When I tell people about My Old Confederate Home and other Confederate soldiers’ homes, one of the first questions they ask is, “Who lived there?”
Generally, the homes were open to any Confederate veteran who had served honorably, who was a resident of his state, and who was unable to care for himself.
Most of the men admitted to homes in the latter decades of the nineteenth century suffered from the lingering effect of war wounds, illness or amputation. By the 1900s there were more men who were just too old to earn a living and had no family to care for them. As time went on, there were more men suffering from the (undiagnosed and untreated) emotional effects of their combat experience.
Though the Kentucky Confederate Home required that an applicant swear he had “no means of support”, it was more of a retirement home than poorhouse. Applicants to the Kentucky home (and most other homes) submitted applications describing their service record and swearing they were neither mentally deficient nor addicted to alcohol.
(For brief answers to other common questions, click the “Most-Asked Questions” button under the header of the blog.)