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Confederate Pension Applications
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.
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.
The Index to Confederate Pension Applications provides options to search by name, keyword, county, and application number.
Search by Name
The name search option allows a variety of searches. 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 "camp" somewhere in the last name.
When your search includes a first name, any occurrence of the name 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.
Search by Keyword
The keyword search 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.
Other Search Options
The Name and Keyword searches can be limited to a specific county. If you know the county where an individual was living at the time they applied for a pension, this feature may help when searching common names.
For example, a name search for “Smith” returns almost 900 matches, but selecting “Brown County” from the drop-down menu returns only 10 matches, making it easier to determine which application represents the individual you are seeking.
The county search option can 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.
You can also search for a specific application number to find the applicant's name and county.
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.
Search results will provide: 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 results can be sorted either alphabetically or numerically.
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.
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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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.
|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.
Information about the payment of Confederate pensions, including when payment ended, can sometimes be found in the “Confederate pension payments volumes” series from the Texas Comptroller’s Office claims records . Staff can perform up to five searches, where a search is defined as a single name from a single county. To request a search, please provide the following:
- Name of the pensioner.
- County of residence and the time period that they received payments.
- The Texas State Archives Material Request Form as required by Texas Government Code, Section 441.1935. Please refer to page 2 of the form for directions on how to submit your request. We recommend downloading and completing the form in Adobe Reader. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
If we locate results, we can then provide information about the dates that a pensioner received payments, including any information about when and why payment stopped.
Texas Confederate Pension Application files have been digitized and are available online from Ancestry, Ancestry Library Edition, and Ancestry.com Texas in the database "Alabama, Texas and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958". Once you access the database, you may browse or search the records by name or pension number. Click “View Image” from the search results to open a scanned copy of the original application. TSLAC’s Austin and Liberty locations provide on-site access to Ancestry Library Edition. Free access to Ancestry.com Texas is available to Texas residents.
Many Texas Confederate Pension Applications are available on the Texas Digital Archive . You can browse Approved Confederate Pension Applications by pension number or search for a specific application number or name. There is no subscription or login needed to access digitized pension application files through the TDA.
Due to the condition of the records, we do not photocopy the original Confederate Pension Application files.
If paper copies are needed and the online access options above do not meet your needs, we can print and mail copies of digitized Texas pension application file images. You may e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests must include:
- The applicant's full name, Texas county, and pension application number as it appears in the Confederate Pension Applications Index.
- Your own name and complete mailing address so we can calculate postage.
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”. Please do not submit requests for files listed as Missing in the index.
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.
Please note, we are unable to print copies of pension files for applications filed in other states. Contact those states directly about access and reproduction options.
The pension files do not include the actual military service records of the applicants. The following resources may be helpful for researching an individual’s military service during the Civil War.
Texas Adjutant General's Office records. Search Civil War era service records for Texas State Troops and Confederate States Army (CSA) units using the Adjutant General Service Records database.
Adjutant General Ranger Muster Roll Index, abstract card file contains details extracted from various Texas military rolls, including Texas State Troops and CSA units. Available from Ancestry, Ancestry Library Edition, and Ancestry.com Texas in the database, “Texas, Muster Roll Index Cards, 1838-1900”.
Request official CSA service records from the National Archives and Records Administration . Some of the compiled service records of Confederate soldiers from Texas units are available from Fold3 and Fold3 Library Edition by Ancestry. TSLAC’s Austin and Liberty locations provide on-site access to this resource.
“Confederate Pension Application Records” series, Texas Comptroller’s Office Claims Records
Confederate Pension Search
Audit Report, Confederate Pension Fund, State Comptroller of Public Accounts. Austin, TX: State Auditor, 1951.
Audit Report, Confederate Pension Fund, State Comptroller of Public Accounts. Austin, TX: State Auditor, 1955.
Vernon's Annotated Civil Statutes, Article 6221. Historical Note. St. Paul: West Publishing, 1970.
Vernon's Annotated Civil Statutes, Article 6227. Historical Note. St. Paul: West Publishing, 1970.
Confederate Indigent Families List (1863-1865)