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Archive for the ‘Company B’ Category

Four unrelated men with the same surname served in Company B. Distinguishing identifiers were birthplace and parents’ names: Ashley Lewis, Company B (Edgecombe County, North Carolina), Isaac Lewis (Norfolk County, Virginia), Madison Lewis (Spotsylvania County, Virginia), and Peter Lewis (Northumberland County, Virginia).

Invalid — 957,838 / 931,444
Widow — 846, 222 / —– , Virginia Lewis

Neighbor’s Affidavit, Spriggs Montague and Henry Claughton, 29 December 1891
[Montague] over 50 years old; residence, near Avalon, Northumberland County, Virginia; post-office address, Avalon, Northumberland County, Virginia
[Claughton] about 60 years old; residence, near Avalon, Northumberland County, Virginia; post-office address, Avalon, Northumberland County, Virginia
“We have been well and personally acquainted with Peter Lewis for 16 years, and 30 years, respectively, and that we are both engaged in farming, and that the claimant is also engaged in farming and that we live about one mile & one half of a mile respectively from the claimant and see him nearly every week and sometimes oftener, and that we on a few occasions worked with him … the claimant’s disabilities are not due to vicious habits.”

Marriage License [copy], Peter Lewis and Ginnie Williams, 20 June 1897
Marriage took place at Macedonia Cold Baptist Church in Northumberland County, Va. Husband’s age, 65 years old; wife’s age, 48 years old. Both widowed. Both born in Northumberland Co., Va. Both resided in Northumberland Co., Va. Husband’s parents were John Lewis and Winny. Wife’s parents were Jack Dameron and Margaret Ball. Husband’s occupation, farmer.

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), Peter Lewis, 4 June 1898
[married] yes, Jinnie Lewis, Jennie Ball
[when, where, by whom] 1897, in Northd Co., Va., Rev. John Walker
[record] Northd Co., Va.
[previous marriage] yes, Frances Lewis about 1893
[living children]
Theodrick Lewis, 1858
Rose Lewis, don’t remember
Isaiah Lewis, about 1873
George Lewis, about 1871

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Virginia Lewis, 2 April 1906
55 years old; residence, Avalon, Northumberland Co., Va. … “That she was married under the name of Virginia WIlliams to said soldier at Macedonia Church on the 20th day of January, 1897 by Rev. John Walker … That she had been previously married to Henry Williams, who died near Silear [sp?] in Northumberland Co., State of Va.; that the soldier had been previously married to Francis Lewis, who died near Avalon in said county & state on Aug 12, 1905. That the said soldier died March 1, 1896 at Avalon, Va.”
“Also personally appeared Wm. A. Smith, residing at Avalon, Va. and Rufus T. Smith, residing at Avalon, Va. … their acquaintance with her of ten years and ten years, respectively…”

Sworn Statement, A.M. Brent, M.D., 10 August 1906
“To Whom It May Concern,
This is to certify that I attended the late Peter Lewis during his last sickness & that he departed this life at his home, near Avalon, Va. on Thursday, the 1st day of March, 1906.”

Affidavit, William A. Smith and R.T. Smith, 11 August 1906
[WIlliam A. Smith] 68 years old
[R.T. Smith] 31 years old
Both resided in Avalon, Northumberland Co., Virginia. Both had post-office addresses at Avalon, Va.
“That they are well and personally acquainted with Virginia Lewis for 8 years, and 8 years, respectively …. We have known [Peter Lewis] for 40 & 20 years, respectively. The said Peter Lewis had been previously married to Frances Dameron who died some 10 years ago. Virginia Lewis has also been previously married & the death of her former husband so proven by affidavit of two witnesses filed herewith.”

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Four unrelated men with the same surname served in Company B. Distinguishing identifiers were birthplace and parents’ names: Ashley Lewis, Company B (Edgecombe County, North Carolina), Isaac Lewis (Norfolk County, Virginia), Madison Lewis (Spotsylvania County, Virginia), and Peter Lewis (Northumberland County, Virginia).

