Watch the new video short in the ongoing series “Inside the Vaults” which describes the project. “The Civil War Widows’ Pension Digitization Project at the National Archives”:
The files are an astonishing compendium of Civil War history. Testimony in these files from fellow soldiers, widows, children, siblings and bereaved parents describe their deceased comrades, husbands, brothers and sons and often the circumstances in which they died. The effect of the war on family members left behind is also brought to light in great
volunteers are helping to shed light on a large aspect of the Civil War that many historians and sociologists have had little readily-available primary source material to go on – the effect of the war on families back home who were left behind after the soldier’s death,” said Budell.
While making these valuable files more widely available, the volunteers have discovered more treasures in the National Archives’ holdings – personal mementos that became “evidence” when sent to the Pension Bureau long ago
and not seen since: for example, the video includes images of some of these newly-discovered tintype images.