Monday, March 15, 2010

Anatomy of a Military Pension File, Part 13

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 with you a few pages at a time.

Page 28: Page two of Max Baerecke's Disability Affidavit

The printed part of the form says at the top: "And during all of the said time my physical condition and ability to perform manual labor was as follows..."

And here is what Max said:

I had to give up my occupation as miller by reason of the disease of my eyes and am unfit to perform any labor which requires the use of my eyes, being also deaf on my one ear by reason of disease contracted, as aforesaid, I am disabled to perform one half of the labor that I could perform but for such disease [words cut off of copy] such disease. I have never since been able to return to my occupation as miller and it makes it most difficult for me [words cut off copy] reason thereof to find other employment.

The next statement on the form says, "I further state that the entire service rendered by me is as follows..."

And Max says:

I enlisted August 15, 1847 at Milwaukee, Wis. 15th Regiment Inf. U.S.A. commanded by Captain Mefford (?) and was honorably discharged on account of disability from hospital at New Orleans April 30, 1848; re-enlisted at Milwaukee August fifteenth 1862 in 26th Reg. Wis. Vol. served three years, discharged (mustered out) June 13, 1865, near Washington D.C.

Comments on this document:

I feel very fortunate to have this medical information about my third great grandfather. Most people don't get those types of details in their family history.

Max commented about his past as a miller and that he couldn't perform that job anymore. However, in my research, I learned that he was a barkeeper after he was a miller. This fact is evident in several city directories. Why didn't he include that in his work history? Were there concerns that the pension people would disapprove? A little selective memory? Or something else?

Coming up...a note from the Surgeon General's Office. Stay tuned...

On to part 14.


  1. staying tune.......... great find, i am also examining military pensions ---thank you for shareing

  2. It's great you can use this information to analyse him for who he was and it will really be interesting to see what your conclusion of him is after you go through the entire pension file. Thanks for sharing this with us, look forward to reading more about him.

  3. This is interesting. We have a military record I should blog about and it has good medical info in it. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing your findings.

  4. So far from the military pension files I have been transcribing, there is one ancestor who was shot in the leg and another who suffered from rheumatism (he had 27 kids, so I guess that didn't slow him down too much). Definitely not information available in other documents.

  5. I am just getting time to read up on your posts. I think he was quite a patriotic man to sign up for first the Mexican War then the Civil War, Good for him. You have quite a legacy as well as a wealth of information.