Another helpful paper in many Civil War pensions is the Surgeon’s Certificate.  It tells what medical problems the claimant was having and if they were able to work or not.  This is often a really sad paper to read, but it gives us a glimpse into their lives at that time and also usually gives their height and weight.

George Spencer was my husband’s great-great grandfather.

I haven’t fully transcribed it, just pulled out what I wanted:
…Increase Pension…P.O. Newfane, NY.

November 14, 1900

He receives a pension of 17 dollars per month

His heart prevents him from doing any manual labor.  He is poor. and is unable to earn his living. and weak…

height 5 feet 2 1/2 inches; 117 lbs., age 74 years.
He is anaemic. weak. debilitated. emaciated. and Unable to perform. any manual labor. 12-18ths GENERAL DISABILITY. No evidence of vicious habits…

  • Mariann Regan - July 26, 2013 - 5:32 pm

    Poor guy. Why are they even considering “vicious habits,” when so many other important matters are at stake?ReplyCancel

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Ari Austin Agee was my great-great grandfather. He lived near/in Delphos in Ringgold County, Iowa.

  • Mariann Regan - July 18, 2013 - 7:04 am

    “Under the spreading chestnut tree, The village smithy stands.” — That’s from a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. That’s what your lovely picture makes me think of.ReplyCancel

  • Climbing My Family Tree - July 18, 2013 - 3:30 pm

    That’s beautiful Mariann! :)ReplyCancel

  • Nick Woods - July 18, 2013 - 8:45 pm

    He had his own well and pump. The tree helped with shade. I wonder what the bushes were at the side of the house? Was he married at the time of this photo?
    Mom W. & Nick Woods.ReplyCancel

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Adam Potter Cavit was a brother to my 3rd great-grandmother, Elizabeth Jane Cavit Robertson.

He served in the 13th Iowa Infantry during the Civil War.  He never married or had children.

This letter was written to the Bureau of Pensions by his sister, Olive A. Cavit.[Received by the Disbursing Office of the Bureau of Pensions on 8 Dec 1915]

Los Angeles Nov 1915
Washington D.C.
to the commissioner of Pensions
Just a line to let you know that Adam Potter Cavit is Dead.  He Died the morning of the 22nd of Nov. at 20. minute Past 4 O’clock am.  A P Cavit Died at His Sisters Mrs Dessie J Rounds.  Living at 1320. E 59 st. Los Angeles Cal.
Where Potter Cavit Has made His Home with sister Dessie for more than a year. a year ago the third day of august he came on a visit to Dessie Rounds & was taken sick. & Had Poorly sheels for sometime & He Never did returnt o Sawtelle.
While I remained at Sawtelle my self. I am a sister of A P Cavit, unmarried & I was making arrangements to Have Brother Potter to come to Sawtelle & we two to live together in Sawtelle.  I was going to care for Him.  But all things are changed Now. as you well know my Brother Pension check was always sent to His sister address 1320 East 59 St. Los Angeles Cal.
Will we sisters be able to get Brother Pension up to the day of His death.
Yours Resp
Olive A Cavit

  • Mariann Regan - July 17, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    A lot of information here to be added to the family story. I think perhaps those two words are “Poorley speels,” meaning he had “spells” during which he felt “poorly.”ReplyCancel

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