Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs


(Record Group 15)
1773-1985

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 15.1 Administrative History
  • 15.2 Records of the Bureau of Pensions and its Predecessors 1805-1935
  • 15.3 Records Relating to the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and the National Homes Service, Veterans Administration 1866-1938
  • 15.4 Records of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance and the Insurance Division, U.S. Veterans Bureau 1914-34
    • 15.4.1 General records
    • 15.4.2 Records of the Allotment and Allowance Division
    • 15.4.3 Records of the Marine and Seamen's Insurance Division
    • 15.4.4 Records of the Civil Relief Section
    • 15.4.5 Records of the Insurance Division
    • 15.4.6 Records of the War Risk Section, Line of Communications, American Expeditionary Forces
  • 15.5 Records of the Rehabilitation Division of the Federal Board for Vocational Education, Veterans Bureau and U.S. Veterans Bureau 1918-28
    • 15.5.1 Central office records
    • 15.5.2 Records of district and regional offices
  • 15.6 Records of the Veterans Administration 1866-1969
    • 15.6.1Records of the Office of the Administrator of Veterans Affairs
    • 15.6.2 General records
    • 15.6.3 Records of the Investigation Division
    • 15.6.4 Records of the Office of Construction
    • 15.6.5 Records of the Directives Management Division
    • 15.6.6 Records relating to the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940
  • 15.7 Records Relating to Pension and Bounty-Land Claims 1773-1942
    • 15.7.1 Correspondence
    • 15.7.2 Pension and bounty land application files based upon service prior to the Civil War
    • 15.7.3 Pension application files based upon service in the Civil War and Spanish-American War ("Civil War and Later")
    • 15.7.4 Other pension and bounty land records
    • 15.7.5 Other records
  • 15.8 Records relating to the Issuance of Prosthetic Appliances 1862-1927
  • 15.9 Cartographic Records (General)
  • 15.10 Motion Pictures (General) 1946-48
  • 15.11 Sound Recordings (General) 1946-76
  • 15.12 Machine-Readable Records (General) 1950-54
  • 15.13 Still Pictures (General)

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15.1 Administrative History

Established: Effective March 15, 1989, by the Department of Veterans Affairs Act (102 Stat. 2635), October 25, 1988. This law raised the Veterans Administration to department-level status in the Executive branch without change in mission or functions, and redesignated the agency as the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Predecessor Agencies:

  • Military Bounty Lands and Pension Branch, War Department (ca. 1810-15)
  • Pension Bureau, War Department (1815-33)
  • Office of Commissioner of Pensions, War Department (1833-49)
  • Bureau of Pensions, Department of the Interior (1849-1930)
  • Bureau of War Risk Insurance, Treasury Department (1914-21) Rehabilitation Division, Federal Board for Vocational Education (1918-21)
  • Veterans Bureau (1921)
  • U.S. Veterans Bureau (1921-30)
  • National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers of the United States (1866-73) National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (1873-1930)
  • Office of the Surgeon General, War Department (supplying of artificial limbs and other devices only, 1862-1930)
  • Veterans Administration (1930-89)

Functions: Administers programs to benefit veterans and members of their families, including compensation payments for military service-related disabilities or death, rehabilitation, medical care, burial, pensions, education, and home loan guarenty.

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15.2 Records of the Bureau of Pensions and its Predecessors
1805-1935

History: Bureau of Pensions established in the War Department by an act of March 2, 1833 (4 Stat. 622), as the Office of the Commissioner of Pensions from the preexisting Pension Bureau (established 1815), which had been the successor, with the Land Warrant Bureau, to the Military Bounty Lands and Pension Branch (established ca. 1810). Transferred with bureau status to the Department of the Interior by the act creating the department, March 3, 1849 (9 Stat. 395). Consolidated with the U.S. Veterans Bureau and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers to form the Veterans Administration, 1930. The bureau was designated the Pension Service, July 1, 1931, and was functionally absorbed into the VA, April 1, 1936. See 15.1.

