Joshua C Shackford's pension card lets us know that he served in the US Navy. The name of his ship he served on, the Iroquois, is written on the card and is listed in his Navy Survivor Certificate paperwork.
On June 17, 1907, Joshua began receiving a pension of 12/month which was increased to $15/month in 1910, then to $19/month in 1913; and finally increased to $22.50 on June 5, 1915 when he turned 75.
Joshua's Navy Survivor's Certificate which was found at Fold3 verifies that he was born June 5, 1840 in Eastport, Maine which helps us verify that he was the son of John L Shackford and Elizabeth S Clark.
We know that at the age of 10, he was living with his grandfather, John Shackford, a shipmaster and his grandmother, Elizabeth Batson. his parents, and siblings Abby and Esther. We also know from Joshua's pension records and Navy's Survivor's Certificates, that he enlisted on Nov 16, 1864, served on the USS Iroquois, and was honorably discharged on Oct 6, 1865. From Wikipedia records we know that the ship was in the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, searched for the Shenadoah before going to Singapore, traveled around South America and was decommissioned after returning to the United States.
Joshua was 25 when he was discharged from the service and we don't know what Joshua did after his discharge until he married Sadie L Bartlett about thirty years later. After their marriage, they lived in many places in the Boston area - at least 67 Emerald, 469 Tremont, 11 Hotel Chapman, 92 Compton Street, and 54 Village while Joshua worked as a laborer and a janitor while also receiving his military pension after 1908. Joshua died Jan 8, 1917 at the age of 76 from pneumonia after spending two days at the City Hospital.
Sadly, after Joshua's death, his wife Sadie (sometimes referred to as Sarah L) was unable to receive a widow's pension because she didn't have all the information required to complete the pension request forms. In March 1928, ten years after his death, Henry D Anshelm was writing letters on Sadie's behalf asking for the Navy's assistance obtaining information needed for the pension because Joshua's discharge papers were lost. Unfortunately she died later that year.
Her circumstances help us all remember the importance of taking care of important paperwork.
1850 US Federal Census, Washington County, Maine, population schedule, Eastport, page 484 (penned), 244 (stamped), dwelling 272, family 360, John Shackfodr; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 December 2013)
Maine State of Maine, "Maine, Births and Christenings, 1739-1900," index," database index, FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org : accessed 29 August 2013), Joshua C Shackford b 5 Jun 1840
Massachusetts "Massachusetts, Death Index, 1901-1980," index book, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 December 2013), Sarah L (Bartlett), Boston, 1928, Vol 1, Page 232
Massachusetts, Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915, MARRIAGES REGISTERED in the City of Boston for the Year eighteen hundred and ninety-seven, page 123, Joshua C Shackford m Sadie L Kelley, 27 May 1897; digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 25 November 2013
"Navy Survivors' Certificates," digital images, Fold 3 (http://www.fold3.com : accessed 23 December 2013), Joshua C Shackford