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Aid for Union Soldiers' Families: A Comfortable Entitlement or a Pauper's Pittance? Indiana, 1861–1865

Joan E. Marshall
Social Service Review
Vol. 78, No. 2 (June 2004), pp. 207-242
DOI: 10.1086/382767
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/382767
Page Count: 36
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Aid for Union Soldiers' Families: A Comfortable Entitlement or a Pauper's Pittance? Indiana, 1861–1865
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Abstract

Popular support for dependents of the Civil War soldiers of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, rested on the belief that it was earned by the soldiers’ service. This public provision varied from generous to meager and eventually became an entitlement open to all, regardless of need. Determining factors were patriotism, cost, and recruitment quotas. Although this assistance resembled existing forms of poor relief, it differed in keeping families intact, allowing recipients access to other resources, and basing aid on work (soldiering). Private benevolence made only minor, sporadic contributions, while federal pensions aided very few during the war.

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