There is a reason why some affidavits in Civil War pension files sound so similar. It’s because the individual writing them out was following the instructions. The pension office did not one random statements in these affidavits. There were specific issues the affidavits were to address, generally related to how pensions were issued and how the amount of a monthly payment was determined.
The instructions are shown in the bottom left hand corner of this affidavit from 1890. I’ve made them larger and slightly repositioned them for the illustration that accompanies that blog post.
Sometimes people were simply following directions when completing government paperwork and were not wondering what someone in 150 years would want to know.
Reading the instructions for various paperwork (when available) can be informative. Anything you can learn about the record creation or record keeping process will increase your ability to interpret and analyze documents correctly.