Military, Pension, and Medical Records. Version M-5


Public Use Tape on the Aging of Veterans of the Union Army

Military, Pension, and Medical Records, 1820-1949. Version M-5

California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wiscosin Regiments

This data comprise a portion of the historical data collected by the project Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease, and Death (EI). The goal of this project is to construct datasets suitable for longitudnal studies of factors affecting the aging process. The primary sample for the Early Indicators project consists of 35,747 white males mustered into the Union Army during the Civil War, and it has collected military, socio-economic, and medical information from several sources on these men throughout their lifetimes.

There are three principal datasets in the EI project. The largest is the "Military, Pension, and Medical Records," which is derived from miliary-related documents housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

The National Archives data for this dataset came from three sources: 1) Union Army pension records, which contain detailed applications completed by individuals reqesting persion support; 2) military service reords, which give the military history of recruits, including length of service, battles fought, and geographic locations where soldiers' companies were stationed; and 3) carded medical records, which record recruits' medical experiences, such as illnesses and hospital stays.

The pension records contain information relevant to meeting the legal requirements of pension eligibility. Pension records can include information relating to the history of the veteran, as well as important health and demographic information relating to the military history of the veteran before, during, and after the war. The carded medical records and military service records contain information about the recruits both at the time of enlistment and during their military service.

These data can be linked to the other EI datasets by the recruit's identification number, recidnum

The Center for Population Economics at the University of Chicago has more information on the contents of the Surgeons' Certificates and an analysis of the linkage rates.

The data file is a gzipped ASCII file. You can decompress it with either the Unix gunzip command, or DOS gzip. Netscape Navigator 3 and 4 can corrupt these compressed files; Use Internet Explorer or refer to the note on the NBER main data page. If the pdf documents appear to be all blank pages, get the latest Acrobat Reader at www.abobe.com.

Works refrreing to the dataset or codebook should contain the following citation:

Fogel, R. W. (2000) Public Use Tape on the Aging of Veterans of the Union Army:
       Military, Pension, and Medical Records, 1860-1940, Version M-5.  Center for
       Population Economics, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and
       Department of Economics, Brigham Young University.


Because of the large size of the Entire Dataset, the data is also available in three Sections, by recruit's state of enlistment, below.

  1. Entire Dataset

    1. Combined Military Dataset

      1. Data -- ASCII (19 MB) -- mil.axt.Z
      2. Data -- SAS transport file (21 MB) -- mil.cport.Z
      3. Data -- SPSS transport file (25 MB) -- mil.por.Z
      4. SAS program for ASCII dataset -- mil.sas
      5. Data Dictionary -- mil.txt
      6. Alphabetic Variable Index -- mil.idx

    2. Carded Medical Records Dataset

      1. Data -- ASCII (2.3 MB) -- cmr.axt.Z
      2. Data -- SAS transport file (2 MB) -- cmr.cport.Z
      3. Data -- SPSS transport file (6 MB) -- cmr.por.Z
      4. SAS program for ASCII dataset -- cmr.sas
      5. Data Dictionary -- cmr.txt
      6. Alphabetic Variable Index -- cmr.idx

    3. Link Dataset

      1. Data -- ASCII (133 KB) -- msr.rect.Z
      2. SAS program for ASCII dataset -- msr.sas

    The Entire Dataset is also available in three Sections, by recruit's state of enlistment.

  2. Sectional Datasets

    1. Section 1 (New England, Midwestern States, New Jersey, Indiana, Wisconsin, California, New Mexico, and the 20-Company Pilot Sample)

      1. Combined Military Dataset

        1. Data -- ASCII (19 MB) -- mil.axt.Z
        2. Data -- SAS transport file (21 MB) -- mil.cport.Z
        3. Data -- SPSS transport file (25 MB) -- mil.por.Z
        4. Codebook -- WordPerfect 8.0 format -- dis.wpd
        5. SAS program for ASCII dataset -- mil.sas
        6. Data Dictionary -- mil.txt
        7. Alphabetic Variable Index -- mil.idx

      2. Carded Medical Records Dataset

        1. Data -- ASCII (2.3 MB) -- cmr.axt.Z
        2. Data -- SAS transport file (2 MB) -- cmr.cport.Z
        3. Data -- SPSS transport file (6 MB) -- cmr.por.Z
        4. SAS program for ASCII dataset -- cmr.sas
        5. Data Dictionary -- cmr.txt
        6. Alphabetic Variable Index -- cmr.idx

      3. Military Service Records

        1. Data -- ASCII (2.3 MB) -- msr.axt.Z
        2. Data -- SAS transport file (2 MB) -- msr.cport.Z
        3. Data -- SPSS transport file (6 MB) -- msr.por.Z
        4. SAS program for ASCII dataset -- msr.sas
        5. Data Dictionary -- msr.txt
        6. Alphabetic Variable Index -- msr.idx



Send questions to Jean Roth at jroth@nber.org
Last update 15 August 2000.