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Rockingham County Military and Pension Records

Collection Summary

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Title Rockingham County Military and Pension Records 
Collection Reference Code Mpr
Inclusive Dates 1791-1980
Creator US Department of War; Rockingham County Clerk; Confederate Pension Board 
Extent  2 boxes; 19 bound volumes 
Bio/Historical Note   The United States Department of War was the department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army until the United States Department of Defense was established in 1949. Its responsibilities included recruiting, training, procurment of supplies, ensuring medicare care, transportation, and payment. From some of the records housed in this collection, it would seem that the Department also had a hand in determining and verifying requests made by soldiers for military pensions. Military Pensions were initially established during the American Revolution, however this "military pension plan" went under several revisions before coming down to us in its existing form. The Civil War particularly prompted significant change to the military retirement system which placed limitations on the size of retirement lists. This caused issue, as many of the officers who should have been retired and receiving a pension due to physical or mental infirmities were maintained on the "active" list, inhibiting them from receiving their payment. However, in 1890 the situation was resolved with legislation that mandated all officers failing to qualify physically were to be placed on an "unlimited" retired list. The following pension documents record some of Rockingham County's earliest military officials to receive a pension and trace the ever evolving policy of military pensions. This collection also housed records pertaining to WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War. Most of these are induction and/or discharge records 
Archival History These records have been maintained continuously by the Circuit Court.
Scope and Content  The Military and Pension Records collection is broken into nine series. They are as follows; Muster Rolls, Confederate Pension Board Records, Pension Records, Destitute Veteran Records, Militia Appointments, Militia Fines and Costs, Miscellaneous, World War Memorial Record, and WWII and Vietnam Induction and Discharge Records. The first series, Muster Rolls, is broken into two subseries, the Muster Roll for 1861-1865 and one for 1887-1919. Muster rolls generally contain names of officers and enlisted men, name of station, rank, date of enlistment or reenlistment, date of desertion and apprehension, and sentence of a court-martial, including the offense upon which found guilty. The Confederate Pension Board Records constitutes the second series within this record group. They have been divided into two subseries; General records and Meeting Minutes. The meeting minutes are recorded for years 1900-1930 and discuss lists of persons included on the Pension List, claims against the pension board, and new applications for pensions, among other things. Pension Records have been broken into three subseries; Applications for Pensions, Pension Lists, and Pension Laws. The fourth series, Destitute Veteran's Records, houses several letters on behalf of various veterans requesting either monetary aid or artificial limbs. The fifth series houses militia appointments, the sixth Militia Fines and costs, and the seventh series is a miscellaneous folder. The final two series are comprised of bound induction and discharge books for WWI, WWII, and the Vietnam War. Here information such as service members name, DOB, occupation, residence, regiment, and military theater can be found. 
Index terms Revolutionary War, American, 1775-1783, War of 1812, Civil war--America--History--19th century, Pension funds, Military--1890-1900.
Processing Information Processed by Kayla Heslin, March 2020.
Arrangement All series, and subsequent subseries, are arranged chronologically.
Conditions Governing Access  This work has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights. 
Language English

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