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15.2.1 General records

Textual Records: Registers of letters received, April-July 1843, 1893-95. Letters sent relating to pensioners of early wars, 1881- 86. Correspondence pertaining to state and local bounties for Civil War enlistment, 1902-16. Letters received from state officials relating to state laws exempting military personnel from taxation, 1922-23. Order books of the Secretary of the Interior, 1876-1930; Commissioner of Pensions, 1866-1927; and other pension officials, 1866-1932. Digests of pension decisions, 1871-96. Record books of decisions approved for publication, 1894-1920. Indexes to miscellaneous orders and decisions, 1865- 1918. Decisions by the Secretary of the Interior on pension appeals, 1849-96. Registers of appeals, 1867-1920 (with gaps). Records of the Board of Review (2 vols.), 1874-81, 1904-7. Record books of reversals, 1903-5. Legal opinions of the Attorney General, 1849-50. Correspondence relating to employees, 1901-7, and temporary employees, 1905-8, of U.S. pension agencies. Register of clerks employed by U.S. pension agencies, 1905-10. Special file relating to personnel administration, 1884-1930. Registers of boards for the examination of surgeons, 1862-86, 1893-1928. Correspondence relating to examining boards, 1915-31. Index (31 vols.) to Civil War hospital records prepared by the Surgeon General's Office, 1882. Guide to Civil War hospitals, 1888. Miscellaneous hospital registers (2 vols.), 1861-63. Special census schedules (KY to WY only) listing Union Civil War veterans or their widows residing in the United States on June 1, 1890. Registers of proceedings and judgments in cases involving pension claim fraud, 1875-1914. Records relating to state soldiers' homes, 1913-22, and to Confederate homes, 1919, 1927. Reports of the National Military Home Commission, 1885. Pension payment records, 1826-57. Statistical charts, 1908-35. Collections of publications, 1917-35.

Microfilm Publications: M123.

Photographs: Photographic copies of oil portraits, now at the National Portrait Gallery, of Commissioners of Pensions (1833-1925), n.d. (PC, 20 images). Miscellaneous photographs, 1861-ca. 1920, including interior and exterior views of the construction of the Pension Building, 1883-85; views of the building in the early 20th century; and an 1861 Mathew Brady portrait of Gen. Winfield Scott and staff (M, 62 images). See also 15.13.

Color Lithograph: Volunteer Refreshment Saloon in Philadelphia, ca. 1862 (M, 1 image). See also 15.13.

Finding Aids: Thayer M. Boardman, Myra R. Trever, and Louise W. Southwick, comps., Preliminary Inventory of the Administrative Records of the Bureau of Pensions and the Pension Service, PI 55 (1953); Evelyn Wade, comp., "Supplement to Preliminary Inventory No. 55, Administrative Records of the Bureau of Pensions and the Pension Service," NM 31 (1964); name list for photographic series PC; item list for photographic series M.

Related Records: Other photographs of the Pension Building are in photographic series B, in RG 121, Records of the Public Buildings Service, series B.

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15.2.2 Legal records

Textual Records: Records of the Law Division, including case files of investigations of malfeasance charges lodged against attorneys, agents, notaries, and other persons, 1862-1933; and synopses of cases, 1902-15. Records of the Special Examination Division, including correspondence, 1887-1929; registers of appointments and assignments, 1882-1905; and instructions, 1896- 1917. Correspondence and reports relative to special fraud investigations of the ex-slave pension movement, 1892-1916.

Finding Aids: Myra R. Trever and Evelyn Wade, comps., "Preliminary Inventory of the Legal Records of the Bureau of Pensions and the Veterans Administration, 1862-1933," NM 27 (1964).

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15.2.3 Financial records

Textual Records: Pension agency payment books, 1805-1909, with a card index. Microfilm copy of pension payment cards, 1907-33 (2,539 rolls). Pension payment rolls of army veterans, widows, and dependents, 1857-76; and navy veterans and dependents, 1860- 76. Pension account ledgers, 1890-1921. Appropriation account ledgers, 1891-1908. Registers of pension applications, 1849-1916. Lists and registers of pension certificates issued between 1816 and 1924, ca. 1877-1924. Lists and registers of pensioners, including navy veterans, widows, and dependents pensioned from 1799 to 1883, and veterans and dependents pensioned under laws enacted between 1818 and 1853, n.d.

Microfilm Publications: M850.

Finding Aids: Evelyn Wade, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of the Financial Records and Pension Control Registers of the Bureau of Pensions and the Veterans Administration, 1805-1933," NM 21 (1964).

