National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging

Aging of Veterans of the Union Army: Surgeons' Certificates, 1860-1940 (ICPSR 2877) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):


This data collection constitutes a portion of the historical data collected by the project "Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease, and Death." With the goal of constructing datasets suitable for longitudinal analyses of factors affecting the aging process, the project collects military, medical, and socioeconomic data on a sample of white males mustered into the Union Army during the Civil War. The surgeons' certificates contain information from examining physicians to determine eligibility for pension benefits. Also included are questions regarding the age, occupation, residence, and military experience of the veterans. These data can be linked to AGING OF VETERANS OF THE UNION ARMY: MILITARY, PENSION, AND MEDICAL RECORDS, 1820-1940 (ICPSR 6837) and AGING OF VETERANS OF THE UNION ARMY: UNITED STATES FEDERAL CENSUS RECORDS, 1850, 1860, 1900, 1910 (ICPSR 6836) using the variable "recidnum."

Series: Civil War Veterans Series

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

  • These data are freely available.


WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Cases 1 through 10,000 - Download All Files (1,473.3 MB) large dataset
DS2:  Cases 10,001 through 20,000 - Download All Files (1,473.3 MB) large dataset
DS3:  Cases 20,001 through 30,000 - Download All Files (1,473.3 MB) large dataset
DS4:  Cases 30,001 through 40,000 - Download All Files (1,473.3 MB) large dataset
DS5:  Cases 40,001 through 50,000 - Download All Files (1,473.3 MB) large dataset
DS6:  Cases 50,001 through 60,000 - Download All Files (1,473.3 MB) large dataset
DS7:  Cases 60,001 through 70,000 - Download All Files (1,473.3 MB) large dataset
DS8:  Cases 70,001 through 80,000 - Download All Files (1,473.3 MB) large dataset
DS9:  Cases 80,001 through 81,877 - Download All Files (278.6 MB) large dataset

Study Description


Fogel, Robert W., et al. Aging of Veterans of the Union Army: Surgeons' Certificates, 1860-1940. ICPSR02877-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (NIH-PO1-AG10120)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF-SBR-9114981)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   aging, American Civil War, causes of death, census data, demographic characteristics, disease, health status, labor force, medical records, midlife, military pensions, military recruitment, military service, mortality rates, nineteenth century, nutrition, socioeconomic status, twentieth century, Union Army, veterans

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1860--1940

Date of Collection:  

  • 1991--1999

Universe:   Union Army recruits in white volunteer infantry regiments. Commissioned officers, Black recruits, and other branches of the military were excluded from the universe.

Data Types:   medical records data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) This collection contains 81,877 cases that are split into nine files. Users should refer to the Supplemental Documentation for information on merging these files. (2) There are multiple observations per individual. An individual observation can be identified by the unique combination of the variables "recidnum" and "examnum."


Sample:   A one-stage cluster sample of Union Army companies was randomly selected from the "Regimental Books" housed at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

Data Source:

surgeons' certificates from Civil War pension records stored at the National Archives in Washington, DC


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File DOC2877.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-01-18 File CB2877.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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