Mother's Pension with two sons KIA

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robreuss

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Oct 12, 2012
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Berkeley, CA
Hello all -

My first post - greetings.

I have a general question about the pension program. My gg-aunt lots two boys, both about age 18 and both (as far as I can tell) unmarried. She filed a single claim as a dependent parent, but only for one of the two sons. The other son, who's service detail and burial at a national cemetery I have confirmed, is mentioned in one of the third-party affidavits in the application, however it seems she only made a pension claim on the basis of the one son.

Does anyone know if there was a restriction for dependent parent claims, limiting it to a single claim irrespective of number of sons lost?

Any other ideas why this may have been the case?

FYI, the unclaimed son was 17 when he enlisted in 1864 and was dead before the year was out after being wounded at Alsops Farm, and dying in a hospital of disease in September, and so while a last minute marriage isn't out the question, NARA has no record of a window's claim on behalf of his service.

Thanks for any insight you can offer!

Rob
 

DixieRifles

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Collierville, TN
Well, I don't know all the details related to Pension Applications but if it is like some of the things I have to deal with maybe they had to use a lawyer and that cost money. So save money by applying one at a time. Just a guess.
 

tmh10

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Pipestem,WV
I did some reading up on the question after I saw your post and I didn't see anything that said you couldn't apply for two. What I did find out was that they were not easy to get and a lot of them were turned down.
 
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robreuss

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Judging by the affidavits in the pension application that I do have, my gg-aunt was very poor - one by a neighbor says that she sometimes did not have shoes, etc. So, explaining this as a cost-calculation makes a lot of sense - if she didn't judge there was a good chance of getting the additional pension, it might not have been worth the investment to pursue it.

Included in the application was a letter from her son, while he was in Mower General Hospital after he was wounded at Cold Harbor, which seems to imply he intended to send her his pay. It could be the case that for Joshua, the brother Dolson mentions in the letter, my aunt did not have such supporting evidence - transcribed as best I could from a very poor copy:

Chestnut Hill Aug 29th [1864]
Dear Mother

I received your kind and ever welcome letter this morning and I had a pass to go out before I got the letter or I should have answered it to day. I am back and I thought I would commence tonight but it is getting dark and I shall have to wait until morning.

Tuesday Aug 30th I will now try and finish this letter. I have received all that has been sent to me from home but I do not hear from any body else. You said it is hard to be [apart?] try and bear it as well you can. I shall [be home] some day some time or other and when it comes there will be enough to amount [to something?] for I have $130 coming to me [next] pay day comes around next month again but I don't expect to get any that time for my descriptive list is not here but at has been sent for and if it comes before the 10th or 15th of next month, I shall get my pay. I am sorry to hear that Joshua is sick at the [first?] for [?] he so here that goes I am getting better every day my wound is not healed up yet. My right arm is nearly useless yet and I shall have to lay around until it gets strength. I could not hold a gun in it now. Well I guess this is enough for this time.

From your affectionate son,
Dolson
Dolson's brother Joshua would be dead a few days after this letter was sent at Fort Reno, DC.
Dolson left Mower General Hospital and was detailed as a hospital attendant at Fort Monroe, but he died of disease at the 1st Division Hospital at the Wolfe Street Branch in Alexandria on 12 Nov 1864. According to his mother Lucinda's application, she reached him about 4 days before he died. She lost two sons in the span of just over a month - and the boys died only 12 miles from one another - Dolson was 18 and Joshua was 17. One is buried in Alexandria National Cemetery and the other in Arlington - 6 miles apart.
I wish I could find a pension application for Joshua for genealogical reasons...but also to know that my aunt was able to obtain all that she was entitled to for her costly sacrifice.
 

tmh10

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If the topic is not confusing enough, I provide a link to a site I came accross while looking for information related to your question. After jumping thru all those hoops, I think it may be she did not want to go thru the expense and the bureaucacy for the second claim. It is very detailed but for a short preview I post a very small bit. The lawyers on the board will love this.:smile coffee:

IntroductionThe purpose of this page is to give users a legal background into the building of the United States Pension system put
in place after the War of the Rebellion. In placing pensions on the internet for the veterans and widows of the
members of the 33rd, 34th, and 23rd St. Augustine members of the USCT many of the issues that are given here can
be more fully seen and explored.

There are two rules to observe in studying pensions:
1. The rules depend on when the application for a pension is submitted. The process is more liberalized over time.

2. The longer a person lives the more likely they will receive a pension (see 1 above) since the rules are in a state of
constant change over who is entitled to a pension.

For genealogists:
1. Remember that pension documents have a purpose - to get a pension. In essence this means that you must
challenge almost everything in a pension (the same way that a special examiner would challenge the person who was
claiming a pension.)

2. Like all documentation one must weigh the evidence especially with the birth dates of children and marriage
records. In genealogy one must always give weight to evidence --- simply because something is written on a piece of
paper does not make it a "fact." If one is not careful, they are simply extending an error, mistatement, fraud, etc. to a
new generation.

General Law System - July 14, 1862
Bill analysis by section
Section 1 - lists the individuals covered by the act. The original act would only cover enlisted personnel. Nurses would
be added much, much later. The act would provide benefits from the 4th of March 1861 (Lincoln’s inaugural). The bill
was for disabilities from either wounds incurred or diseases contracted while the person was in service. These
disabilities would be rated. The bill gives the pension dollar amounts.

Section 2 - provides for widows and children under the age of 16 until they reach the age of 16.

Section 3 - provides a pension for mothers who were dependent on their son for support (without the son having
either wife or children). This pension would be terminated on the remarriage of the mother.

Section 4 - provides a pension to an orphaned sister(s) if there is no wife, no children and no mother till the sister will
arrive at age 16. No disloyal heirs could receive a part of a pension.

Section 5 - Pensions may be filed for 1 year after discharge for back pay or payment would be made from date of filing
the application.

Section 6 - Lawyers would receive a $5 basic fee with $1.50 allowed for further evidence except surgeons certification.

Section 7 - High misdemeanor for a lawyer to exceed these fees in section 6.

Section 8 - Surgeons requested by the pension office would receive $1.50 fee.

Section 9 - Commissioner of Pension furnishes all paperwork free of charge.

Section 10 - Pilots, engineers and crews of military boats not mustered in receive same bounty and disability pension
of a corresponding naval rank.

Section 11. Widows and heirs provided in the same way as those of section 10.

Section 12. Commissioner of Pensions may hire someone to detect for fraud in pensions.



http://drbronsontours.com/pensionsunderstandingcivilwarpensions.html
 
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robreuss

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Messages
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Location
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If the topic is not confusing enough, I provide a link to a site I came accross while looking for information related to your question. After jumping thru all those hoops, I think it may be she did not want to go thru the expense and the bureaucacy for the second claim. It is very detailed but for a short preview I post a very small bit. The lawyers on the board will love this.:smile coffee:
Thanks. I read a bunch of the material on the page you linked to as well. I am becoming more and more convinced that it was a matter of calculation on my family's part not to push their luck pursing an additional pension. My uncle was still living, and so the pension needed to prove he was unable to provide for my aunt because he was basically an invalid, and so the burden of proof only increased on that basis.
 
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