31 August 2011

Abraham Strayer's 1889 Civil War Pension Deposition

I received a copy of my great-great-grandfather, Abraham Strayer's Civil War disability pension file from the NARA a while back and have finally finished sorting through and organizing it. In 1889, he was trying to get his Civil War disability pension extended. His payments had only covered from his discharge through Sept 1881. He was deposed in his home town of Milan, Rock Island Co, IL on 3 Oct. 1889 by C. C. Horton, a Special Examiner of the Dept. Of the Interior's US Bureau of Pensions. Mr. Horton's handwriting is wonderfully illegible, but I've managed to make my way through the first of ten pages. Here is what it says (as near as I can tell):
My age is 67. I was formerly a farmer, not now able to work.
My P.O. address is Milan, Ill.
I was late pri D, 17th Iowa Vols [He was a private in Co. D of the 17th Iowa Infantry.]
 I enlisted March 17, 1862 and was discharged from the hospital at Keokuk Iowa for disability Jany 28 1863.
No other service.
I claim pension for rheumatism + chronic deirrhoen [sic]. I did apply for  poisoning but I don't know but what I thought to be poisoning was simply the result of rheumatism and deirrhoen [sic]
I was fully swollen in hands, in fact all over. When I came home, a Dr. Pesser of Brighton, Iowa told me I was poisoned. That is all I know about it, and that is why I made that claim. The Dr. did not examine me or treat me, just looked at my hands at a sale. I was also ruptured in service, but I do not know as there is any use in putting in a claim for that, as I did not show it to anyone. I have also been troubled with a trouble about my heart. I can not get my breath at times. All ways have been troubled with shortness of breath since the war.

You can see what I mean about it being tough to read. Here is what the word that I take to be "diarrhea" looks like. 

Even being generous, I cannot give Mr. Horton credit for having spelled that correctly.

More of this soon.