Talk:Union Pension Records

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I have found a category of Civil War Pension records not addressed in this article. I had reason to discover this in connection with records in the late 1920's, but the practice apparently continued from the mid-1800's to the 1940's, dealing pensions for other wars in addition to the Civil War.

Specifically, veterans, widows, and dependents could and did petition their Congressional Representative to appeal a rejected claim or to request an increase in the approved pension payments above the amounts specified in the current statute. If the Representative agreed he introduced a "private bill" to grant the claim. These bills were referred to one of several Committees that existed from time to time which investigated the claim and recommended passage or not. By 1929 several thousand of these claims were being processed annually.

The case files of these Committees are held by the NARA and contain documents of sort found in the regular pension files. A description of one of these Committees and its records held by the NARA can be found in this webpage: http://www.archives.gov/legislative/guide/house/chapter-06-invalid-pensions.html

Links to similar pages for other Committees are at the top of that page.

The existence of these claims can be found in the House Journal which records when a bill was introduced on behalf of a claimant. The House Journals can be found in the U.S. Serial Set which can be found on Fold3 and other sources for various time periods. If a claim was recommended by the Committee it would appear in the report of the Committee with a short summary of the facts, also found in the U.S. Serial Set. If the claim was approved by Congress it will appear in the U.S. Statutes at Large, which can be found on the Library of Congress website and other sources. The actual case files would have to be obtained from the NARA in Washington.

The description above is based on the cases I found in the late 1920's. I do not know how the process may have changed over the century it was in use.

Terry Reigel

Thank you for the information! I've added a link to this site under the Online Records section of the Unites States Military Records page as it covers such a wide range of dates. Brepouille/Wiki Support Team (talk) 12:15, 5 June 2016 (UTC)