Applications for Confederate soldier's and widow's pensions, 1885-ca. 1953

Manuscript/Manuscript on Film
  • Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1958, 1988
  • Raleigh, [North Carolina] : Filmed by the North Carolina State Department of Archives and History,
105 microfilm reels ; 35mm.


North Carolina, Confederate Soldiers and Widows Pension Applications are available online, click here.

Microfilm of original records at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The names found in the various files and indexes are in alphabetical order by the veterans' last name.

Indexes for each of the three files are found on the last roll: film number 1547723.

The pension applications are in three files: (1) 1885-1901; (2) after 1901; and, (3) some "after 1901" material that belongs in the 1885- 1901 file.

The dates indicated for each item are not always reliable. For this reason, the archive staff has been removing "After 1901" material that belongs in the earlier file. Also, the earlier file contains a small a mount of material created prior to 1885.

Confederate Pension applications (1885-1901): The first general pension law in North Carolina for Confederate veterans and widows (Chapter 214) was passed in 1885. This law provided for the payment of $30.00 annually to Confederate veterans who were residents of the state and who had lost a leg, eye, or arm, or who were incapacitated for manual labor while in the service of the Confederate States during the Civil War. Widows of soldiers who were killed in service were entitled to the same benefits as long as they did not remarry. Any person, however, who owned property with a tax value of $500.00 or received a salary of $300.00 per year from the nation, state, or county was not eligible. Chapter 116 of the laws of 1887 amended the 1885 law to include widows of soldiers who had died of disease while in service, the next general pension law was passed in 1889 and remained in effect until it was amended in 1901. Applications had to be certified, witnessed, and filed with the county commissioners who in turn sent them to the State Auditor.

Confederate Pension applications (After 1901): In 1901, the General Assembly of North Carolina passed a new pension law (Chapter 332). Under the new act "Every person who has been for twelve months immediately preceeding his or her application for pension bona fide resident of the State, and who is incapacitated for manual labor and was a soldier or a sailor in the service of the State of North Carolina or of the Confederate States of America, during the war between the States (provided, said widow was married to said soldier or sailor before the first day of April, 1865)" was entitled to a pension. The pensioners were divided into four classes: First class, totally incompetent from wounds to perform manual labor, $72.00 per year; second class, those who lost a leg above the knee or an arm above the elbow, $60.00 annually; third class, those who lost a foot or leg below the knee or a hand or an arm below the elbow or had a limb rendered useless from a wound, $48.00 annually; fourth class, those who lost one eye, widows, and those unfit for manual labor, $30.00 annually. Certain persons were excluded from benefits under general pension acts. No person holding a national, state, or county office for which he received $300.00 annually, no person with property valued at $500.00 or more, or no person receiving aid under laws for relief of totally blind and maimed was eligible (inmates of the Soldiers' Home, recipients of pensions from other states, and deserters were excluded from benefits under the pension acts, although inmates of the Soldiers' Home were granted quarterly allowences of $1.50 in 1909 -- increased to $3.00 quarterly in 1913). Practically each succeeding General Assembly made some change in the pension laws. These changes are reflected in the collected series of applications and are too numerous to mention.

Confederate Pension applications (After 1901) supplement: This collection of documents were originally a part of the 1901 series, but during the last few years the Archives staff has been carefully reexamining each file in the collection. As a result these documents were found that were written before 1901. The staff hasn't completed its task yet, in fact, it's only about half way through. So this collection only goes from A to K. These documents will probably be merged with the 1885 series in the future, about right now are a separate series. Most of the documents in the series are applications for entrance into the Soldier's Home. Since some of the people in this series aren't included in either of the other series they are all shown here.



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