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15.3 Records Relating to the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and the National Homes Service, Veterans Administration
1866-1938

History: Incorporated as the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers of the United States Army by act of March 21, 1866 (14 Stat. 10). Name changed to National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers by act of January 23, 1873 (17 Stat. 417). Operated regional facilities, known as branch homes. Consolidated with the U.S. Veterans Bureau and the Bureau of Pensions to form the Veterans Administration, 1930. Domiciliary function continued under the VA as the National Homes Service. See 15.1.

The Bath and Roseburg Branches were state institutions, the New York State Soldiers' and Sailors' Home and the Oregon State Soldiers' Home, that became federal facilities in 1929 and 1932, respectively.

Textual Records: Sample case files of members, and administrative records, of the Battle Mountain Sanitarium in Hot Springs, SD, 1907-34 (in Denver), and of the following branch homes: Bath, NY, 1876-1934 (in New York); Danville, IL, 1898-1934 (in Chicago); Dayton, OH, 1867-1935 (in Chicago); Hampton, VA, 1871-1938 (in Philadelphia); Johnson City, TN, 1903-34 (in Atlanta); Leavenworth, KS, 1885-1934 (in Kansas City); Marion, IN, 1890- 1931 (in Chicago); Milwaukee, WI, 1867-1934 (in Chicago); Roseburg, OR, 1894-1937 (in Seattle); Sawtelle, CA, 1888-1933 (in Los Angeles); and Togus, ME, 1866-1934 (in Boston). Registers of the members of each of the above-named facilities, with indexes, 1866-1937 (in Washington Area).

Note: Please consult the National Archives to determine the availability, at the regional archives mentioned above, of microfilm copies of the registers of members and related indexes.

Finding Aids: Evelyn Wade, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of Records of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and the National Homes Service of the Veterans Administration, 1866- 1937," NM 29 (1964).

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15.4 Records of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance and the
Insurance Division, U.S. Veterans Bureau
1914-34

History: Bureau of War Risk Insurance (Treasury Department) established by the War Risk Insurance Act (38 Stat. 711), September 2, 1914, to provide insurance to American vessels and cargoes. Amendments of June 12, 1917 (40 Stat. 102), and October 6, 1917 (40 Stat. 398), extended coverage to officers and crews of American merchant vessels and authorized the insurance of military personnel. The bureau also administered the provisions of article 4 of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act (40 Stat. 440), March 8, 1918, which protected former servicemen's life insurance policies from lapsing for nonpayment, until the article was nullified by the joint resolution ending the wartime state of emergency (41 Stat. 1359), March 3, 1921. Bureau abolished by the act creating the independent Veterans Bureau (42 Stat. 147), August 9, 1921, with its last director becoming the first head of the new agency. The Veterans Bureau, which consolidated functions relating to World War I veterans, including those of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, the Rehabilitation Division of the Federal Board for Vocational Education, and the Public Health Service, was renamed the U.S. Veterans Bureau by an act of August 24, 1921 (42 Stat. 202), and was consolidated with the Bureau of Pensions and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers to form the Veterans Administration, 1930, with its last director named the first Administrator of Veterans Affairs. Litigation function transferred to Department of Justice and vested in Bureau of War Risk Litigation, 1933. See 15.1.

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15.4.1 General records

Textual Records: General correspondence of the Director and Assistant Director, 1914-31. General correspondence of the Advisory Board, 1914-21.

Motion Pictures: Work of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, 1919 (3 reels). See also 15.10.

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15.4.2 Records of the Allotment and Allowance Division

Textual Records: Administrative correspondence, 1918-34. Sample case files relating to applicants for allowances and allotments, 1918-21.

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15.4.3 Records of the Marine and Seamen's Insurance Division

Textual Records: General correspondence of the Marine Section, 1914-19. Correspondence of the Deputy and Acting Commissioners of the Marine Section, 1917-19. Administrative files, seamen's claims file, and other records of the Seamen's Section, 1917-19.

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15.4.4 Records of the Civil Relief Section

Textual Records: General correspondence, 1918-20. Financial records, 1918-19. Information file, 1917-19, containing, for companies offering war risk insurance, correspondence, sample insurance policies, rate books, war riders, instruction manuals, membership certificates, and similar records; and, for benevolent societies, articles of incorporation, charters, constitutions, and bylaws. Legal opinions on the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act, 1918-19.

