Promoting the Heritage of Our German Ancestors
This database indexes four series of records of the Secretary of the Interior from the period 1881-1914 focusing on military veterans residing outside of the United States who applied for pensions, increases in the pensions, or appeals of a rejected pension application. The source documents are lists the Bureau of Pensions compiled with names of veterans who lived abroad and who had business with the Bureau.  To apply for a pension, veterans had to undergo a medical examination to verify the pensioner’s injury and the extent to which the injury affected his ability to earn a living through manual labor.  Those two factors determined if he were entitled to a pension and if so, how much money he would receive. The Pension Bureau compiled the lists, sent the lists to the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of the Interior forwarded the lists to the Department of State.  The State Department asked the consulate living nearest to the pensioner to find a local physician, coordinate the examination, and to send the results back to the Pension Bureau in the United States.
What the Records Contain
These lists are valuable records for genealogists.  They contain: the name of the individual pensioner, including any aliases; the pensioner’s address overseas, often a street address and house number; the pensioner’s military organization; and the pension certificate number.
How to Search the Records
You can search these records by surname and/or given name. The records are not online at NARA, but that might not matter to you.  MAGS volunteers extracted all the information from the lists; therefore, when you find a veteran, the search results will include all the information relating to that person that the list contains. 
Source information:
NARA Record Group 48, Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior: Patents and Miscellaneous Division
Entry 156: Letters Received by the Patents and Miscellaneous Division, 1881-1907 [National Archives Identifier (NAID) 656429]
Entry 218: Letters Received from the Commissioner of Pensions, 1881-1883 [NAID 731020]
Entry 222: Letters Received by the Bureau of Pensions, Patents & Miscellaneous Division, 1896-1907 [NAID 820146]
Entry 748: Central Classified File, 1907-1972 [NAID 593948]