Pension

ranger326

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My great-grandfather’s pension paper has the notation “Annual examination required”. Would this be because he was wounded at Fredericksburg? He was only 21 years old when this paper was filed. He died in 1921. That’s a lot of examinations!

0603E4B0-2EBB-434D-9E05-C226F64F219F.jpeg
 

Bob Velke

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Starting in 1862 (retroactive to 4 Mar 1861), disabled veterans claiming a pension were subject to physical examination every other year if it was deemed appropriate by the Commissioner of Pensions. So, for instance, amputees wouldn't need ongoing examinations but those claiming a disease contracted in service probably would.

By 1890 (when it wasn't required that the disability was acquired in service), proof of disability was required "according to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may provide." Again, those rules depended on the nature of the disability.

By 1907, a disability wasn't required to receive a pension but the amount of money that he received in that pension could be tied to the degree to which he was unable to conduct manual labor.

According to his payment record, your Andrew Saylor's disability was "g. s. wd [gunshot wound] left shoulder, nano pharyngeal catarrh [which could cause difficulty breathing] res. [residual] slight dfn [deafness] in both ears." but then all of that was crossed out for some reason. Anyway, breathing difficulty and deafness are the types of things that would require regular examinations in order to measure the extent of his disability and therefore the size of his pension.
 
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ranger326

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Bob Velke
Much appreciated!
Good to know that it is labeled as a gunshot wound. Other sources have said that Andrew was wounded with shrapnel. We never knew for sure.

Andrew was a bit of a rolling stone I think. He even went to Nebraska in 1880 to try homesteading. I guess 4 bucks a month was better than nothing.

Thank you all for the responses!
 

Bob Velke

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Well, it was $4.00 per month in 1867. By 1908 he was getting $17 per month ($51.00 per quarter). And by the time he died in 1921, he was getting $72 per month ($216 per quarter). That's $966.71 per month in today's money.

My point is not that he was getting rich - just that it didn't stay $4.00 a month for all those years. And many veterans (and their widows) fought very hard for the pittance that a pension would provide them because it was enough to fend off starvation.
 

Bob Velke

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My great-grandfather’s pension paper has the notation “Annual examination required”. Would this be because he was wounded at Fredericksburg? He was only 21 years old when this paper was filed. He died in 1921. That’s a lot of examinations!

Good to know that it is labeled as a gunshot wound. Other sources have said that Andrew was wounded with shrapnel. We never knew for sure.

You described it as his "pension paper" and I assumed that you had his full pension file - but based on the second comment, maybe not because that file would commonly include some level of detail about his wound. Was the document that you posted handed down through the family?

The full pension file should also have copies of all those medical examinations.

Let me know if you need help getting hold of the full pension file. (See my signature).
 

ranger326

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The “pension paper” picture I posted is framed and is all we have in that regard. It was handed down through the family as you say, as well as his saber, hat and discharge poster. (After discharge from the infantry, he enlisted in the cavalry.) Some years ago, I did send for some records from Washington. These were copies of, I want to say “company notes”? It noted whether he was present or not, month to month, etc. (He was, in fact listed as AWOL a couple of times.) But we have nothing regarding his pension other then the picture posted.
 

Bob Velke

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The “pension paper” picture I posted is framed and is all we have in that regard. It was handed down through the family as you say, as well as his saber, hat and discharge poster. (After discharge from the infantry, he enlisted in the cavalry.) Some years ago, I did send for some records from Washington. These were copies of, I want to say “company notes”? It noted whether he was present or not, month to month, etc. (He was, in fact listed as AWOL a couple of times.) But we have nothing regarding his pension other then the picture posted.
It sounds like you have his Compiled Military Service Records (CMSRs) which is a series of cards, one (in theory) covering every two month period during which he served.

In addition to his infantry service, he was in Co. H, 22nd PA Cavalry and Co. I, 3rd PA Provisional Cavalry. There should be another set of cards for his service in each of those regiment. That is, there should be three sets. The top of each card will say what regiment it is for.

All of this is independent of his pension file (Cert #79774) for which he applied 29 Oct 1866. At the time, pensions were only granted to veterans who were disabled by wound or disease as a direct result of his service - so the pension file should give you those details.

It's cool that you have his hat and saber along with the documents. Treasured family pieces!
 

Bob Velke

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By the way, Andrew Saylor's pension index card has a cross-reference to a pension application (3 June 1880) by a Gephard Ling who claimed to have served in Co. E, 21st PA Cavalry. I don't find a service record for Ling which might explain why his pension application was not approved. Like Saylor, he died in Shanksville, PA (18 Mar 1904). A relative of some kind? I wonder what connection there is between their pension files.
 

Bob Velke

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It turns out that Margaret/Margrett Miller married Gephart/Gephard Ling circa 1868. He died in 1904 and then Margaret married Andrew J. Taylor (who was himself twice widowed) on 4 Jun 1907. So that's their connection.
 
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John Winn

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@ranger326 : Get the full pension file; it will have a lot of very useful genealogical information (much of it not war related). I've researched many a vet and I always get these when they exist. They have all the marriages and children (dates included), all the places the person has lived since the war, their work, details of their medical conditions, and often very interesting details of their service (especially when such is related to medical problems).

Oh, and do use a researcher as the Archives are difficult to work with (e.g. orders often get lost), take months, and often don't send the entire file (even though they say they do/did). Also they send black and white copies but researchers usually get color (a nice touch even if not necessary just for the facts).
 

ranger326

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It turns out that Margaret/Margrett Miller married Gephart/Gephard Ling circa 1868. He died in 1904 and then Margaret married Andrew J. Taylor (who was himself twice widowed) on 4 Jun 1907. So that's their connection.
My records on Andrew Jackson Saylor show him married twice: Annie Pisel d.1879 and then Angeline Masters d.1906.
 

ranger326

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Thanks for the tips John. I will get Andrew’s file.
BTW, Andrew’s father, Samuel Saylor, jr., also enlisted in the 133rd PA with his son. Since there is no report of him being wounded, I assume there is no pension similar to Andrew’s for him?
 

John Winn

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Thanks for the tips John. I will get Andrew’s file.
BTW, Andrew’s father, Samuel Saylor, jr., also enlisted in the 133rd PA with his son. Since there is no report of him being wounded, I assume there is no pension similar to Andrew’s for him?
As pointed out, later pensions were awarded for non-war-related reasons. I had a look and this looks like your Samuel:

saylor.jpg
 
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lupaglupa

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I do not see a pension card on Fold3 for the Samuel Saylor who served in the 133rd. I checked his file card and it did not list him having any other unit affiliation.
 

Bob Velke

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Samuel would’ve been 65 in 1879. He died three years later.
The requirement that the veteran be disabled as a direct result of his service in order to get a pension lasted until 27 Jun 1890 which could explain why Samuel's application was not approved. Again, the only way to know for sure is to pull that file.

BTW, another version of Samuel's pension index card says that he enlisted on 15 Aug 1862 ... the day after his son, Andrew, did. (I can just hear Caroline saying to her husband, "You go make sure that my boy doesn't get into any trouble!"). They were both discharged on 26 May 1863.
 
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