South Carolina Archives
Confederate Widows Pension Applications, 1919-1938
CALL NUMBER:L 46118
CREATOR: York County (S.C.). Board of Honor.
Act No. 176, 1919 S.C. Acts 275 established a Confederate Pension Department under the direction of a commissioner and a seven-member board and required all existing pensioners to reapply. The state board appointed a three-member board for each county to approve applications from local residents. Eligible pensioners included all veterans and widows over the age of sixty who had married veterans before 1890. The state pension board set the compensation and adjudicated any disputes forwarded from the county boards. The General Assembly provided $500,000 to pay for pensions. Changes the following year (Act No. 609, 1920 S.C. Acts 1099) eliminated the state board, named the comptroller general as pension commissioner, and authorized the local veterans camp to hear appeals of each county board's decision.
The legislature dropped the age of eligibility for widows to 55 in 1920, to 50 in 1921, and to 45 in 1930. Under the 1920 amendment, widows were eligible if they had been married by 1900, but a 1929 amendment extended eligibility to widows who had been married at least ten years. The state continued to pay Confederate widow pensions until the last widow died in 1990.
SUMMARY SCOPE NOTE: This series consists of county copies of pension applications and supporting documentation filed by widows of Confederate veterans and widows of soldiers and sailors who died in Confederate service. The state copies for York County do not survive. Information includes the names of the widow and spouse; the widow's residence; the date of death of the spouse; the date of the marriage; the widow's age and sometimes her date of birth; income and property of the widow; the spouse's unit and rank; and the date of the application.
INDEX/FINDING AID: Names of applicants, their deceased husbands, witnesses, and commanding officers; places of residence; and selected subjects including military units are in to the repository's On-line Index to Confederate Pension Applications. For this series, an attempt was made to standardize the names of military units.
County records relating to pensions and related records are described in Patrick McCawley, Guide to Civil War Records: A Guide to the Records in the South Carolina Dept. of Archives and History, published by the repository in 1994.
ADDITIONAL FORM: Digital images of the applications are
linked to index hits from the On-line Index on the repository's website. Entire series also available in microfilm produced
by the repository.
Lists of persons receiving pensions were printed as part of the annual reports of the Comptroller General in the series Reports and Resolutions to the General Assembly beginning in 1888. The 1901 list from the 1902 Reports and Resolutions has been reprinted in Brent H. Holcomb, editor, South Carolina's Confederate Pensioners in 1901 (Columbia, S.C.: SCMAR, 2001).
The repository also holds county copies of
pension applications and county pension lists from
a number of other counties. The South Caroliniana
Library at the University of South Carolina holds
a Lexington County list of pensioners beginning in