Question: I realize that most Revolutionary War pensions were not granted to 1818. But I recall you mentioning in a lecture about disabled men getting pensions earlier. Also, when were the last changes to the pension laws for Revolutionary War widows?
Answer: In 1776 half pay was granted to officers and men who became disabled during the war and were not able to earn a living. This pension was granted and would last for the duration of their disability. The last of the Revolutionary War veterans died in the 1860’s, however their widows lived on until the early 1900’s. Because of the amount of widows there were a variety of Acts passed regarding a widow’s qualification. In 1838 the widow needed to be married to the pensioner before 1794, and this was extended in 1848 to allow marriages before 1800. In 1853 the requirement of when the widow married the veteran was abolished. And finally in 1878 a widow could apply for a soldier’s pension as long as he participated in any battle or engagement, or served at least fourteen days in the service.