Thursday, April 1, 2010

Anatomy of a Military Pension File, Part 15

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 30: Statement of the Surgeon of the U.S. Army

The document featured in part 14 was a statement regarding Max Baerecke's Civil War service. This document is regarding Max's time in the Mexican War. It states the following:

Sir, I have the honor to return herewith the papers received from your office in pension claim "Mexican War" with such information as is furnished by records filed in this Office, viz that " Baerecke, Priv, Co 15th Inf. entered Post (?) Hospital Newport Barracks, Ky. Oct. 9, 1847, complaint given as [Ilorbille?], and returned to duty Oct. 10, 1847. Michael Baerecke, Pv. -- Co. 15th Inf. entered G H New Orleans, La, Oct. 25, 1847, with Asthma and was sent to New Orleans Barracks March 2, 1848. Max Baerecke Pv. Co. L(?) 15th Inf. was discharged from service at G A New Orleans, April 30, '48 by reason of asthma. No medical records of the regiment on file."

[Signed] B. F(?). Pope, Surgeon, U.S. Army

What did I learn from this document? It's best to make a timeline.

* Max enlisted for the Mexican War on August 15, 1847 (per page 13 of this file)

* Max went to the hospital on Oct. 9, 1847.

* Max was discharged on Oct. 10, 1847.

* Max went to the hospital on Oct. 25, 1847

* Max was sent to N.O. Barracks on March 2, 1848.

* Max was discharged April 30, 1848.

When it's spelled out that way, it's clear that Max spent the majority of this portion of his military service under medical treatment. So while he was technically in the Mexican War, he really was mostly in a hospital bed. 

What makes this so interesting is that--based on documents in this file--we know he later enlisted in the Civil War despite his asthma.

What's next in the file? Well, it looks like a pretty important document for those seeking a pension. Stay tuned....

1 comment:

  1. So, even though he was injured or ill much of the time, he still got credit for his service. After all, he was put in the hospital as a result of his service, so he definitely deserved the pension! ;)