Invalid — 1,026,463 / 1,103,600
Other Numbers — C-2503,575 / —-

Deposition, Madison Lewis, 12 June 1893
55 years old; occupation, minister of the Gospel; residence and post-office address, 80 North St., Norfolk, Va.
Q. When did you first apply for a pension?
A. Soon after the new law came out — about a year after I went to W.R. Drury to make an application for pension: James Langley and Isaac Kellum of my company had promised to be present as identifying witnesses for me but they were not there that day at all. There were several colored men in Mr. Drury’s office but none that I knew. W.R. Drury was the only white man in the office while I was there. Mr. Drury wrote out the application and I signed it by writing my name.”
Q. Do you know B.A. Richardson, Jr., a notary public? Did he ever swear you?
A. No, sir. I have no knowledge of him whatever. No man of that name ever swore me.
Q. Do you know W.R. Drury and S. Cherry and were they present that day?
A. I don’t know those men at all…”

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 14 June 1893
69 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 83 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“I was never a witness for [Madison Lewis] in his pension case and I was never in Drury’s office with him …
Q. Do you know James Langley and were you a witness in any case with him?
A. Yes, I know him. He was in my company and we have been witnesses together in several cases but I was never a witness for Madison Lewis with Langley.
Q. Do you know B.A. Richardson, Jr. and did he swear you?
A. Yes, I know him but he never swore me in my life.”

Deposition, James Langley, 17 June 1893
55 years old; occupation, laborer; residence, Chickazola Ave., Huntersville, Norfolk, Va. … I have known Madison Lewis ever since we were together in the army but I was never a witness for him in his pension case. … I know Isaac Kellum well and was a witness for with him twice, once for a woman named Ford & once for a woman named Biddle. Those are the only two times I have been a witness with Kellum.
“I don’t know B.A. Richardson at all … I don’t know W.T. Drury and T. Cherry and they never witnessed my mark in any matter.
“I cannot tell how my name and mark came to be on Lewis’ paper as I never put it there or told anyone to put my mark or use my name in that case.”

Questionnaire (Form 3-389), Madison Lewis, 24 January 1905
[married] Matilda Janefield
[when, where, by whom] “25 day of December 1861; Died. Jan 1885”
[record] “the record of Masie Word [?] took place on about 27 of August 1887″
[previous marriage] divorced by Judge Gunner, pled desertion; married again to Ledora Henry from King William Co., Va.”
[living children] 5 children “Lewis born 12 of Oct 1864. James Lewis, June 30, 186? … Elman Lewis, 1842 … Uppermaure Lewis, 1875; Ida Lewis Aug 22nd 1879

Questionnaire (Form 3-493), Madison Lewis, 25 January 1905
[birthplace] Spotsylvania Co., Va.
[enlistment] Old Point
[residence before enlistment] Fortress Monroe, Va.
[occupation] sadler
[former owner(s) if enslaved] Joseph H. Jordann, near Mt. Pleasant, Va.
[discharged] City Point, Va.
[residence since discharge] Hampton, Washington, DC and Norfolk
[present occupation] pastor, Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk
[height / skin color / scars] 5′ 6″ / dark brown / no
[known by another name] no
[current name/ known by] Rev. Dr. Madison Lewis
[current residence] “the nearest sub-post office 3 or 4 blocks away”

[Note: According to a church history, First Baptist Church, Berkley, and claimant’s questionnaire, Cavalry Baptist Church, in Norfolk, Virginia were pastored by “Madison Lewis.” Was this the same person or two people? — Leslie]

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Four unrelated men with the same surname served in Company B. Distinguishing identifiers were birthplace and parents’ names: Ashley Lewis (Edgecombe County, North Carolina), Isaac Lewis (Norfolk County, Virginia), Madison Lewis (Spotsylvania County, Virginia), and Peter Lewis (Northumberland County, Virginia).

Invalid — 487,954

Marriage License, Isaac Lewis and Caroline Johnson, 12 January 1882
Marriage took place 12 January 1882 at Norfolk County, Va. Husband was 40 years old; wife was 43 years old. Both were widowed. Husband was born in Norfolk Co., Va.; wife was born in Isle of Wight Co., Va. Both resided in Norfolk County, Va. Husband’s parents were Thomas and Sookie Lewis; wife’s parents [blank]. Husband’s occuaption, laborer. Officiated by E.H. Bolden, Pastor, St. James Chapel.

