How To Order Civil War Pension Files?

how to order civil war pension files?,


Key Takeaway:



  • Ordering civil war pension files is a multi-step process that involves finding the veteran’s service record, identifying the pension file number, and requesting the file from the National Archives.
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  • To speed up the process, it is recommended to order the file online and consider hiring a researcher to assist with the search.
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  • It is important to be prepared for a wait time for delivery and to take the time to understand the contents of the pension file once received to gain valuable insight into your ancestor’s life and service.
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Have you ever wanted to trace your ancestor’s military history? Learning how to order Civil War pension files is an invaluable skill to uncover your family’s past. With a few easy steps, you’ll be able to request and review pension files to discover your family’s story.

How to Order Civil War Pension Files

  1. Order civil war pension files – easy!
  2. Find the veteran’s service record first.
  3. Identify the pension file number.
  4. Finally, request the pension file from the National Archives.
  5. It’s that simple!

How to Order Civil War Pension Files-how to order civil war pension files?,

Image credits: by David Arnold

Find the Veteran’s Service Record

To obtain the Veteran’s Service Record, you must follow a set procedure. This encompasses various requirements and can be relatively straightforward if done meticulously.

Here is a 4-step guide to obtaining the Veteran’s Service Record:

  1. Establish whether the vet served in the military by looking through available databases.
  2. Once established, obtain Form SF-180 (Request Pertaining to Military Records) which will serve as your authorization for the National Personnel Records Center to release said records.
  3. Fill out Form SF-180 with all requested information. Ensure complete accuracy and include copies of any relevant documentation or identity verification documents (i.e., driver’s license, passport).
  4. Submit the fully filled form either via mail or electronically. If mailing it, note that it may take up to six months for processing time, Electronic submissions tend to have quicker processing time

It is worth noting that although this process may seem minimalistic; it’s still important to adhere to each requirement accurately – failure to do so could mean delayed or declined access to records.

A unique detail about obtaining the Service Record is that various agencies hold different pieces of information on an individual veteran. It may require meticulous searching for complete comprehension of each veteran record.

According to National Personnel Records Center Archivists found on, around 80% of Army personnel records from 1912 – 1960 were destroyed in a fire in Independence Day Flood occurred at NPRC July 12, 1973 resulting in a loss of over 16 million service records.

Getting your hands on a Civil War pension file is like a game of Where’s Waldo, except Waldo is a file number and you’re the one who’s lost.

Identify the Pension File Number

One crucial step in obtaining Civil War pension files is identifying the file number associated with the veteran. This can be done by requesting a copy of the veteran’s service records from the National Archives through their website or by mail. The service records should include information such as the veteran’s name, unit, discharge date, and any injuries sustained during their service. Once you have this information, you can request a copy of the pension file containing details about their pension claims.

To ensure accuracy when requesting the pension file, make sure to include all necessary information such as the veteran’s full name, unit, and file number (if available). It is also important to document any correspondence with the National Archives so that you have a record of your requests and their responses.

Furthermore, consider reaching out to local historical societies or genealogy groups for additional resources and guidance in obtaining Civil War pension files. These organizations may have unique insights or tips on navigating the process.

In summary, identifying the pension file number is a critical first step in obtaining Civil War pension files. By following these steps and utilizing available resources, individuals can successfully obtain valuable information about their ancestors’ military service and post-war lives.

Get ready to dig through the archives like it’s your own personal Civil War reenactment, because requesting that pension file is no easy task.

Request the Pension File from the National Archives

To obtain the Civil War Pension File, request it from the National Archives. Here is a guide to follow:

  1. Fill out Standard Form 180.
  2. Provide as much information as possible about the veteran, their spouse and next of kin.
  3. Submit the request to the Veterans Affairs Office or directly to the National Archives.
  4. Wait for a response from either organization.

It’s important to note that not all pension files are available, with some being lost during a fire in 1973.

In fact, over 80% of Army records between 1912 and 1960 were destroyed in that blaze at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.

Get your pension file faster than a bullet from a Union rifle with these ordering tips.

Tips for Ordering Civil War Pension Files

Want to make ordering Civil War pension files easier? Check out these tips in “Tips for Ordering Civil War Pension Files.” Sub-sections include:

  • Order Online for Quicker Service
  • Hire a Researcher
  • Wait Patiently for Delivery
  • Understand What’s in the Pension File

These tips will help you get your pension files fast and easy!

Tips for Ordering Civil War Pension Files-how to order civil war pension files?,

Image credits: by Joel Duncun

Order Online for Faster Service

Ordering Civil War Pension Files is easier and faster when done online. Here are three tips for utilizing this feature.

  • Choose the right website. Not all websites offer the same service or access to digitized records.
  • Provide detailed information. Submitting a complete request with as much detail as possible saves time and helps locate the correct file.
  • Set up an account. Creating an account streamlines future orders by storing personal information, maintaining a history of previous orders, and allowing access to exclusive records.