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15.4.5 Records of the Insurance Division

Textual Records: Correspondence, financial statements, records relating to claims brought before the Mixed Claims Commission (United States and Germany), and other records created in completing the work of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, 1917-21. Claims papers, 1921-24. Pending claims file, 1914-24. Reports (3 vols.) prepared by the British Admiralty on all U.S. and Allied vessels, other than war ships, that were captured, destroyed, or damaged by enemy action during World War I, 1914-18, with an attached list prepared by the Office of Naval Intelligence of vessels lost or damaged by mines subsequent to the Armistice, 1918-19.

Finding Aids: Evangeline Thurber, comp., "Preliminary Checklist of Insurance Records of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance and of the Insurance Division of the Veterans Bureau, 1914-24," PC 44 (June 1946); Evelyn Wade, comp., "Supplement to Preliminary Checklist 44, Insurance Records of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance and of the Insurance Division of the Veterans Bureau," NM 60 (1965).

Related Records: Records of World War I veterans relating to war risk insurance benefits, including inherited files of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, the U.S. Veterans Bureau, and the VA, in RG 190, Records of the Bureau of War Risk Litigation.

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15.4.6 Records of the War Risk Section, Line of Communications,
American Expeditionary Forces

History: A temporary organization to provide insurance to men overseas formed in Paris, November 1917. Succeeded, January 7, 1918, by the War Risk Section, Line of Communications, American Expeditionary Forces, which accepted applications until February 12, 1918.

Textual Records: Administrative files, 1917-18.

Related Records: "Diary" of the Paris office, War Risk Section, in RG 120, Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I).

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15.5 Records of the Rehabilitation Division of the Federal Board for Vocational Education, Veterans Bureau and U.S. Veterans Bureau
1918-28

History: Federal Board for Vocational Education established to promote vocational education in the areas of agriculture, home economics, and industry by an act of February 23, 1917 (39 Stat. 929), also known as the Smith-Hughes Act. Assigned responsibility for providing vocational rehabilitation to veterans by the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (40 Stat. 617), June 27, 1918. Program administered through Rehabilitation Division, transferred to the newly created Veterans Bureau by act of August 9, 1921 (42 Stat. 147), renamed the U.S. Veterans Bureau by an act of August 24, 1921 (42 Stat. 202). Terminated June 30, 1928, upon expiration of two-year deadline set by the World War Veterans Act Amendments (44 Stat. 790), July 2, 1926, for completion of vocational training.

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15.5.1 Central office records

Textual Records: General correspondence, 1918-25. Training center files, 1918-25. Trainee record cards, 1918-28. Sample regional office training case file, 1918-28. Issuances, 1918-24. Correspondence maintained by J.R.A. Crossland, Chief of the Negro Section, Training Subdivision, relating to conditions at training centers for black veterans, 1922-23.

Photographic Prints: Training facilities, classes, and trainees and their activities at the schools and universities where the rehabilitation program was established, 1918-28 (VR, 650 images). See also 15.13.

Finding Aids: Evangeline Thurber, comp., "Preliminary Checklist of the General Administrative Files of the Rehabilitation Division," PC 15 (July 1944); alphabetical and state lists of universities represented in photographic series VR.

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15.5.2 Records of district and regional offices

History: Fourteen district offices established by the Federal Board for Vocational Education in early autumn 1918 to promote efficiency in administration of rehabilitation services. Continued by the Veterans Bureau, 1921, and U.S. Veterans Bureau, 1921-24. Superseded by 54 regional offices, 1924-25.

District District Office Jurisdiction Successor
Regional Offices
1 Boston, MA ME, MA, NH,
RI, VT
Boston, MA; Burlington, VT; Manchester, NH;
Portland, ME;
Providence, RI
2 New York, NY CT, NJ, NY, Buffalo, NY: Hartford, CT; Newark, NJ; New York, NY
3 Philadelphia, PA DE, PA Philadelphia, PA;
Pittsburgh, PA
4 Baltimore, MD DC, MD, VA, WV Baltimore, MD; Charleston, WV; Richmond, VA; Washington, DC
5 Atlanta, GA FL, GA, NC, SC, TN Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Nashville, TN
6 New Orleans, LA AL, LA, MS Birmingham, AL; Jackson, MS;
New Orleans, LA
7 Cincinnati, OH IN, KY, OH Cleveland, OH; Indianapolis, IN; Louisville, KY
8 Chicago, IL IL, MI, WI Chicago, IL;
Detroit, MI; Milwaukee, WI
9 St. Louis, MO IA, KS, MO, NE Des Moines, IA; Kansas City, MO; Omaha, NE;
Wichita, KS
10 Minneapolis, MN MN, MT, ND, SD Fargo, ND;
Helena, MT; Minneapolis, MN; Sioux Falls, SD
11 Denver, CO CO, NM, UT, WY Albuquerque, NM; Casper, WY; Denver, CO; Salt Lake City, UT
12 San Francisco, CA AZ, CA, NV Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ;
Reno, NV;
San Francisco, CA
13 Seattle, WA ID, OR, WA Boise, ID;
Portland, OR;
Seattle, WA
14 Dallas, TX AR, OK, TX Dallas, TX;
Little Rock, AR;
Oklahoma City, OK;
San Antonio, TX

