William West Confederate Pension Application

This is one of 17 pages of William West’s application for an Indigent Pension from the state of Georgia for his service in the Civil War.

Questions for Applicant



[boilerplate is in regular font; written answers are italicized]

State of Georgia

Murray County }

William West of said State and County, desiring to avail himself of the Pension Act approved December 15th, 1894, hereby submits his proofs, and after being duly sworn true answers to make to the following questions, deposes and answers as follows:

  1. What is your name and where do you reside? (give State, County and post office.)
    Wm West Reside in Murry Co Ga
  2. Where did you reside on January 1st 1894, and how long have you been a resident of this State?
    Murry Co Ga and have resided here about 22 years
  3. When and where were you born?  S. C. – don’t know dates
  4. When and where and in what company and regiment did you enlist or serve? in 1862
    in Tennessee Co D 3rd Tenn
  5. How long did you remain in such company and regiment?  about three years
  6. For how long a period did you discharge regular military duty?  all the time nearly  a little while I was held as a prisoner until ex changed
  7. When, where and under what circumstances were you discharged from service?  When Lees Army surrendered. I don’t recollect just where it was at having lost my Discharge.
  8. What is your present occupation?  Farming as long as I was able to do any thing
  9. How much can you earn (gross) per annum by your own exertions or labor? nothing
  10. What has been your occupation since 1865?  Farming
  11. Upon which of the following grounds do you base your application for pension, viz.: first “age and poverty,” second “infirmity and poverty” or third “blindness and poverty”?  Age & Poverty & Infirmity
  12. If upon the first ground, state how long you have been in such condition that you could not earn your support?  If upon the second, give a full and complete history of the infirmity and its extent? If upon the third, state whether you are totally blind and when and where you lost your sight?  Four years I have completely Exhausted and have not been able to do any labor to amount to any thing
  13. What property, effects or income do you possess and its gross value?  Nothing
  14. What property, effects or income did you possess in 1894, 1895 and 1896 and what disposition, if any, did you make of same?  Owned nothing for the last four years
  15. In what County did you reside during those years and what property did you then return for taxation?
    Murry Co & lot of land valued at 50 Dollars till 3 years ago
  16. How were you supported during the years 1895 and 1896? by my two oldest sons that lives with me
  17. 17.   How much did your support cost for each of those years, and what portion did you contribute thereto by your own labor or income?  I don’t know just what it cost I did not help any
  18. What was your employment during 1895 and 1896? What pay did you receive in each year?
    Done nothing and received nothing only what my sons give me to keep me wife
  19. Have you a family?  If so, who composes such family? Give their means of support? Have they a homestead?  I have a wife and 4 children, they have no means of support only their labor  they have no homestead
  20. 20.   Are you receiving any pension, if so, what amount and for what disability?  None what ever
    Sworn and subscribed to me this the
    18th day of May 1897 } William West his mark Applicant
    T. J. Ovbey Ordinary
    of Murray County 1


  • William and his family moved to Murray County about 1875.  This is consistent with the information on the 1880 census, which was the first census where the family appeared in Murray County, and which reports Mary, age 6, born in Tennessee and William, age 4, born in Georgia. 2
  • The answer for question #19 regarding his family is puzzling.  He states that he has four children.  I have eight children for him in my records, at least five of which were alive in 1897.  Four of the children would have been minors in 1897, so it’s possible that is what he meant.  Either way, this inconsistency needs to be resolved.
  • His two oldest sons lived with him in 1895 and 1896 and provided his support.  This has to be James and John as they were the only two boys who were not minors during those years.
  • Question #6 states that he was a prisoner; this is confirmed by his Compiled CSA records, which includes his Oath of Allegiance to the United States following his capture at Vicksburg. 3

Other posts related to William West:


  1. “Georgia, Confederate Pension Applications, 1879-1960,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 May 2009), entry for William West, 1897 Indigent Soldier, “3rd Tennessee Inf., Co. D.”; citing Confederate Pension Applications, Georgia Confederate Pension Office, RG 58-1-1, Georgia Archives.
  2. 1880 U. S. Census, Murray County, Georgia, population schedule, Alaculsy District, enumeration district (ED) 155, p. 10, dwelling 85, family 89, William West household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestrycom : accessed 14 September 2008); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 159.
  3. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Tennessee,” Civil War; digital images, Footnote.com (www.footnote.com), Compiled service record, William West, Pvt. 3rd Tennessee Mtd. Infantry.

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  1. says

    There are some benefits to finding ancestors who lived in poverty but what a sad story. As always, each answer brings more question. Good luck with resolving the dilemmas.

  2. says

    It was sad to see his answer to question # 3 : That he did not know when he was born but it was in ” South Carolina ” .

    Do you think he had shell-shock ?? For also not knowing the amount of kids he had too………

    This is interesting to follow .

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Hi Magda, I hadn’t considered shell-shock, but it is a possibility. His birth year ranges from 1832 to 1842 in the records I have found so far.

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