Furthermore, it’s essential to remember that each website has its unique terms of service and processing times for requests. Consider researching these aspects before making a selection.

One researcher ordered pension files for her great-great-grandfather online but received only a portion of the documents. After realizing the error, she contacted customer support and received assistance in locating the rest of the files promptly.

Unless you want to take a time machine back to 1865, consider hiring a researcher for your Civil War pension file order.

Consider Hiring a Researcher

Hiring a professional may be beneficial when obtaining Civil War pension files. A skilled researcher has experience uncovering important details that may be overlooked, saving time and frustration. This can help guarantee accuracy in research and provide an enhanced understanding of the pension file.

Moreover, finding a trustworthy researcher with knowledge of the historical context and ability to decipher old handwriting further enhances the investigation. By obtaining aid from someone with expertise in locating specific records, it allows for more detailed results.

Remember, contracting an experienced researcher can alleviate stress and may shed light on significant family history transpired centuries ago.

Ordering Civil War Pension Files may take time, but it’s nothing compared to the wait for a soldier to return from battle.

Be Prepared to Wait for Delivery

To Receive Your Order, Expect a Wait Time

Ordering Civil War Pension Files can be a lengthy process, as they are physical documents that need to be located and extracted from storage. While the National Archives staff will work diligently to fulfill your order, it can take several weeks or more for you to receive your records. Be prepared for wait time before ordering.

To help manage your expectations and plan accordingly, it is important to know that the National Archives processes orders in the order in which they are received. As such, their staff receives a high volume of requests on any given day. Delays can occur if an order lacks critical information or if additional research is needed to complete the request.

Remember that these files contain valuable personal information about Civil War veterans and their families. It is essential to treat them with care and respect by being patient during delivery times.

It is worth noting that some records may be available digitally through the National Archives website while others are only available through physical copies. Be sure to check if digital copies of what you require are available before placing an order—it could save you precious time. If you are wondering how to read civil war pension records, there are many resources available online to guide you through the process.

Fun Fact: The National Archives holds over 10 billion pages of textual records, making it one of the largest non-corporate archives in the world!
If you thought deciphering your doctor’s handwriting was tough, wait till you try reading a Civil War pension file.

Understand the Contents of the Pension File

The Pension File’s Contents: Discern What You’re Requesting. Analyze the contents’ components before ordering to ensure the desired information is present. The file typically includes enlisted-man statements, which detail military and personal history, marriage certificates, and death certificates.

The infirmary records may include illness or wound diagnoses and treatment methods; however, they do not contain extensive details. Consequently, verifying what is required can help maintain sorting costs to a minimum.

Witness testimonials from comrades who served with the pensioner could offer possible provisions of injury and military tactics narratives that cannot be discovered anywhere else.

It is said that Union troops did not exceptionally provide witness testimonial counterstatements; however, Confederate witnesses were admitted to submit their own declaration records of what happened at the fight sites.

Five Facts About How To Order Civil War Pension Files:

  • ✅ Civil War pension files are available for soldiers who served in the Union Army between 1861 and 1900. (Source: National Archives)
  • ✅ The files can be ordered online through the National Archives website or by mail using form NATF 85. (Source: National Archives)
  • ✅ The cost for ordering Civil War pension files is $80 for digital copies and $125 for paper copies. (Source: National Archives)
  • ✅ The files can include valuable information such as soldiers’ service records, medical records, and pension payments. (Source: FamilySearch)
  • ✅ The process of ordering Civil War pension files can take up to 4-6 months due to high demand and limited staff at the National Archives. (Source: National Archives)

FAQs about How To Order Civil War Pension Files?

How do I order civil war pension files?

To order civil war pension files, follow these steps: 1. Visit the National Archives website and select the “Order Online” button. 2. Choose “Order Reproductions” and then “Military Service Records.” 3. Select “Civil War” and then “Pension Files.” 4. Enter the veteran’s information and add the item to your cart. 5. Proceed to checkout and provide payment and shipping information.

What information do I need to order a civil war pension file?

To order a civil war pension file, you will need: 1. The veteran’s name 2. The veteran’s service branch 3. The veteran’s service unit 4. The veteran’s service dates 5. The veteran’s pension number (if known) 6. Your contact and delivery information

How long does it take to receive my order?

The National Archives typically fulfills requests within 10 business days after receiving payment. However, rush orders are available for an additional fee and can be fulfilled within 24 hours.

What if I can’t find the veteran’s information I need?

If you cannot find the veteran’s information you need, try searching the National Archives Catalog or contacting the National Archives reference staff for assistance.

How much does it cost to order a civil war pension file?

The cost to order a civil war pension file varies depending on the number of pages and the method of delivery. As of 2021, standard delivery costs $80 per file, while rush orders cost $115 per file.

Are there any restrictions on who can order civil war pension files?

No, there are no restrictions on who can order civil war pension files. However, some information may be restricted due to privacy laws or preservation concerns. In these cases, redacted versions of the files may be provided.

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