Textual Records: Correspondence, reports, and statistical summaries, 1918-26, of districts as follows, together with their respective successor regional offices: District 1 (in Boston); District 2 (in New York); District 3 (in Philadelphia); District 4 (in Philadelphia); District 5 (in Atlanta); District 6 (in Fort Worth); District 7 (in Chicago); District 8 (in Chicago); District 9 (in Kansas City); District 10 (in Chicago); District 11 (in Denver); District 12 and successor regional offices except that of Phoenix, AZ (in San Francisco); Phoenix, AZ, Regional Office (in Los Angeles); District 13 (in Seattle); and District 14 (in Fort Worth).Old cemetery historical files for Los Angeles National Cemetery, 1889-1938; and Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, 1959-1992 (in Los Angeles).

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15.6 Records of the Veterans Administration
1866-1985

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15.6.1 Records of the Office of the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs

Textual Records: Records of the administrator, 1953-59 (100 lin.ft.). History records, consisting of issuances of field units, 1948-54; correspondence with field units, 1925-48; correspondence with branch offices, 1945-49; rejected Veterans Bureau publications, 1921-35; bulletins, 1930-53; canceled issuances, 1946-53; manuals, 1946-53; circular and service letters, 1928-45; regulations and procedures, 1930-48; technical bulletins, 1930-53; pamphlets, 1946-53; miscellaneous publications, 1928-53; Bureau of War Risk insurance issuances, 1917-21; Veterans Bureau issuances, 1919-46; Veterans Bureau general orders, 1921-30; Veterans Bureau letters to the district managers, 1921-24; Veterans Bureau regulations, 1921-30; Veterans Bureau circulars, 1923-30; authorization orders, 1922-54; and library set of agency issuances and publications, 1914-64. Records of the National Cemetery System, consisting of correspondence relating to national cemeteries, 1973-74; monthly summaries of interments and grave sites, 1947-62; state cemetery grant project files, 1974; and memorandums relating to annual cemetery inspections, 1970-72. Records of the Department of Memorial Affairs, consisting of applications for headstones and markers, 1965-85 (1,050 lin. ft.). Records of the Office of Administrative Services, consisting of miscellaneous regulations and reports, 1939-72. Records of the Office of Assistant Administrator for Adminstration, consisting of general policy files, 1917-59 (516 lin. ft.); and policy circular letters and desk logs, 1926-55. Records of the Reports Management Service, consisting of monthly progress reports, 1945-46.

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15.6.2 General records

Textual Records: Administrative history files, 1925-59, including revisions to the general administrative manual, 1956-60. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) regulations, and instructions relating to the selection of the CCC veterans' contingent, 1934-41.

Photographs: Photographic prints showing progress on VA hospital alteration and construction projects, and negative microfilm of architectural plans and landscape drawings of the facilities, 1922-65 (HDC, 670 images). Album of photographic prints of VA facilities constructed or renovated by the WPA Federal Emergency Relief Project, 1938 (WPA, 181 images). Photographic prints and negatives, including some in color, of Veterans Day ceremonies, 1961-68; activities of the Veterans Advisory Council, including a tour of Vietnam; dedications of VA hospitals; work of the VA Volunteer Service; and a 1931 album of the VA Center in Hines, IL, 1931-68 (CVC, 1,530 images). Photographic prints, negatives, and color transparencies of VA hospitals, personnel, equipment, and services; rehabilitation activities; and regional offices and depots, 1944-64 (MFS, 4,798 images). See also 15.13.

Finding Aids: Lists for photographic series WPA and HDC; folder list for photographic series MFS; and box list for photographic series CVC.

