Monday, April 8, 2013

Military Monday ~ Richard Engle - A Civil War Veteran Admitted to the Battle Mountain Sanitarium

Just what is Battle Mountain Sanitarium and why was Richard Engle admitted to this place?  Battle Mountain Sanitarium is now part of the Veterans Affairs Black Hills Health Care System. But in 1907 it opened its doors as a branch of The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. It's located in Hot Springs, South Dakota. I've included a photo of the sanitarium below (photo by Alexander Daubert at Wikimedia Commons).

As to why Richard Engle was admitted here, it appears from the document below, that he was suffering from several health problems.


This document (below) from the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938 Collection1 which I found on is full of interesting and valuable genealogical information.  If you don't have an subscription, don't worry.  I discovered that the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938 Collection is also available on as well.

Richard Engle - U. S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers

This document is separated into four different sections - Military History, Domestic History, Home History, and General Remarks.

Let's take a look at the information contained within each section of Richard's record.

Military History
  • Time and Place of Each Enlistment -
    • First Enlistment
      • Time and Place of Enlistment – September, 1861 at Plymouth, Ohio
      • Rank – Private
      • Company and Regiment – Company G, 63rd Ohio Infantry
      • Time and Place of Discharge – June 18, 1864 at Washington D.C. [33 mos.]
      • Cause of Discharge - by reenlistment
    • Second Enlistment
      • Time and Place of Enlistment – June 18, 1864 at Washington D.C.
      • Rank – Private
      • Company and Regiment – 7th Volunteer Reserves
      • Time and Place of Discharge – November 16, 1865 at Washington D.C.
      • Cause of Discharge – G. O. 155
  • Disabilities When Admitted to the Home
    • Incontinence of Bowels
    • Arterial Sclerosis
    • Hemorrhoids with small Fistula
    • Cataract in Left Eye
    • Epileptic Attacks
Domestic History
  • Where Born – Ohio
  • Age – 77
  • Height – 5'6"
  • Complexion – Fair
  • Color of Eyes – Blue
  • Color of Hair – Gray
  • Read and Write – Yes
  • Religion – Prot. (I Assume that means Protestant)
  • Occupation – None
  • Residence Subsequent to Discharge – South Dakota
  • Married or Single – Married
  • Name and Address of Nearest Relative – Sarah A. Engle, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Home History
  • Rate of Pension – $20.00
  • Date of Admission, Re-Admission and Transfer – ad B.M.S. 3-12-08 (March 12, 1908, not sure what those initials stand for)
  • Date of Discharge and Transfer – 4-8-09 (April 8, 1909)
  • Cause of Discharge – OR (not sure what this means either)
General Remarks
  • Papers
    • Admission Paper – 1
    • Certificate of Service – 1
    • Pension Certificate – #202.972

Isn't this an amazing amount of information gleaned from a one-page document?  I already have the full Civil War pension file for Richard Engle, the husband of my 2nd great-grandaunt, Sarah Amanda (Waterman) Engle.  But this document is still an amazingly interesting and valuable find.  And if I wasn't already in possession of Richard's pension file, this document provided the pension certificate number.  How cool is that?

The National Home for Disabled Veteran Soldiers didn't only care for Civil War veterans.  It also cared for veterans of other conflicts as well.  So, if you have a military ancestor, I would encourage you to check out this awesome record collection on or

Thanks for reading!


© 2013 Copyright by Jana Last

1 U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Historical Register of National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1749, 282 rolls); Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.


  1. So was he 77 when he was discharged into the Sanitarium if so then he was is service a long time.

    1. Hi Bill,

      Yes, he was 77 years old when he was admitted to the Sanitarium, but that didn't mean he was in military service until that time. Richard was in active duty in the Civil War for 33 months from 1861 to 1864.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Poor Richard Engle sounds miserable -- 77 years old with epileptic attacks and all those other sources of pain. Thanks for this useful database, I'm reminded of our poor veterans today, who must wait so long for medical help and treatment because of the logjams and inefficiency in the VA. They deserve better. I think "Battle Mountain" is an apt name for a sanatorium, in many senses of the word!

    Do you ever read my blog posts -- am I on your list? Several people seemed to like my last couple of posts, about a missionary and semi-abolitionist in my South Carolina family. No worries if you don't "take to" my style. Just thought I'd mention it this once. : ))

    1. Hi Mariann,

      Yes, Poor Richard is right! He had some terrible afflictions to deal with didn't he? And I totally agree with you that our veterans today deserve so much better than the medical help and treatment they get today.

      I just got caught up a bit on your blog. What wonderful writing and stories Mariann! And your new blog looks great!

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. What an interesting find, Jana! I like the way you've organized the information--it makes it easy to see. I have a Civil War ancestor who suffered terribly from epilepsy as well. I don't think it was well understood at the time, and caused the family a good deal of stigma. I'm going to check out the database you suggested to see if he might appear on it. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Hi Shelley,

      Thank you! I hope you find your Civil War ancestor in this wonderful collection.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Very interesting record! I'm going to check the database too. I know of at least one ancestor who was gassed in WWI and spent some time in a VA hospital.

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Oh wow! Gassed in WW1? How terrible! I hope you find your ancestor in this database.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. Jana - I really enjoyed and appreciated this post on Richard Engle. I checked out this database on familysearch and came up with a record for a great-uncle who had been difficult to track (remained single, and moved around alot). He named his sister as his nearest relative and I was able to recognize him. It tied some great pieces together for me. Thank you!
    Pam Garrett
    Family Stories Blog

    1. Hi Pam,

      Awesome!! I'm so glad this blog post helped in your research for your great-uncle and that you found him in this record collection. It's Genealogy Happy Dance time!

      Thanks for stopping by and telling me about your research success!




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