Tennessee Union Veteran Pension Database

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The Civil War was a unique period in our American History. It divided our country in half and pitted brother against brother, father against son, and neighbor against neighbor. Although Tennessee seceded from the Union in June 1861 and was considered part of the Confederacy, a significant number of young men enlisted in the Union army. For the Union cause, Tennessee raised 14 Cavalry units, 8 Mounted Infantry Units, 8 Artillery units, 11 Volunteer Infantry Regiments, 14 "Colored" Regiments, and various miscellaneous units.

The United States Government began granting pensions for disabled  Union veterans starting in 1862. A total of five acts passed between 1862 and 1907 provided pensions based on Union service. Union pension applications are indexed in the National Archives micropublication T288, called the General Index to Pension Files, 1881-1934. The index is organized alphabetically by surname and then by state from which the veteran served. There is one card per veteran. Each card contains the following information:

The top portion contains the veteran's name, which unit(s) he served with and lines for widow's and other dependants names if applicable.  The next portion contains 3 lines (and a blank line) for 

  • 1) Invalid pension, 
  • 2) widow pension and
  • 3) dependant pension. 

There are then spaces across for the date the application was filed, the application number, the certificate number and the state where the application was filed.  There is space at the bottom for notes and information about a lawyer if one was used.

The following people are researching various Tennessee Union Military Units. Their efforts have produced a significant number of Union Pension applications for this database. The TNGenWeb Project wishes to thank them for sharing their research.

Paula Via - 1st Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Jessie Blalock -  4th Tennessee Cavalry 
Chuck Sherrill - 3rd Tenn. Infantry: Companies A, B, C, D, and Field Officers and Staff,  and 2nd Tenn. Infantry: Companies E, F, G, H, I, and K

This database contains the following information per veteran:

  • Veteran's name
  • Name of Dependents
  • Military Unit
  • Application Number
  • Pension Number
  • Type of pension
  • State from which the pension was filed
  • County from which the pension was filed
  • Contributor's name

The database also contains information about pension applications from veterans serving in other TN units. These were contributed by various other researchers. If you have received a Union pension application, please consider adding the pertainent information to the database.

"Tennessee and the Civil War Project" has online instructions for obtaining copies of these pension applications.




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Tennessee and the Civil War Pensions Project

This page was last updated on  Monday, November 14, 2005.

© Background Copyright Margy Miles


©Tennessee and the Civil War Project 2005. All Rights Reserved.
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