NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

The data for this dataset came from three National Archives sources:

  1. Union Army pension records, which contain detailed applications completed by individuals requesting pension support;
  2. military service records, 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.

A Data Extraction System and More Information on the "Military, Pension, and Medical Records" data set is available at the Center for Population Economics at the University of Chicago

Both ".Z" and ".zip" files can be uncompressed with winzip. In addition, ".Z" files can be uncompressed using the UNIX uncompress command and ".zip" files can be unzipped with pkunzip. To check your ability to uncompress these files, download the small files compress.Z or compress.zip. They give an example of how to read in .Z and .zip ASCII files into SAS for UNIX without decompressing the files. To download files in Internet Explorer, right click on them and select "Save Target As...". If the pdf documents appear to be all blank pages, get the latest Acrobat Reader at www.abobe.com. Note for Stata users: Many observations in the Early Indicators datasets are over three times wider than the maximum width allowed by Stata.

Works referring 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.

Compressed file size: The Entire Combined Military Dataset is 2-4 Mb; Carded Medical Records are 2-5 Mb; and the Military Service Records 4-8 Mb. File size depends on data format and compression type. ASCII files are the smallest followed by cport, then por. Pkzipped files are slightly smaller than UNIX-compressed files.

Size of UNIX-compressed Entire Dataset files (Pkzipped files are a Mb or two smaller).

cmr mil msr
axt 2 Mb 20 Mb 4 Mb
cport 4 Mb 30 Mb 6 Mb
por 5 Mb 42 Mb 8 Mb

Internal users can obtain the data from a UNIX shell at /homes/data/milpen or on an NBER PC via Network Neighborhood --> NBER --> home --> data --> milpen

Updates and changes.

DOCUMENTATION

Codebook Data Dictionary Alphabetic Variable Index
Combined Military Dataset codebook.pdf mil.txt mil.idx
Carded Medical Records Dataset cmr.txt cmr.idx
Military Service Records Dataset msr.txt msr.idx

DATA

The data is available as ASCII, SAS cport, or SPSS por files; as the Entire Dataset or broken into three Sections by recruit's state of enlistment; and UNIX-compressed or Pkzipped.

Section 1New England, Midwestern States, New Jersey, Indiana, Wisconsin, California, New Mexico, and the 20-Company Pilot Sample
Section 2New York, Michigan, Border States, Pensions from the VA Archives
Section 3Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois

ASCII
SAS cport
SPSS por
Entire Dataset
Data
SAS code
Data
SAS code
Data
UNIX Pkzip UNIX Pkzip UNIX Pkzip
Combined Military Dataset mla.Z mla.zip mil.sas mlc.Z mlc.zip c.sas mlp.Z mlp.zip
Carded Medical Records Dataset cra.Z cra.zip cmr.sas crc.Z crc.zip crp.Z crp.zip
Military Service Records Dataset msa.Z msa.zip msr.sas msc.Z msc.zip msp.Z msp.zip
Link Dataset lnk.Z lnk.zip lnk.sas
--
Add'l Death Dates rd.txt
--
.
ASCII
SAS cport
SPSS por
Section 1 Dataset
Data
SAS code
Data
SAS code
Data
UNIX Pkzip UNIX Pkzip UNIX Pkzip
Combined Military Dataset mla.Z mla.zip mil.sas mlc.Z mlc.zip c.sas mlp.Z mlp.zip
Carded Medical Records Dataset cra.Z cra.zip cmr.sas crc.Z crc.zip crp.Z crp.zip
Military Service Records Dataset msa.Z msa.zip msr.sas msc.Z msc.zip msp.Z msp.zip
.
ASCII
SAS cport
SPSS por
Section 2 Dataset
Data
SAS code
Data
SAS code
Data
UNIX Pkzip UNIX Pkzip UNIX Pkzip
Combined Military Dataset mla.Z mla.zip mil.sas mlc.Z mlc.zip c.sas mlp.Z mlp.zip
Carded Medical Records Dataset cra.Z cra.zip cmr.sas crc.Z crc.zip crp.Z crp.zip
Military Service Records Dataset msa.Z msa.zip msr.sas msc.Z msc.zip msp.Z msp.zip
.
ASCII
SAS cport
SPSS por
Section 3 Dataset
Data
SAS code
Data
SAS code
Data
UNIX Pkzip UNIX Pkzip UNIX Pkzip
Combined Military Dataset mla.Z mla.zip mil.sas mlc.Z mlc.zip c.sas mlp.Z mlp.zip
Carded Medical Records Dataset cra.Z cra.zip cmr.sas crc.Z crc.zip crp.Z crp.zip
Military Service Records Dataset msa.Z msa.zip msr.sas msc.Z msc.zip msp.Z msp.zip

To report errors, or if you have questions or comments, e-mail jroth@nber.org

Last Update: June 12, 2001 Created by Jean Roth November 10, 2000

 
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