The Bonds of War: Edward Murray’s Pension Application

by Diana Dretske

*     *     *

Copy of Edward Murray’s “Application for Increase of Invalid Pension.”

The application dated March 5, 1867, gives an account of Murray’s disability due to wounds suffered at the Battle of Chickamauga on September 20, 1863. On the form, Murray noted that he had been “shot between the shoulders near the back bones by a minnie ball which passed downward and lodged in his right lung.”

Securing a pension claim was one of the most daunting hurdles of any veteran’s postwar life. The process of obtaining a pension, or in this case an increase in one, was cumbersome and intrusive, and required the veteran to swallow his pride by asking for aid and enduring a physical examination to prove disability.

Source: Bess Bower Dunn Museum, Libertyville, Illinois.