Confederate Pensions

A mention of Confederate pensions made me curious as to how these worked; the Southern states were poor after the war, and I doubted the Federal government would provide for soldiers who’d actively fought against it. Interesting to note they didn’t come about until 30 years after the war started – one imagines the pension rolls were pretty thin by that time – but that there was no discrimination as to where troops had served.  Given how exclusionary and self-interested the Confederate states were by war’s end, that’s a surprising development.

In 1891 Tennessee established the Board of Pension Examiners to determine if Confederate veterans applying for pensions were eligible. Eligibility requirements included an inability to support oneself, honorable separation from the service, and residence in the state for one year prior to application.

Confederate veterans applied to the pension board of the state in which they resided at the time of application, even if this was not the state from which they served.

via Tennessee Department of State: Tennessee State Library and Archives.

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