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How Black Women Fought for Civil War Pensions and Benefits

How Black Women Fought for Civil War Pensions and Benefits

Over two million soldiers enlisted in the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War. When it ended, the United States had many more veterans and surviving dependents than it had ever had before. In the decades that followed, military pensions became a major part of the federal budget, accounting for 37 percent of the budget by 1894. 

Despite the enormous growth in payments to veterans and their relatives after the Civil War, securing compensation could be an arduous process that required significant time and resources. The legacy of slavery made that process especially challenging for Black women applying for benefits. 




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