Confederate Pension Records

Where to Find Confederate Pension Records - State by State

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Powell, Kimberly. "Confederate Pension Records." ThoughtCo, Mar. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/confederate-pension-records-1421790. Powell, Kimberly. (2017, March 3). Confederate Pension Records. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/confederate-pension-records-1421790 Powell, Kimberly. "Confederate Pension Records." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/confederate-pension-records-1421790 (accessed September 19, 2017).

Civil War pension records offer a rich source of details for anyone researching U.S. Civil War soldiers and their wives. Unlike Union pensions which were issued by the federal government and are held by the National Archives, Confederate pension records were issued by the states in which the veteran lived at the time of his application. Some states only offered pensions to maimed (lost a limb), wounded or indigent soldiers, while others eventually extended pension rights to veterans' widows as well. Some states did eventually open up pensions to all Confederate veterans for old age, etc. It wasn't uncommon for a Confederate veteran to move to a nearby state for better pension benefits.

In 1958, the U.S. government opened up federal pensions to surviving Confederate veterans and their widows even though they or their husbands had fought against the government. Given that this was almost 100 years after the start of the Civil War, more people took advantage of this mostly symbolic gesture than you might think; two Confederate veterans and more than one thousand Confederate widows were added to the federal Civil War pension rolls in 1958.1

Confederate pensions prior to 1958 were not awarded by the U.S. federal government and are not in the custody of the National Archives. Instead, Confederate pension records are typically found in the custody of the state archives or library. Many southern states have indexes to the Confederate pensions available online, and some (including North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Virginia) even have digitized copies of the full pension applications or other pension records. In most cases these records are nowhere near as in-depth or rich as federal Union pension records, but they still offer the opportunity for genealogical discoveries.

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NC Confederate Pension for Caroline Everett, widow of Joseph Everett, Edgecombe County, NC
North Carolina State Archives


Alabama Department of Archives and History
624 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36130-0100
334-242-4363

Alabama began granting pensions in 1867 to Confederate veterans who had lost arms or legs. In 1886 Confederate pensions were also extended to veterans' widows. Alabama pension law was amended in 1891 to grant pensions to indigent veterans or their widows. Alabama Confederate pension records are not yet available online from the state archives, but Ancestry.com (subscription) has a database of Alabama, Confederate Pension and Service Records, 1862-1947 which includes selected records such as applications and warrants. Use the browse feature to see what's available before searching.

Alabama Civil War Records Online:
Alabama Civil War Service Database  (free) More »

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Arkansas History Commission
1 Capitol Mall 
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-682-6900

In 1891 Arkansas began granting pensions to indigent Confederate veterans in 1891. Pensions were first made available for Confederate veteran widows and mothers in 1915. The online index to Arkansas Confederate Pensions includes an easy link on each search results page to purchase a full copy of the pension file.

Arkansas Civil War Records Online:
Arkansas Confederate Pension Records ( free)
Index to Arkansas Confederate Home Records  ( free)
Arkansas Civil War Soldiers - Compiled Military Service Records ( subscription) More »
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Florida State Archives
R. A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahasse, FL 32399-0250 
850-487-2073

Soldiers from Florida served in both the Confederate and Union armies. The first Confederate pensions were authorized in Florida in 1885 and granted to Confederate veterans for the sum of $5. New pension laws were introduced with just about each session of the Legislature for a time, varying eligibility or payment amounts. Pensions were first eligible to widows of Confederate veterans in 1889. 

Florida Civil War Records Online:
Florida Confederate Pension Application Files Online  ( free)
Florida Civil War Soldiers - Compiled Military Service Records, Confederate & Union ( subscription) More »
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Georgia Department of Archives and History
5800 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, GA 30260 
(678) 364-3700

Applications for Confederate pensions were first accepted by the state of Georgia in 1870 for soldiers with artificial limbs. In 1879 the State began granting pensions to other disabled Confederate veterans or their widows who then resided in Georgia. By 1894 eligible disabilities which qualified for a Confederate pension had been expanded to include poverty and old age. 

Georgia Civil War Records Online:
Georgia Confederate Pension Applications, 1879-1960 (free)
George Confederate Pension Applications, Supplements (free)
Georgia Confederate Enlistment Oaths and Discharges, 1861-1864 (free) More »

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Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives
Research Room
300 Coffee Tree Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
502-564-8300

Soldiers from Kentucky served in both the Union and Confederate armies. In 1912, Kentucky began granting pensions to Confederate veterans or their widows. These records are available on microfilm and are also digitized on the website of the Kentucky State Archives.

Kentucky Civil War Records Online:
Kentucky Confederate Pensions County Search - digital images (free)
Kentucky Confederate Pension Applications, 1912–1950 (free)
Kentucky Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers (free
Kentucky Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers (free)
Researching Your Civil War Ancestors (Kentucky)  (free)
Compiled Military Service Records of Confederate Soliders from Kentucky (subscription) More »

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Louisiana State Archives
3851 Essen Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70809-2137
504-922-1208

In 1898 Louisiana began granting pensions to indigent Confederate veterans or their widows. If you find a Confederate soldier in the online Louisiana pension applications index, you can order a copy of the complete pension file.