Declaration for Original Invalid Pension, Isaac Lewis, 9 June 1883
49 years old; residence, Williams Row, Norfolk Co., Virginia … became blind and had to be lead [sic] around … he was sent to the hospital on said island [Brazos Santiago, Texas] … and was sent to New Orleans, La. hospital … since leaving the service this applicant has resided in the County of Norfolk, in the State of Virginia, and his occupation has been that of laborer …
“Also personally appeared, Anthony James, residing at Norfolk and Humphrey McCoy, residing at Norfolk …”

Sworn Statement, John Carson and William Bolden, 22 January 1884
[Carson] 50 years old; [Bolden] 49 years old; “That each of them are well acquainted with Isaac Lewis … and that they were raised together in the same neighborhood together in Norfolk Co. … they were playmates together before the War of 1861”

Deposition, Arthur Nelson and London Hurdle, 6 May 1893
[Nelson] 50+ years old; residence, Lamberts Point, Norfolk, Va. “I knew Isaac Lewis, living near him & working with him; I lived about 50 yds from his house & frequently visited his house. I knew both Lewis & his wife & knew their children, all three of them. I know that two of them died after Isaac Lewis viz. Mary & Lazarus, I know that the claimant, Jane Lewis Anderson is her second child.
[Hurdle] 62 years old; residence, Lamberts Point, Norfolk, Va. “I became acquainted with Lewis in the Army in ’64, & after the war lived about 2 1/2 mi. from him. I knew him well & I saw him at work at the Gas House & at the Church. I was at his house every now & then or about once or twice a month.
“I knew his children, & knew that he had only a family of three, viz., Mary, Jane & Lazarus.
“Mary & Lazarus died soon after their father.”

“Did Isaac Lewis have any children by his second wife Caroline Johnson?
“Lewis had not children by his second wife, Caroline Johnson, whom I knew personally. He lived with her about two years.”

Sworn Statement, Madison Lewis, 8 May 1895
“This is to certify that I have known Jane Lewis for more than 15 years and baptized her Oct 1885”

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**Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated 1901-1932. Last week’s post included research notes for documents dated 1883-1889.


Testimony was presented by a half-sibling and a cousin, neighbors, friends, and former tentmates. Men and women identified their parents, spoke about their experiences as freedom seekers, and gave information about the families of former enslavers. They identified officiants and attendees at marriages and funerals. There are conflicting eyewitness accounts of a gruesome accident at Fort Monroe and the medical treatment that followed. People described the comings-and-goings of soldiers (and their spouses) between Fort Monroe and their homes and declared their presence at “the birth of said children” and at “the death of said soldier.” Witnesses offered specific information about farms, dwellings, and geography.

Widow — 280,317 / 257,637, Silvie Ann Deford

Deposition, Silvie Ann Deford, 3 January 1901
about 65 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 34 ½ E. North St., Norfolk, Va.
“We were married according to slave custom, when I was 18 years of age. … His father’s name was Pompy Creekmore.  He was always known as Charles Deford. …He was sick when he came home. He came home before the other soldiers came. Lewis Dawley, Church Street; Humphrey McCoy and James Langer served with him… He died in the county near Bear Quarter, near Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va. and did not have a physician.”
“I came to Norfolk immediately after he died and have resided here ever since. I have lived with my children and been employed as a domestic ever since soldier died.
Mary Eliza Page, Church St., is the only living witness who testified in my pension claim. I have known her from the time I was a small girl. I first resided in Brewer St. Then in Cumberland St. Then in Church St., Mosly St., Willy St. At my present address for 3 years. I lived in Brewer St 10 or 12 years.”
William Ward (who was convicted of violating the pension laws and who died about 4 years ago) was my attorney… E.T. Nottingham… executes my vouchers. I go to his office on the 4th. Sometimes I take one witness. Sometimes I do not take any witness.”

Deposition, Mary Eliza Page, 25 April 1901
58 or 59 years old; post-office address, 647 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I first knew Silvie Ann Deford when we came into the union in 1862 or 1863, when the colored men were enlisting in the army. She and I came to Norfolk about the same time. We came from Norfolk County. She and I resided in Norfolk during the war and I have resided in Norfolk ever since.  A few years after the death of her husband she and I lived in the same house for about 6 months. … During the war she resided with her father and three sisters, all of whom are dead. … I never saw the soldier after they removed to the country.… Ann was born several months after the soldier died.… When Florence was born the pensioner lived on Brewer St. with her father and sisters. When Ann was born they all lived on Cumberland St. The pensioner lived with her father until he died and since then she has lived with her children…
“…I don’t know the father of Annie nor did I ever hear who he was but she does not look anything like Florence as the latter is a great deal darker. Florence looks a great deal like her father. …”
L.W. Charlton who gets his mail at Gertie, Va. furnished the coffin for the soldier and he has told me that he remembers that the soldier died in 1867. The book he had the record in though was burnt up he said.”

