ALFRED STRATTON double amputee

godofredus

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I recently bought this CDV of this man, and every reference I found of him says he sold his portrait to raise money to live. I thought there was some sort of disability pension for the severely wounded established shortly after the war. If so, does any one know how much? I know current VA base disability is about $ 1,100 a month which is poverty level. Was the Civil War-era disability pension about the same in terms of ratio?


New York State native Alfred A. Stratton (1845-1874) enlisted in Company G, 147th New York Vols on August 19, 1863, as a substitute for August Lass who had been drafted. Poor Alfred was severely wounded by cannon fire during the battle of Petersburg, Virginia on June 18, 1864. As a result, he lost both arms by amputation. He was promoted sergeant and discharge due to his disability later that summer and subsequently moved to Washington, D. C., married and started a family, only to die within ten years of his wounding. He is now buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Washington. War-date oval view CDV showing Stratton in uniform, missing his arms, while wearing an ornate Fifth Corps badge on his chest. This image is no doubt one of the many Stratton sold to help support himself after his wounding. No photographer's imprint. Near fine
82344_mid.jpg
 

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godofredus

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There are a number of photographs of Alfred Stratton. I am curious as to why he needed to sell his pictures. He was
a minister at an Episcopal Church, and I assume he had some sort of pension. That is what I am trying to find out - what his income might have been and did he sell his pictures to live or to provide for his wife and children?
 

jharold587

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Wilmington, Ohio
Ministers of small 19th century churches frequenty were not compensated for their service. A check of his service record would reveal if he made application for a pension. It was a lengthy time consuming process, so if he died 10 years post injury he may not have had time toobtain a pension. His widow may also have applied, but that was a very difficult process. My maternal G-grand father did receive a pension of $25.00 permonth for a nonbattle injury. His right thigh bone wad broken and a limb penetrated completely through his thigh, when a log rolled over his leg while buliding a bridge. My mother could recall the wound opening and seeping blood and bone chips during hay season. He still farmed and was a cooper for the remainder of his life.
J H Harker Chaplain 4th OVI
 

godofredus

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A little while ago I posted a picture of Alfred Stratton, a Civil War Veteran and double amputee: both arms amputated at the shoulder. He did have a pension, but he produced a number of carte-de-visites of himself which – as almost every source I’ve consulted,says: he traveled around selling these CDV's to make his living

There are reportedly at least seven photos of him. In one he is stripped to the waist, clearly showing his residual limbs. Both arms were missing from just below the shoulders.

Here is another CDV (caution: you need a strong stomach to view the CDV of Stratton stripped to the waist;

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nychauta/MILITARY/Portraits/Stratton-alfred2.jpg

I posted the CDV because I was curious; why did he have to sell pictures of himself when he probably had a pension. Well, I couldn’t get a direct answer, so I had to do the work myself. For everyone else who has to do this, here is what I did.

First, just googling Alfred Stratton leads to a number of write-ups, all containing Basic Info:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=105912613

http://www.healio.com/orthotics-prosthetics/news/print/o-and-p-business-news/{b0c32cf0-2bd0-469e-aa99-d9877846cffd}/civil-war-amputee-ended-up-a-minister-husband-and-father

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nychauta/MILITARY/Civilpics.htm

Then I tried the census to see if he was working, owned real estate, etc. I couldn’t find him in the 1860 census, but he is in the 1870 census where his profession is listed as : Clk Treas…..what he could have done there I haven’t the slightest idea.

Then of course he is in the Civil War Soldier data base:
http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=civilwar_histdatasys&rank=1&new=1&MSAV=1&msT=1&gss=angs-d&gsfn=alfred&gsln=stratton&msrpn__ftp=New York, USA&msrpn=

I can add that finding him was easy even tho there are several Alfred Stratton’s, one of his CDV’s was attached to the record:

U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865about Alfred A Stratton

Name:
Alfred A Stratton
Residence:
Ellicott, New York
Age at enlistment:
17
Enlistment Date:
19 Aug 1863
Rank at enlistment:
Private
Enlistment Place:
Ellicott, New York
State Served:
New York
Was Wounded?:
Yes
Survived the War?:
Yes
Service Record:
Enlisted in Company G, New York 147th Infantry Regiment on 19 Aug 1863.Promoted to Full Sergeant. Mustered out on 27 Sep 1864.
Birth Date:
abt 1846
Death Date:
13 Jun 1874
Sources:
New York: Report of the Adjutant-General Information provided by HDS subscribers The Medical and Surgical History of the Civil War

Expired Image Removed

Now for the pension info:

First I found this handy guide:

Understanding Civil War Pensions
http://drbronsontours.com/pensionsunderstandingcivilwarpensions.html
You can find the card that would certify the vet for the pension, or his widow, BUT what you can’t get at is the supporting documentation. That is in the National Archives. The supporting documentation – especially in a case where the injuries might not be obvious – can run to dozens of pages.

In Stratton’s case, all we need to know is that he was approved: There is no free site, you can only get at the index thru Fold3

http://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Union_Pension_Records and

http://linealarboretum.blogspot.com/2010/03/determining-if-your-ancestor-had-civil.html

http://www.fold3.com/title_57/civil_war_and_later_veterans_pension/

Expired Image Removed

This card shows that both Stratton and his widow and a son received pensions. What we don’t know from this card is when the pension started. I haven’t been able to find that. There is a separate widow’s pension card, dated July 30 1894.
The amount of pension was set by law. So we go back to “Understanding Civil War Pensions;” http://drbronsontours.com/pensionsunderstandingcivilwarpensions.html

And the pension acts of 1864 and 1865. The law provided a pension of $25.00 a month for a wounded soldier. So how much was that worth in 1860/1870? The formula is available here:

http://www.minneapolisfed.org/community_education/teacher/calc/hist1800.cfm

Following the formula, $25.00 a month works out to somewhere between $385 to $466 a month. This is not exactly a fortune: current poverty level for a single person is $972 a month.

So no wonder he sold pictures of himself.
 
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