Subject Access Terms: Humphrey, Hubert H. (photographs); Kennedy, John F. (photographs).

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15.6.3 Records of the Investigation Division

Textual Records: Records, 1935-37, concerning the destruction of three veterans camps on the Florida Keys by a hurricane, September 2, 1935.

Charts: Florida Keys showing hurricane disaster area, 1935 (3 items).

See also 15.9.

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15.6.4 Records of the Office of Construction

Textual Records: Title documents, 1866-1969.

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15.6.5 Records of the Directives Management Division

Textual Records: Record set of VA instructions used to implement public laws dealing with the authorization of benefits for veterans and their beneficiaries ("History File"), 1933-60.

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15.6.6 Records relating to the National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940

Textual Records: Microfilm copy of abstracts of applications for National Service Life Insurance made by radio from the Philippines, January-April 1942 (4 rolls).

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15.7 Records Relating to Pension and Bounty-Land Claims
1773-1942

History: Bounty-land grants and military pensions were administered by the War Department under provisions, respectively, of its enabling act, August 7, 1789 (1 Stat. 49), and an act of September 29, 1789 (1 Stat. 95). Under the first general pension law, March 23, 1792 (1 Stat. 243), Congress retained final authority to approve pension claims, but this responsibility was assigned to the Secretary of War by an act of March 3, 1803 (2 Stat. 242), and ultimately vested in the Office of the Commissioner of Pensions (Pension Office). The Pension Office was transferred to the newly established Department of the Interior by an act of March 3, 1849 (9 Stat. 395), where it became the Bureau of Pensions, which was consolidated with the U.S. Veterans Bureau and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers to form the Veterans Administration, 1930. See 15.1 and 15.2.

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15.7.1 Correspondence

Textual Records: Letters sent by the Commissioner of Pensions and his predecessors, 1800-66. Letters sent and received, 1828-56, relating to claims filed under special acts of 1828, 1832, and 1853. Letters sent by the Commissioners of the Navy Pension Fund, 1800-9, 1813-16.

Finding Aids: Evelyn Wade, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of Bureau of Pensions Correspondence and Pension and Bounty-Land Case Files Relating to Military Service Performed Between 1775 and 1861," NM 22 (1964).

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15.7.2 Pension and bounty land application files based upon service prior to the Civil War

Textual Records: Revolutionary War service case files, consisting of approved and disapproved pension and bounty-land applications, 1800-1900; and claims for half-pay-for-life and other pensions, 1800-59. War of 1812 service case files, consisting of pension and bounty-land applications, 1812-1910. Mexican War service case files, including applications, 1847-1930; approved and disapproved applications, 1887-1926; and approved and disapproved applications filed by widows and dependents, ca. 1847-1900. Miscellaneous case files, including applications, 1800-1930, based on service during the period 1783-1861; bounty-land applications, 1800-1900, based on service performed during the period 1812-55; and claims by Indians, 1812-1900, for service during the period 1812-55. Card register of application and certificate numbers for case files based on service performed prior to 1865, n.d.

Specific Restrictions: As specified by the Administrator of Veterans Affairs, no disclosure shall be made from claims records based on service terminated less than 75 years ago of any information that would be detrimental to the veteran or prejudicial, so far as may be apparent, to the interests of any living person or to the interests of the government. No confidential communications among them--including medical evidence, summaries and recommendations of inspectors or field examiners, and reports relating to criminal charges and investigations or to evidence obtained in cases involving departments, bureaus, or other agencies--shall be made available to the general public. No statement regarding military service shall be supplied from them except for service as claimed by the veteran.

Microfilm Publications: M313, M804, M910, M1745, M1746, T288, T316, T317, T1196.

Finding Aids: Evelyn Wade, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of Bureau of Pensions Correspondence and Pension and Bounty-Land Case Files Relating to Military Service Performed Between 1775 and 1861," NM 22 (1964).

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15.7.3 Pension application files based upon service in the Civil War and Spanish-American War ("Civil War and Later")

Textual Records: Civil War and Spanish American War service case files (generally interfiled), consisting of approved and disapproved pension applications of veterans, widows, and dependents based on army service chiefly in these two wars, 1861- 1934, and covering both army and navy service after 1910, with separate files for approved and disapproved pension applications of veterans, widows, and dependents based on navy service, 1861- 1910. Microfilm copy of indexes to most case files, n.d. (2,807 rolls). Card index of names of remarried widows, n.d.

