The National Archives and Records Administration files which I scanned at the Innovation Hub in Washington, D.C. are now posted in catalog.archives.gov.
The links are included below and they are easily accessed by simply typing "Azariah Rider" into Google. The files are easily read in Windows browsers on a computer and in the Safari browser on Apple devices.
The Mary J. Rider widow's pension file is listed in the top selections and selecting it leads to both these files.
The last Long Since Dispersed post used two nineteen century 95th Illinois Regimental Histories to cross-reference military history to the locations shown on the official payroll cards included in the following link. For an excellent background for the conflict in which Azariah participated, you might enjoy reading Grant Moves South - 1861-1863 by historian Bruce Catton (which became nearly a page-turner for me as I followed his payroll record with the Illinois regiments commanded by Grant). I read it free through the New York Public Library.
Compiled Military Service Record of Private Azariah Rider, Company F, 95th Illinois Infantry Regiment
The second file contains all the documents for Azariah's application for a disability pension and, his subsequent health records, documents of his death and burial as well as supporting documents for Mary J. Jacobs' application and approval for the widow's pension. They reveal some of the migration from McHenry County to Sioux City, Iowa, they seem to indicate that Azariah had a fair amount of education sufficient to write a full letter in script and describes the location of their home in Sioux City as simply South Central Street.
Thanks to the McHenry County Historical Society's Newspapers Collection (https://newspapers.mchenrycountyhistory.org/), this clipping reflects the perceived value of the widows' pension to the country. To Great-Great-Great Grandmother Mary, as these documents reveal, it obviously was of very great importance.
|McHenry Plaindealer 1881-8-31 from McHenryCountyHistory.org|
Transcription: "THE VALUE OF A LIMB.-During the war of the rebelllion the highest price put upon a limb was ninety-six dollars per year, and the same valuation was fixed for the life of a common soldier. Now a limb is considered worth as much as eighteen dollars monthly; and for this rise in value those who have been shorn of one are truly grateful. The widow still finds, however, that eight dollars twelve times each year is considered as ample equivalent for the life that was once her joy and support."
Approved Pension File for Mary J. Rider, Widow of Private Azariah Rider, Company F, 95th Illinois Infantry Regiment (WC-419322)
Thanks to the National Archives and Records Administration and McHenry County Historical Society for making these important documents available to us.
Part III of this story will describe what is known of the family of Mary J. Jacobs Rider. Her Jacobs and Abbott families in America stretch all the way to the early settlement of Massachusetts.