Today I received the Civil War pension file for Benjamin Slavens, son of Isaiah Slavens, and it contained the following information:
Benjamin was born between July 21, 1805 and July 20, 1806 as he was 77 years old in a statement sworn July 20, 1883. Elisabeth, his wife, was 64 at the time of a statement sworn March 1, 1878.
Benjamin and Elisabeth Farrow were married July 23, 1833, by Andrew Prayther, magistrate, in Danville, Hendricks County, Iowa.
In both applications, Elisabeth and Benjamin swore that they were dependant upon the support of their son John W., who died Nov. 20, 1862, at New Albany, Indiana, while in the service of Co. E, Indiana 72nd Infantry. John "died of consumption contracted in the service...but was taken with typhoid fever." John enlisted at Linden, Montgomery County, Indiana, and is buried at Wingate in said county.
At the time of Elisabeth's application she was living in Ridgedale, Polk County, Iowa; she died on June 15, 1882, in Des Moines. (I'll try to find her burial place tomorrow night at the genealogical library.) When Benjamin applied in 1883, he was living at Waldron, Platte County, Missouri. He apparently died between May and Sept. 1885 according to the "drop" document.
At the time of John W.'s death in 1862, brothers under 16 were Harvey, born October 11, 1852, and Joseph, born April 10, 1856. "Harvey" would be James H. Slavens according to census reports.
That's about it; it was a pretty thin file but a lot of this infornation doesn't seem to be general knowledge. And of course, just because the above information was sworn and notarized, it might still be incorrect.