I decided to start with a little digging on Ancestry.com. I knew a little about my 3rd great-grandfather, but very little. One of the things that popped up was a Civil War Pension Index. I had heard a lot about them and knew they were a great source of information, but how lucky could I get?
Also listed were two application numbers and two certificate numbers. Armed with these, I decided to head over to the National Archives web site. After clicking around, I found an online form and was able to order the records. What could I lose? I had very little expectations even though I read that 100 or more pages is pretty common for this type of record. The claims could be complex, especially if the claimant had difficulty proving the claims.
It took a couple of months, but I finally got the email that I had been waiting for - the records I wanted were found! There it was in print, over 100 pages of information pertaining to my 3rd great-grandfather.