About Maine, U.S., Burial Records of the Togus National Home for Disabled Veterans, 1874-1938
About the Maine, U.S., Records of the Togus National Home for Disabled Veterans, 1874-1938
General collection information
This collection contains records from the National Home for Disabled Veterans in Togus, Maine between 1874 and 1938. Various types of records are contained within, including:
Records are in a variety of formats, but most are handwritten on either ledgers or pre-printed forms.
Using this collection
Records in the collection may include the following:
While the Togus Home predominantly housed veterans who were native to the East Coast, residency wasn't limited to local veterans. Many residents were even nationals of foreign countries, including an especially large population from Ireland. However, if you can't find a record for your family member, it may be worth checking the records of other branches of the National Home program—especially the ones located near your family's residence.
Though not limited by nationality, only Union soldiers were eligible for admittance to the National Home. Admission was eventually expanded to veterans who served during other wars, but Confederate veterans were not considered eligible for admission. If your family member fought for the Confederacy, you may wish to expand your search to other organizations as many Southern states and private institutions offered housing for Confederate veterans.
The Togus Home houses a National Cemetery on their campus. Individuals with records in this collection would have been buried in the West section as the East section wasn't added until 1947.
Collection in context
The Togus National Home for Disabled Veterans, later known as "the Eastern Branch," was first opened in 1866. Originally a resort for the wealthy, the Togus home was opened as part of the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, to offer shelter to disabled veterans who weren't able to live on their own. Though the United States government began providing assisted veteran housing in 1811, only career soldiers were eligible. The Togus Home was the first to house volunteer soldiers. Initially created to house those who served during the American Civil War, veterans of other wars were eligible for admittance to the Togus Home, including an especially large influx after World War I.
When the National Home for Disabled Veterans was initially established, soldiers were allowed membership regardless of race. As time went on, this ideal became less and less of the reality, eventually leading to segregated barracks and dining areas as systematic racism influenced the care these veterans received. This caused many African American veterans to avoid membership in the National Home.
The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers was gradually phased out by the creation of the Veterans Administration in 1930. The Togus Home is known today as the Togus VA Medical Center.
National Parks Services. "History of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers." Last Modified November 14, 2017. https://www.nps.gov/articles/history-of-disabled-volunteer-soldiers.htm.
National Parks Services. "Veterans Affairs National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers: Eastern Branch, Togus, Maine." Last Modified March 21. 2018. https://www.nps.gov/places/eastern_branch.htm.
Plante, Trevor K. "The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers." The National Archives. Last Modified Spring 2004. https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/spring/soldiers-home.html.