Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Robert C. Kenzer


Virginia's Confederate pensions for veterans and their widows began in 1888. This financial relief for the destitute began as artificial limb provisions immediately after the Civil War. Commutations developed as some veterans could not utilize an artificial limb. These commutations, one-time appropriations approved by the General Assembly, directly precluded pensions. Pensioning of Confederate veterans was sweeping southern states during this period. However, these pensions dimly reflected the massive federal pensions received by Union veterans. Virginia's pension laws expanded the eligibility of pensioners and increased the amounts paid to them. King William County's Confederate veteran and widow pensioners were examined to determine property ownership, household size, literacy, units of service, date of application, and reasons for application. This study relies heavily on Virginia's disbursement records, the General Assembly's legislative record, Confederate pension applications, and the manuscript census.

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