Confederation Pension Applications

Contact Information
Need help? Contact us at:

ref@tsl.texas.gov
or
512-463-5455

 
Introduction

The Index to Confederate Pension Applications provides the names, counties of residence, and pension numbers of 54,634 approved, rejected, and home pensions issued by the Texas government between 1899 and 1975.

image of a Confederate Pension Application
Confederate Pension Application 13253, John A. Smith, Confederate Pension Application Records, Texas Comptroller's Office Claims Records.

Confederate veterans and their widows were dependent upon the generosity of the already impoverished former Confederate states for any postwar pension benefits. In awarding pensions for Confederate service, Texas, like most other southern states, confined its relief payments to veterans or their widows resident in Texas since 1880 who were disabled or indigent. Therefore, the index of applicants for Confederate pensions in no way represents a complete roster of Texas residents who fought for the Confederacy.

The Confederate Pension Applications were transferred to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) from the Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts between 1934 and 1980. Even at the time of transfer, some application files were identified as missing. Although the names and associated file numbers are known, the records themselves are no longer available. There is value, however, in knowing the applications actually existed, along with the limited information found in the index. These entries are clearly recognizable by the word Missing which appears next to the application numbers. A few of the entries are marked Missing, followed by an asterisk (Missing*); for these files, the original file is not available, but we do hold a copy.

The application forms and any supporting documentation or correspondence are on file in TSLAC's Archives and Information Services Division.

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How to Search the Index

The Index to Confederate Pension Applications provides two options: Search by Name and Search by Keyword. The results from either option will provide the same information: Applicant Name; Application Number; County where the applicant lived at the time of application; Husband's name if the applicant is a widow; and Husband's Application Number if he received a pension.

Search by Name

The Search by Name option allows a variety of searches and options. To search by name, enter the last and first names in the search boxes. You may also search by a first or last name, allowing greater flexibility.

Additional search types are available in the Search Options box for the last name only. You can select from Begins Like, Exactly, and Find Any. Results of a last name search for Camp using each option, are given below.

  • Begins Like: found entries for last names Camp and Campbell
  • Exactly: found only entries with the last name Camp
  • Find Any: found entries for last names Camp, Campbell and McCampbell

You will notice that each contains the string "camp" somewhere in the last name.

When your search includes a first name, any occurrence of the name or string of letters will be found. For example: a first name search for Jon will return entries with first or middle names that include Jonathan, Jonas, Jones and others.

The Name search, along with the search options, can be limited by selecting a specific county. For example, if the Smith you are seeking was known to have applied for a pension while living in Brown County, select that specific county from the drop-down menu. Once Brown is selected, the search finds only 10 Smiths despite the presence of almost 900 in the database.

The County search option can also be used to generate an alphabetical list of indexed names of those individuals who applied for pensions from a particular county. Leave all other fields blank and select a county from the drop-down menu.

An Application Number search will provide the applicant's name and county.

Search results can be sorted either alphabetically or numerically.

Search by Keyword

The Search by Keyword option provides the same search and sorting options but will look for the occurrence of a name in both the first and last name fields in a single search. A name must be entered in the Keyword field for the search to find results. This page cannot be used to generate a list of all entries from a particular county. Use the Search by Name option for any options that involve leaving the name field blank.

Remember to check all possible spellings of a veteran's surname before deciding that he or his widow did not apply for a pension. Although it is possible the person you are seeking did not apply for a pension, there are other reasons your search might not be successful. The names in the listing are based on the spelling given on the endorsement page of the printed pension application form. If that name was misspelled, the misspelling is reflected in the index. The listing for a widow's pension includes her husband's name as it appears on her application form; that may be different from the spelling on her husband's application. Surnames such as DeLeon may be entered as DeLeon or De Leon. Again, be sure to check all possible spellings and variations.

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Online Access

The Confederate Pension Application files are available online from Ancestry and Ancestry.com Texas in the database "Alabama, Texas and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958". Free access to Ancestry.com Texas is available to Texas residents. If you are not a Texas resident and do not have a subscription to Ancestry, ask your local library if they have access to Ancestry Library Edition.

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Sample Confederate Pension Application

The following are examples of Confederate Pension Applications. Some files have additional information. The application consists of two sheets, each with a front and back. Viewing this sample will give you an idea of the information you can expect from a copy of your particular application.

