I want to add some thoughts about why military research can be so revealing and interesting. In many genealogy research projects I have worked on (including my own family research), inside our ancestors' pension packets I have found some items which can only be considered family heirlooms. I have located old copies of family photographs taken during the Civil War, copies of pages from family bibles, and letters written by soldiers to members of the family still at home.
Finding such items is like hitting the "genealogical jackpot" There are other areas where to locate such treasures such as some library archives and even in old courthouse records but if you are lucky enough and honored enough to have a Civil War veteran in the family, it is definitely worth the effort to see if your veteran received a pension. I can help you locate your ancestors in various records such as census and vital records (birth, marriage and death) and then determine if your family lines had any veterans in any of our countries earlier wars. It would be my honor.
Best regards, Ron Kolb