Monday, November 22, 2010

Anatomy of a Military Pension File, Part 26

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 43-44: Document covers with no informational value.

Page 45: Cover for a General Affidavit for the Mexican War

Page 46: Mexican War General Affidavit for Max Baerecke

Text is as follows (handwritten parts in italics):

In the claim of Max Baerecke, late a private of the 15th regiment U.S. Inf.

Personally before me, a notary public in and for aforesaid County and State, Max Baerecke, said claimant, aged 59 years a citizen of the town of Milwaukee, County of Milwaukee, State of Wisconsin, well known to me to be repatable and entitled to credit, and who, being duly sworn, declares in relation to aforesaid case, as follows:

While _____ [line] in the service of the U.S. and in the fall of 1847 while at New Orleans, La., I was attacked by and suffered with yellow fever. I entered the general hospital at that place and was there confined with such disease for about six months and was honorably discharged while at said hospital on account of disability on or about April 15th 1848. Ever p_ _ _e and in consequence of was as a re_ _ _ _(?) of such disease, I have been afflicted with almost total deafness in both ears and my eyesight has been partially destroyed and greatly impaired, so much so that by reason thereof I was and am disabled from pursueing or attending to any vocation or business and cannot earn a subsistence. My said _ _ _ of pension is based upon such injury and disease as aforesaid.

Signed, Max Baerecke

Page 47: more signatures and text related to page 46.

My Max Baerecke is a veteran of two wars, which sometimes complicates things when you're going over a pension file. Page 46 of this particular file is an affidavit regarding Max's service in the Mexican War. Based on his sworn testimony, it looks like he fought his biggest battle against yellow fever.

The description of near complete deafness and blindness sounds very sad indeed. But is it entirely true? I wonder if the description was made to sound a little more horrific than needed for the sake of the pension application.

Either way, this is a nifty little document that I can add to the timeline in the life of my third-great grandfather.


  1. If this helps, your blanks are: "since," "remnant," and "claim."

    Nifty document indeed. I can't wait to get my hands on some of these!

  2. I did not know we could get docs. for the Mexican American War. Great! I will have to explore this avenue.