Deposition, Mary E. Hopper, 25 April 1901
about 56 years old; residence and post-office address, 11 Gordon’s Ave, Norfolk, Va.
“I knew Silvie Ann Deford and her late husband before the war. We all resided in Norfolk Co., Va. beyond Great Bridge. After the war broke out I met her in Norfolk where she was living and where I saw her frequently. I saw her said husband here in Norfolk after he came home from the army and I happened to be visiting at Bear Quarter and Horn Quarter when he died and attended the funeral. He was buried in the cemetery near Bear Quarter. He was carried near a church. The soldier was in bad health when he came home and they went out to Bear Quarter to his mother’s house where he died. They removed to his mother’s house soon after came home from the army.”
“After her husband died she came back to Norfolk and lived with her father and I know that the younger daughter, Ann, was born after the soldier died. I don’t know when Florence was born … [Silvie’s father was] Charles Miller who died a good many years ago.”

Deposition, Jordon Deford, 9 May 1901
about 60 years old; post-office address, Bartee, Norfolk Co., Va.
“Charles Deford was my cousin. I remember when he came home from the army and I attended his funeral. Daniel Williams, dead, or Joe Creekman, dead, buried him. I am unable to recall which of these men was the undertaker. He died at his mother’s home on the Dudley farm … He died of consumption… He was confined to his bed several months before he died…. I am certain that he was sick at his mother’s house about a year …”

Deposition, Horatio Hardin, 3 June 1901
55 or 60 years old; post-office address, Gertie, Norfolk Co., Va. “and residence about north of there.”
“I knew Silvie Ann Deford as she was the wife of my half-brother Charles Deford  who was a soldier during the war between the North and South. I can’t tell you when he enlisted for I was not in this neighborhood then as I was in the West Indies…. I don’t know where he was born but he was raised right in the neighborhood of where I am now living. He was older than I am – probably 10 or 12 years. John Deford (decd) who lived up near Gertie was soldier’s last master and he got his name from the Deford family. Soldier’s mother was my mother but his father was Tom Creekmore (decd). My father was John Hardin and I got my name from him. My mother who was also soldier’s mother was Mary Hardin (decd).”

“I was working as a ‘lighter’ on wood boat and in Jan 1867 and I heard of Charles Deford being bad off up at [illegible] this side of Gertie and I went up to see him and stayed with him a month before he died. … He died of consumption…
[Do you know what caused his final illness?]
“Well, he worked in the shingle swamps om South Hampton [sic], Va. before the war. He hired himself out to the shinglemen, paid his owner so much for each day and was allowed to keep the balance. …
“I went to the West Indies the April following the capture of Norfolk (by the Union troops (Mar 9/62) I mean the April 1863 for it was April of the same year soldier enlisted.”

“I came back to Norfolk from the West Indies the year before Richmond fell and kept on up to Petersburg, Va. where I waited on a white regiment the 62 Ohio Vols and I was at Drury’s Bluff when the mine exploded at Petersburg (July 30/64). About a month or two after the later I came back to Norfolk and have remained around here ever since. … I remember that Pompey Deford his son who is now dead was the only child he had alive. …Florence was the youngest child soldier had by pensioner during service … Pensioner had another child, a girl, about six months after the soldier died. This child was born up near where soldier died in Pleasant Grove Twp. “

Deposition, Ferebee Cuffee, 5 August 1901
about 62 years old; employed by the US Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va.; residence and post-office address, 14 Wilson Ave., Norfolk, Va.
“I did know [Silvie Ann Deford] by sight once but have forgotten her husband’s name was Charles Deford and he was a member of my company. … I did not see the horse fall on him but I saw him when he was getting up. No one helped him. He was not bleeding & I didn’t notice how he was hurt…. [After his discharge in 1866] he lived out near the line of Princess Anne and Norfolk Counties. …”

Deposition, James Langley, 13 August 1901
about 62 or 63 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 96 Nicholson St., Norfolk, Va.
“I served as a sergeant in Co. B … … Pensioner’s husband’s name was Chas. ‘Ford’ that’s what we called him. He served in the same company with me. I never bunked nor messed with him though and I never saw him to know him until we met at Fort Monroe…. I saw him here in town [after discharge] but am under the impression he lived in the country somewhere but I won’t be sure as to that.

