reference to "disease of eyes" [portion in quotes was handwritten]. There is also a handwritten note which states:

Make a careful examination of both eyes and describe all abnormalities present of structure and function. Do you find any incident of vicious habits.

Page 22 - Notes from widow's words. The handwritten notation states:

Claimant owing to her age, alleges she can't remember dates of enlistment and discharge, but remembers soldier's service in Civil War as in Co. "I" 26 Wisc. Inf. As she was married to soldier in 1850 her statements to the effect of the above named service being all soldier performed in Civil War would appear to be sufficient. [Signature looks like "Holden."]

What do these documents tell me? I learned about what pension applicants have to provide in order to request a pension. Max had to be examined to prove he had a real ailment. Amelia had to prove she was married to a veteran (and was the only wife). This is an interesting side note in history.

Coming up: Max's physical examination. What will the doctor find? Is it enough to qualify Max for a disability pension? Stay tuned....

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