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Confederate Pension Files

Pension files may contains a variety of information which could include depositions regarding military service, letters and certificates.


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Type: Article
Resource: Tracing Lines
Prepared by: Ruby Coleman
Word Count: 406 (approx.)
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Pensions for Confederate service during the Civil War were not issued by the federal government. The pensions were issued by the states which had formed the Confederacy. The applicant was eligible if he was indigent or disabled. Pensions were applied for in the state in which the veteran was living and not if he had served in a different state. There were several state laws through the years which changed the eligibility requirements.

The pension files may contains a variety of information which could include depositions regarding military service, letters and certificates. The pension file for one of my ancestors contains his parole pass from Appomattox.

The states which issued Confederate pensions are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

There are published indexes for some of the state's pension files and for some there is microfilm. The originals are in repositories such as the state archives or state library. Copies from microfilm or the originals can usually be obtained for a fee. Some of the pension files have been digitized. Be sure to also check the Family History Library Catalog (LDS) for available microfilm.

Alabama - Alabama Department of Archives and History http://tinyurl.com/5wd5va8

Arkansas - Arkansas History Commission

two online indexes at http://tinyurl.com/69vjw34

Florida - State Library and Archives of Florida

digitized images in PDF at http://www.floridamemory.com/collections/pensionfiles/

Georgia - Georgia Archives/Georgia Virtual Vault

scanned images at http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us/cdm4/pension.php

Kentucky - Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives

indexes have been published

order form for copies of records at http://www.kdla.ky.gov/research/military.htm

Louisiana - Louisiana State Archives, Genealogy and History Section

index online at http://www400.sos.louisiana.gov/archives/gen/cpa-alpha.htm

Mississippi - Mississippi Department of Archives and History


information at http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/refreq.php

Missouri - The Missouri State Archives

guide to resources - http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/civilwar/intro.asp

North Carolina - North Carolina Division of Archives and History


index at North Carolina State Archives (select MARS Catalog tab)

Oklahoma (Indian Territory)

index at http://www.odl.state.ok.us/oar/docs/pension.pdf

information at http://www.okhistory.org/research/library/military.html

South Carolina - South Carolina Department of Archives and History

information at http://tinyurl.com/66lfh52

search form at http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/onlinearchives/search.aspx

(record group should be Records of Confederate Veterans, 1909-1973)

Tennessee - The Tennessee State Library and Archives

index - Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications: Soldiers and Widows

order by mail - http://www.tennessee.gov/tsla/history/mailmil.htm

Texas - The Texas State Library and Archives Commission

searchable index - Confederate Pension Records

Virginia - Library of Virginia/Archives Division

guide - http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/Civil-War/

search - http://tinyurl.com/65mjkjd (links to images)

Keep in mind that Confederate veterans who were living in the western or southwestern areas of the United States after the Civil War, may have applied through the state where they had served.

Source Information: Tracing Lines, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2011.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

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