Louisiana Civil War Records Online:
Louisiana Confederate Pension Applications Index ( free)
Louisiana Confederate Pension Applications - images only ( free)
Louisiana Confederate Civil War Service Records ( subscription) 
Census of Ex-Confederate Soldiers and Widows of Deceased Soldiers (Orleans Parish), 1911 ( free) More »
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Mississippi Department of Archives and History
P.O. Box 571
Jackson, MS 39205
601-359-6876

In 1888 Mississippi began granting pensions to indigent Confederate veterans or their widows. Mississippi Confederate pension applications are not yet available online from the State Archives, but they will provide searches of the index (fee for out-of-state residents). The index and digitized images are available on FamilySearch.org for free.

 

Mississippi Civil War Records Online:
Mississippi Confederate Veterans and Widows Pension Applications, 1900–1974 (free)
Mississippi Confederate Civil War Service Records (subscription)
Mississippi Confederate Grave Registry (freeMore »

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Missouri State Archives
600 W. Main
P.O. Box 1747
Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-751-3280

As a border state, Missouri had units serving in both the Confederate and Union armies. In 1911 Missouri began granting pensions to indigent Confederate veterans; widows were not eligible. Missouri also had a home for disabled Confederate veterans. The State Archives does not have these records available online, but digital images can be browsed on FamilySearch.org (the top link below).

Missouri Civil War Records Online:
Missouri Confederate Pension Applications & Soldiers' Home Admission Applications (free)
Civil War Provost Marshal Index Database, 1861-1866 (free
Index to Descriptive Recruitment Lists of Volunteers for the United States Colored Troops for the State of Missouri, 1863-1865 (free)
Missouri Soldiers Database (free
Missouri Confederate Civil War Service Records (subscription
Missouri Union Civil War Service Records (subscription) More »


North Carolina State Archives
109 East Jones Street
Raleigh, NC 27601-2807
919-733-7305

Mailing Address:
North Carolina State Archives
4614 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4614

In 1867 North Carolina began granting pensions to Confederate veterans who were blinded or lost an arm or leg during their service. All other disabled indigent N.C. Confederate veterans or widows became eligible for Confederate pensions in 1885. Act of 1885 and 1891 pension applications are online in the MARS search feature of the North Carolina State Archives (many include links to digitized copies of the original documents). 

North Carolina Civil War Records Online:
N.C. Act of 1885 & 1891 Confederate Pension Applications in MARS (free)
North Carolina Confederate Civil War Service Records (subscription) More »

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Oklahoma Department of Libraries
Archives and Records Management Divisions
200 Northeast 18th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
1-800-522-8116 ext. 209

Another border state, Oklahoma had soldiers serving in both the Union and Confederate service. Oklahoma began granting pensions to Confederate veterans or their widows in 1915. 

Oklahoma Civil War Records Online:
Index to Oklahoma Confederate Pension Records (free) More »


South Carolina Department of Archives and History
8301 Parkland Road
Columbia, SC 29223
803-896-6100

A South Carolina state law enacted December 24, 1887, permitted financially needy Confederate veterans and widows to apply for a pension; however, few applications survive prior to 1918. Some of these early pension recipients can be identified in lists published by the SC Comptroller in his  Annual Report beginning in 1889. From 1919 to 1925, South Carolina granted pensions to Confederate veterans and widows regardless of financial need. Also available from the S.C. State Archives are Confederate Home applications and inmate records for veterans (1909-1957), and applications of wives, widows, sisters, and daughters (1925-1955). 

South Carolina Civil War Records Online:
Index to South Carolina Confederate Pension Applications, 1919-1938 ( free)
South Carolina Confederate Civil War Service Records ( subscription) More »
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Tennessee State Library and Archives
Public Service Division
403 Seventh Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37243-0312
Telephone: 615-741-2764

In 1891 Tennessee began granting pensions to indigent Confederate veterans, expanding access to their widows in 1905.

Tennessee Civil War Records Online:
Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications: Soldiers and Widows
Tennessee Confederate Soldiers Home Applications
Tennessee Civil War Veterans' Questionnaires (Confederate and Federal)
Tennessee Confederate Physicians
Tennessee Confederate Civil War Service Records More »

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Texas State Library and Archives Commission
P.O. Box 12927 
Austin, TX 78711
512-463-5480

In 1881 Texas set aside 1,280 acres for disabled Confederate veterans. In 1889 the State began granting pensions to indigent Confederate veterans and their widows. 

Texas Civil War Records Online:
Index to Texas Confederate Pension Applications, 1899-1975 ( free)
Confederate Indigent Families Lists, 1863-1865 ( free)
Texas Confederate Civil War Service Records ( subscription) More »
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Library of Virginia
Archives Division
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
804-692-3888

In 1888 Virginia began granting pensions to Confederate veterans or their widows.

Virginia Civil War Records Online:
Virginia Confederate Pension Rolls (Veterans and Widows) Database ( free)
Confederate Disability Applications and Receipts (Artificial Limbs) ( free)
Virginia Confederate Civil War Service Records ( subscription)
Index to Virginia Confederate Rosters ( free)
Index to Virginians Who Served in the Confederate Navy ( free)
Index to Confederate Veteran Magazine ( free) More »
Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "Confederate Pension Records." ThoughtCo, Mar. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/confederate-pension-records-1421790. Powell, Kimberly. (2017, March 3). Confederate Pension Records. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/confederate-pension-records-1421790 Powell, Kimberly. "Confederate Pension Records." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/confederate-pension-records-1421790 (accessed September 19, 2017).