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Letter Home From the Battlefield

Another example of the benefits of getting your ancestor’s Civil War pension file at the National Archives.

Marquis Jaquay enlisted in the 151st PA when he was 18 years old. Sadly, he was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg less than a year later. His mother filed for pension benefits from the government after his death.

When widows or other family members applied for these pensions, they would claim that they were related, and therefore entitled to his pension benefits. The pension bureau would basically respond back, “Prove it.” So she attempted to do that. 

Apparently she had no birth records to verify it. But what did she have? A letter that Marquis wrote home in February 1863, while he was in the war. The letter was addressed to his parents, and he opened the letter by calling them “Father and Mother.”

That was proof enough for the government. Her application was approved, and his file at the National Archives now forever has this letter that he wrote home from the battlefield.

What stories are hiding in your ancestors’ military files at the National Archives? Get a free estimate at www.RhinehartRoots.com.