American Civil War Widows Pension Certificate
The Department of the Interior Act of April 19, 1908 Docket No. 699755, American Civil War, from Private George Granger, Co. B 141 Regt. Penna & as 1st Sergeant in 24th Regt. Reserve Veteran Corp for Hattie E. Granger, Payable Quarterly by the U.S. Pension Agent at Philadelphia, Pa. Document Signed Folio: 04/08/1910 - 8 x 10 1/2 Secetary of the Interior Richard Achilles Ballinger & James L. Davenport, Commissioner of Pensions; signed in both red and blk ink on Offical U.S. Document parchment with an emboss seal of the American Eagle on Olive Branch; lovely age-toning seen with a two-fold crease and no tears or pin holes seen. Overall, fine/very fine condition.
The lot also, includes an earlier disability reject letter on Department of the Interior stationary from 1895; Private George Granger claimed a disability from a spider bite on the neck and the claim was rejected because of a late claim filing date. Plus, there are two additional widow pension raise notices from 1910 and the original Department of the Interior Envelope/Frank Postmarked 1912.
Despite the fact that the Civil War ended April 9, 1865 (53,630 days ago, for reference), the government is still paying out veterans’ pensions.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, only Union soldiers were eligible for military benefits. It wasn't until the 1930s that confederate soldiers began receiving pensions from the federal government. Prior to that, confederate soldiers could apply for benefits through the state they resided in.
Plante says unlike current times, where pensions are granted to dependents based off military service numbers or social security numbers, in the late 19th century, people had to prove their connection to a deceased veteran by sending the government evidence of their relationship. Children, parents and spouses submitted photographs, love letters, marriage certificates, diaries and gifts to prove they were eligible for pensions.
Budhan says, he respects the request for privacy, but would be fascinated to learn about the lives and memories of the last two people receiving pensions from the Civil War.
"I was hoping that someone would be able to talk to these folks," he says.