Please note that these are large GIF image files which may take a few moments to download completely. The size of each image is indicated.

Veteran Application

Widow Application

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Pension Payment Amounts

The following table lists the annual amount each pensioner was paid from enactment of the cash pension law in 1899 through the fiscal year ended August 31st, 1928, the last year in which payments were made without regard to age or date of marriage.

FISCAL YEAR ANNUAL AMOUNT
1899-1900 $22.32
1900-1901 $24.30
1901-1902 $31.60
1902-1903 $29.80
1903-1904 $37.00
1904-1905 $36.00
1905-1906 $55.00
1906-1907 $66.00
1907-1908 $64.50
1908-1909 $61.00
1909-1910 $43.50
1910-1911 $42.00
1911-1912 $42.00
1912-1913 $42.00
1913-1914 $67.50
1914-1915 $67.00
1915-1916 $53.50
1916-1917 $63.00
1917-1918 $66.00
1918-1919 $82.00
1919-1920 $91.00
1920-1921 $96.00
1921-1922 $97.00
1922-1923 $108.00
1923-1924 $127.00
1924-1925 $146.00
1925-1926 $170.00
1926-1927 $190.00
1927-1928 $208.00

During the year 1928-1929, all pensioners were paid $56.00 per quarter for the first and second quarters of the year; for the third quarter men with wives were paid $150.00, without wives $75.00, and widows received $37.50, while the fourth quarter pensioners over 75 years of age were paid $67.00.

Beginning in 1929 and continuing through the fiscal year ended August 31st, 1943 the amounts paid monthly are listing in the following table.

Pensioner Amount
To soldier pensioners who had living wives whom they married prior to January 1st, 1900 $50.00
Soldier pensioners married after that date and single pensioners $25.00
Widows $25.00

The 48th Legislature amended the law to provide $80.00 per month for each married Veteran, $50.00 per month for each unmarried Veteran or widower and $30.00 per month for each widow. The 49th Legislature further amended the law (H.B. 167) to provide $150.00 per month for married Veterans, $100.00 per month to unmarried Veterans or widowers, and $50.00 per month to widows, with pensioners in the Confederate homes drawing one-half of the amount they would if not in the homes.

The 51st Legislature provided the rates listed in the following table.

Pensioner Amount
Veterans, Married $150.00 per month
Veterans, Single $100.00 per month
Veterans, In Home $50.00 per month
Widows $100.00 per month
Widows, In Home $25.00 per month

The 53rd Legislature allotted the Confederate pension amounts as listed in the following table.

Pensioner Amount
Veterans, Married $200.00 per month
Veterans, Single $100.00 per month
Widows, Not in Home $100.00 per month
Widows, In Home $25.00 per month

In 1957, the 55th Legislature increased the allotment for a Confederate veteran living with his wife to $300.00 per month. Unmarried veterans or widowers were allotted $200.00 per month. However, during the Second Called Session of the 55th Legislature, it was decided that the veteran would receive an allotment of $300.00 per month, regardless of marital status.

The final legislative adjustment to the Confederate Pension Fund allotments was made in 1969 by the 61st Legislature. The widow's pension was increased to $150.00 with no stipulation of residence.

Beginning in 1917, the Texas Legislature also provided for a mortuary payment not to exceed $30.00 to be awarded after the death of the pensioner. In 1923, the allotment was increased to $65.00; in 1929 to $100.00; and, finally, in 1947 to $200.00.

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Reproductions

Although we no longer photocopy the original documents, we can print copies of the digitized images. After searching the Confederate Pension Applications Index, e-mail your request to ref@tsl.texas.gov. Be sure to include the applicant's name and number, as well as your own name and complete mailing address.

You may request copies of the files by telephone, mail, or e-mail. To obtain an approved pension, give the applicant's name and pension number. If the pension application number is shown as Rejected or Home, be sure to give the applicant's full name as it appears in the index, provide the county, and specify rejected or home. We will notify you of the cost of your order and provide payment instructions. All images will be printed on 8.5" x 11" paper.

Due to the high volume of requests, we ask that patrons limit requests to no more than 10 pension applications. Once we have mailed your copies, you are welcome to submit another request.

Please do not submit requests for files listed as Missing in the index.

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Page last modified: November 2, 2020