15 January 2007

Organizational Index to US CW pension records

For years I have wanted to use the Civil War pension index that is organized by unit. Easily being able to see pensions of others in my ancestor's same unit I thought might help me and I might even be tempted to obtain a pension or two of his comrades.

Footnote.com has come to the rescue. The website has many National Archives microfilms on its site, but the organizational index to pensions is one that provides enough information that free users can still get a great deal of use out of it. Knowing that a man in a certain unit received a pension generally is enough to order the actual pension.

I found that several of my ancestor's comrades in the 78th Illinois Volunteer Infantry received a pension, including two who provided testimony in my ancestor's pension. Researchers can browse the index by state and then by unit here.

Riley's card is here and can be viewed on the site at no charge. There is enough detail that his pension could be ordered if I had not already had it.