Deposition, Ellen Burford, 15 August 1901
about 50 or 60 years old; occupation, housekeeper; residence and post-office address, 165 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
[no new information]

Deposition, Humphrey McCoy, 23 August 1901
about 53 years old; occupation, “nothing but I formerly drove an express wagon’; residence and post-office address, 506 Princess Anne Ave. “I get my mail there because the letter carrier doesn’t come out as far as this.’
“I know Silvie Ann Deford as I have been acquainted with her since some time during my service. I knew her husband Charles Deford who was a member of my company. I never knew him before I met him during service. He got discharged the same time we all did. … I never bunked with him…. He got flung by horse in the stable yard and the horse ran off the drill field into the stable yard. This was at Fort Monroe but I can’t give the date. This was before we went to Petersburg. He fell on his butt and the jar was so great blood came out of his mouth.… I saw him about a year after my discharge. …once or twice a year. I saw him here in Norfolk.

Deposition, Mary E. Page, 7 September 1901
58 or 59 years old; residence and post-office address, 647 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Who was the father of Annie?
 A.  I don’t know.
Q. Who have you heard was?
A.  John Butts. I heard some say was the father of Annie…. I heard she was the soldier’s child about the time she came to Norfolk after his death but after some time the Butts story came around…. I don’t know where Butts is now. He was a married man … John Butts’ wife’s name was Eliza Butts. …”

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 26 September 1901
82 years old; post-office address, Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.
“I am an inmate there & I am now on furlough … [Silvie’s] husband’s name was Charlie and not John. I never tented with him as I was detailed as a cook. … I did not see him thrown from his horse but was there when he was carried into the tent on a stretcher…. I met him here once after his discharge. He was living up the county somewheres and had come to town. Yes, I just saw him on the street or at the market and talked with him only a few minutes. …”

Deposition, Silvie Ann Deford, 26 September 1901
[John Butts is not the father of my child.] … I swear positively that Anne is the soldier’s child  begotten by him when he was in a sickly condition a month or two or three before he died.… I certainly told Mr. Ward who was my attorney that soldier lived about a year after his discharge and when I told Special Examiner Tyler differently I told him wrong.  I can explain how I did it though. … Anne and Florence Deford are the soldier’s children.”

Letter from Mrs. Florence Virginia Deford Williams to U.S. Pension Office, Washington, DC, 21 March 1932
“My reason in writing you is that I am now living in Corona, L.I., N.Y. and supported by some of my relatives, but neither have I or my relatives have the means to pay my way back home and I have such a desire to get back there. I am about sixty seven years old and no one wants to hire me now but in case that I can get back home then I can get a little support, you will find enclosed the Pension paper that my Mother received but she died in 1910 [???] and was living with me when she died and buried from my house.”

Letter from Director of Pensions, Veterans Administration, Washington, DC to Mrs. Florence V.D. Williams, Corona, Long Island, New York, 12 May 1932
“Dear Madam, In response to your letter you are informed that as you are over the age of sixteen years, and the soldier’s death does not appear to have been due to his military service, there is no law under which you can have title to pension as his child.”

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*The pension application filed by this soldier’s widow includes an extraordinary amount of detail about life from slavery to freedom. Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated 1883-1889. Next week’s post will include research notes for documents dated 1901-1932.

Testimony was presented by a half-sibling and a cousin, neighbors, friends, and former tentmates. Men and women identified their parents, spoke about their experiences as freedom seekers, and gave information about the families of former enslavers. They identified officiants and attendees at marriages and funerals. There are conflicting eyewitness accounts of a gruesome accident at Fort Monroe and the medical treatment that followed. People described the comings-and-goings of soldiers (and their spouses) between Fort Monroe and their homes and declared their presence at “the birth of said children” and at “the death of said soldier.” Witnesses offered specific information about farms, dwellings, and geography.

Widow — 280,317 / 257,637, Silvie Ann Deford

Sworn Statement, Mary E. Page and Emma Pool, 7 February 1883
[Page] 45 years old; 413 Church Street, Norfolk, Virginia
[Pool] 47 years old; residence, 58 Wilaby Street, Norfolk, Virginia
“That they knew Silvia Ann Deford … they were all raised in Princess Anne County in the state of Virginia very near neighbors to the said Charles Deford and his wife Silva Ann … the said Silva Ann Miller was married to Charles Deford on or about the month of Jany 1855 as near as they can remember by the consent of they [sic] former owners … [after the war he returned to his wife in Norfolk] on or about the month of January 1866 and died on the 2d day of February 1866 … [their children were] Florence Deford born April 15th 1863 and still living and Ann Deford born February 12, 1865 still living, that said children were born in the City of Norfolk … present at the birth of said children …”

