About the Confederate Disability Applications Database

Related Resources | Search Tips

The Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation, effective in 1867 and ending in 1894, to provide artificial limbs and other disability benefits to Virginia veterans of the Civil War.

To coordinate the program, and oversee the distribution of aid, the Assembly established the Board of Commissioners on Artificial Limbs. Injured soldiers submitted certificates from their county court stating that they were Virginia citizens, that they had lost a limb or had been otherwise disabled in the war, and what assistance they required. The veterans listed the command in which they served; included information on when, where, and how they were wounded; and provided details about their medical history.

These disability applications provide a strong sense of the Civil War's impact on individuals, families, and communities. In truth, many veterans found the postwar battle for economic survival and physical mobility nearly as difficult as the war itself.

The database of disability applications is searchable by the name of the Confederate veteran and by the veterans' places of residence (city or county). In addition, each entry contains links to the digitized images of the actual disability application, including supporting affidavits and receipts for payments issued. There are more than 6,000 entries in the database, linked to more than 24,000 application images digitized from microfilm.

Related Resources

Search Tips

Punctuation and capitalization are disregarded. Entries in this database are arranged in letter-by-letter alphabetical order. In addition to the regular searches, you may click on any highlighted element of a database record (such as a county name) to initiate a search on that element. Each entry in the Confederate Disability Applications and Receipts database consists of:

Names in the database are in the form of last name, first name. A Browse search in the Name index retrieves records in an alphabetical listing by last name, beginning with the word or words used in the search.

Example: A Browse search on the name "janney, fleming" retrieves an alphabetical listing of surnames starting with the search term:

A Basic (keyword) search, or an Advanced search, retrieves records with occurences anywhere in the record of the search term. A keyword search on "james" retrieves all of the records for the surname "James", but it also retrieves all records with "James" as the first or middle name as well.

Each record contains the date of the Virginia General Assembly act under which the application was filed. The possible dates are 1882, 1883, 1884, and 1886-87.

Every record has a general note describing the database. In addition, there are two other kinds of notes:

Notes are keyword-indexed, so information in them can be retrieved using Basic (keyword) or Advanced searches, using the "Words Anywhere" option.

Example: keyword searches:

Subject Headings
Every record has a subject heading for the place of residence of the applicant. While most of these are counties or cities in Virginia, there are applicants who lived in other states.

The following subject headings appear in every record and should not be searched:

Click on the URL at the top of the full record display to view the digitized image of the actual application.

For more detailed help with searching, click on the "Help" link on the main search screen and scroll down to "Search Functions" and "Search Tips."

facebook twitter youtube instagram view more