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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist

Amos Steidley, Civil War Soldier

Another example of the details found in Civil War pension records--which Jen covered in another recent YouTube video--is that of Amos Steidley.


Amos had married Catherine Hott in Berkeley County, [West] Virginia, in 1837. They lived in that area at the time of the 1840 census, and lived in Vermilion, Illinois, in the 1850s. By the 1860 census, the family had settled in Salt River, Knox County, Missouri. That would be one of the last civil record of Amos's lifetime.


The only later records of Amos's lifetime were military documents, which indicated he had served in the Civil War as a Private in the Union's Missouri State Militia Cavalry. Easily available records said he was discharged in 1862, he died in 1863, and there had been a widow's pension filed in 1867. As always--I wanted to learn more. So I ordered the pension record from NARA.


The pension file includes more detailed information about Amos's service and death.


In March 1862, at the age of 47, Amos enlisted in the war. Seven months later, he was discharged due to disability. The certificate states that Amos had been hospitalized and unfit for duty for 60 days of the previous two months. He was affected with conjunctivitis [pinkeye], and neuralgia [nerve pain] of the head and chest. Unfit for riding, he was discharged at Palmyra, Missouri, on October 23, 1862.


Catharine's Widow's Declaration for Army Pension further explained that Amos had died December 18, 1864, "by reason of disease originating from cold contracted while in the service."

That's more information about a cause of death than would normally have been available at that time in Missouri, which didn't require standardized death certificates for another 47 years after Amos's death.


Noticeably missing from Catharine's widow's pension was whether she was approved for a widow's pension.



A section of Catharine Steidley's widow's pension packet

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