Specific Restrictions: Restrictions described under 15.7.2 are applicable to these records.

Microfilm Publications: M1274, M1391, T288, T289, T317.

Finding Aids: Frank E. Bridgers, Louise Southwick, and Evelyn Wade, comps., "Preliminary Inventory of Pension Case Files of the Bureau of Pensions and the Veterans Administration, 1861-1942," NM 17 (1963).

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15.7.4 Other pension and bounty land records

Textual Records: Indian Wars service case files, consisting of approved and disapproved pension applications of veterans, widows, and dependents, 1892-1926. Pension applications arising out of new claims filed after 1934 for service during the periods 1817-1917 and 1921-40 (exclusive of the Revolution, the War of 1812, and World War I), with indexes, 1861-1942. An incomplete list of bounty land applications, ca. 1800-1900; registers of bounty land claims filed and warrants issued, 1800-1912; and stubs and duplicates of bounty land warrant and scrip certificates, 1803-97. Microfilm copy of VA Master Index, World War II, n.d. (1,135 rolls).

Specific Restrictions: Restrictions described under 15.7.2 are applicable to these records.

Microfilm Publications: T318.

Finding Aids: Frank E. Bridgers, Louise Southwick, and Evelyn Wade, comps., "Preliminary Inventory of Pension Case Files of the Bureau of Pensions and the Veterans Administration, 1861-1942," NM 17 (1963).

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15.7.5 Other records

Textual Records: Navy Department claims, correspondence, and accounts relating to naval and privateer service pensions, 1800- 1900. War Department miscellaneous correspondence, reports, and records, 1812-1913. Scrapbooks, 1773-1919. Administrative orders, pension board decisions, and other records relating to bounty land warrants, 1813-75. Registers, 1865-1900.

Specific Restrictions: Restrictions described under 15.7.2 are applicable to these records.

Finding Aids: Evelyn Wade, comp., "Preliminary Inventory of Bureau of Pensions Correspondence and Pension and Bounty-Land Case Files Relating to Military Service Performed Between 1775 and 1861," NM 22 (1964).

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15.8 Records Relating to the Issuance of Prostetic Appliances
1862-1927

History: An appropriation act of July 16, 1862 (12 Stat. 583), authorized the Surgeon General (Army) to supply disabled veterans with prosthetic appliances. Acts of May 28, 1872 (17 Stat. 164) and March 3, 1879 (20 Stat. 353) extended this service to trusses. The function, and related records, were transferred to the VA on December 1, 1930, under provisions of EO 5476, November 4, 1930.

Textual Records: Letters sent pertaining to trusses, 1875-84, and prosthetic appliances, 1885-92. Registers and lists of individuals furnished artificial limbs, 1862-1927. Registers of applications for trusses, 1872-95. Registers of trusses issued, 1885-95, 1906-23.

Finding Aids: Evangeline Thurber, comp., and Evelyn Wade, rev., "Preliminary Inventory of Records of the Veterans Administration Pertaining to the Issuance of Artificial Limbs, Trusses, and Other Prosthetic Appliances, 1862-1935," NM 23 (1964).

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15.9 Cartographic Records (General) See charts under 15.6.3

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15.10 Motion Pictures (General)
1946-48, 1958-66

Educational, financial, medical, and rehabilitation services, 1946-48 (24 reels). Documentary and educational motion pictures produced for the Veterans Administration by the Department of Agriculture, 1958-66 (169 reels).

See under 15.4.1.

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15.11 Sound recordings (General)
1946-76

VA-produced radio series, "Veteran Wants to Know," 1946-50 (150 items); "Here's to Veterans," 1947-76 (800 items), with related production files and artist index; "Sound Track Five," 1964-68 (65 items), with related production files and artist index; and "To Your Future," 1969-76 (200 items). Soundtracks of various network radio and television programs concerning veterans' affairs, some featuring appearances by VA officials, 1963-75 (26 items).

Specific Restrictions: Network soundtracks are subject to copyright restrictions.

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15.12 Machine-Readable Records (General)
1950-54

Repatriated American prisoners of war (Korean input file), 1950- 54, with supporting documentation.

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15.13 Still Pictures (General)
See Photographs under 15.2.1 and 15.6.12.
See Photographic Prints under 15.5.1.
See Color Lithograph under 15.2.1.


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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