Monday, January 16, 2012

Civil War Pension File: Chronological Overview of Papers Pertaining to Ellis

When I typed the inventory of Ellis Bickerstaff's 79-page Civil War Pension File the papers were in no order and I wasn't sure which papers were part of the same document. I wasn't quite sure how to proceed. Since that post I've dated all the papers and put together the ones that I believe belong together. This is an overview post of the file's contents that related to Ellis, organized into chronological order.

Ellis served in the Civil War from May 2, 1864 until September 2, 1864. Nearly every document contains this information as well as his company. After his initial declaration form, the earliest documents have a claim number on them. Later documents have a certificate number.

Some forms have several different dates, as though they may have been kept at the front of the file for review and signed and dated during those reviews.

Nearly half the papers in the file pertain to Ellis's wife Lucy's attempt to continue receiving a pension. I will not include those papers in this post.

Ellis's initial claim, "Declaration of Soldier for a Disability Pension," was filed on July 19. Additional evidence was filed on December 11 and December 26, 1890.

Toward the end of January the War Department verified Ellis's Civil War service. In early February Ellis was examined by a physician. On April 5 a pension was granted for "Disease of Respiratory organs." In July he filed for an increase in disability.

On October 18 Ellis was examined by a physician.

Ellis filed for an increase of pension on February 21.

One of the multi-dated papers was first dated April 5 (with a final date of April 1, 1895). On July 11, Ellis was again examined by a physician.

Early in January a physician gave additional evidence.

In July the Department of the Interior requested that Ellis complete a form stating marriage information and give names and birth dates of his children.

In January Ellis requested an increase in his disability pension. In May the Department of the Interior completed a form stating that no medical record was found. In early June, Ellis was again examined by a physician.

In June a response was sent regarding Ellis's January 1899 request for an increase.

In December, Ellis again completed an application for a pension.

Ellis was examined by a physician in early June. In October he completed an application for an increase.

In November Ellis completed an application with the request for an increase in his pension.

In early February Ellis was examined by a physician and filed for an increase in his pension. In March he sent a postcard with a change of address.

Ellis completed a declaration for a pension in February. The file contains a copy of his death certificate dated June 30, 1907. He committed suicide on June 29.

. . . . . . . . . .
Other posts relating to Ellis Bickerstaff's Civil War Service and Pension File
Ordering Civil War Compiled Military Service Records
Reviewing Civil War Compiled Military Service Records
Ordering a Civil War Pension File
His Civil War Pension File Arrived
Civil War Pension File: First View
Civil War Pension File: Inventory


  1. I like the way you organized the pages, Nancy. I need to do this with the two files I've received. For some reason I thought I should leave them in the order in which they came, but arranging them chronologically makes so much more sense. You can get a much better overview that way. Thanks for the idea!

  2. Shelley, if you do this I would recommend that you make a list of everything everything in the file in the order it arrived to you. I recommend this because I'm left with one loose paper that I'm not sure should be loose. Since I have the inventory in the order the papers arrived, I think I'll be able to go back and see if it shouldn't be part of some other document in the file.

    It was a little hard to tell which papers were fronts and backs of each other and if more than two pages belonged together.

    I agree, though, that having them in chronological order should tell me more about Ellis's situation during the latter part of his life.


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