Many veterans who served for the Union during the Civil War received federal pensions. These pensions provided support to those who qualified based on disability, service, and old age. In many cases, upon the death of a soldier, his widow or other dependents were able to collect a pension. The process of applying for a federal pension was often long and difficult, and in many cases generated a tremendous amount of paperwork. As a result, pension files are extremely valuable records for genealogical researchers.
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