General Affidavit, Isaac Kellum, 20 June 1888
63 years old; residence, 65 Queen St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I knew [Deford] before the War of 1861 … enlisted the same day, same time in the month of December 1863 … [Deford] was badly mash [sic] by his horse …”

Claimant’s Affidavit, James Langley, 25 June 1888
52 years old; residence, Huntersville, Norfolk County, Virginia; post-office address, Norfolk
“that he was 2 Duty Sergt of Co B and was acquainted with Charles Deford … and also well acquainted with claimant, widow of said soldier … Deford was very badly injured at Camp Hampton, Va. on or about the month of March 1864 near as he can remember by his horse, throwing him wile [sic] on a charge and the arrears company pass over him … when the regiment went to Texas June 1865 Charles Deford went also but became so bad of from the injuries … he was sent to New Orleans, La. hospital … never saw Charles anymore after he was sent from Brazos Santiago, Texas to New Orleans Hospital until he came home to Norfolk about March 1866 and he saw Charles Deford in Norfolk with his wife suffering from his old injuries, and he died, and he died of the mash he sustained … him & the said claimant reside near neighbors …”
[Note: Langley’s testimony was recorded on a ‘Claimant’s Affidavit’ as opposed to a ‘General Affidavit.’ Might have been a shortage of forms or careless error. – Leslie]

Deposition, Mary E. Page, 4 December 1888
48 years old; post-office address, 90 Calvert St., Norfolk, Va.
“I was slightly acquainted with [Deford] and his wife Silvia before the war… My owners and theirs were living between 12 & 13 miles apart in Norfolk Co., Va. … I was living in Norfolk, Va. when [Deford] came out of the army. We both lived on Brewer St. near each other.… If my affidavit says I was present at the birth of [their] children this is not correct as I was not present.”

Deposition, Lewis Dawley, 4 December 1888
52 years old; occupation, truckman; post-office address, 379 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“Several were hurt by their horses while on drill. [Deford] may have been one of those but I do not now remember. Henry Simmons & Willis Flanagan I remember were hurt there by their horses while drilling. Both of these men are dead.”

Deposition, Silvie Ann Deford, 4 December 1888
51 years old; post-office address, 31 Mosely St., Norfolk, Va.
“Charles Deford and I were married as slaves long before the war in Decr or Jany. I think, yes, I know it was on Christmas Day and if you count up it will be some 10 or 11 years before he went in the army. He belonged to Jack Deford & I belonged to Thomas Gresham also of Norfolk Co., Va., Blackwater Post Office.”

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 5 December 1888
62 years old; post-office address, 65 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
“[H]is horse threw him while we were drilling, jumping the pole. He was badly injured, taken to the camp and put in his quarters … he was sent to hospital at Brazos Texas. From there he was sent to Hospital at New Orleans, La. I never saw him until March 1866 when I saw him here in Norfolk … He never was able to work after he got out of the army.”

Deposition, James Langley, 5 December 1888
52 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, Huntersville, Norfolk County, Va.
“I was 1st & 2d Duty Sergeant for same co & Regt…. I visited the [Brazos] Hospital to see him … [Deford was thrown from his horse] while we were drilling near Mill Creek, Elizabeth City Co., Va…. I did not exactly see the horse throw him but I saw them taking him up.”

Deposition, Ellen Burford, 5 December 1888
50 years old; post-office address, 83 Union St., Norfolk Co., Va.
“I knew [Silvie Deford] during the war in Norfolk Co., Va. I lived some five miles from her at that time. I knew her husband Charles Deford before I did her.… I did not see Charles Deford when he left for the army but I did see him Feby 1st 1866. I remember that date because my mother died on the 2nd of Feby the next year & that was the day in 1866 Charles Deford died. …”

Deposition, Emma Pool, 5 December 1888
45 years old; post-office address, 81 Liberty Norfolk, Va.
“[I met Silva Deford] several years before the war in Norfolk Co., Va. She belonged to Thomas Gresham. I belonged to Wm. Hardy, both in Norfolk Co., Va., both are dead…. [Charles & Silva] were not married by a minister, but jumped over a broomstick as slaves did then with the consent of their owners … I was right there with the mother Silva Ann Deford when these children came into the world. Her mother Jane Miller was also there but she is dead. I was 18 or 19 years old when the first child Florence was born. … My master’s place adjoined their master’s & my house where I lived was only a quarter of a mile from them. …. When [Deford] came out of the army his wife was living on Brewer St., Norfolk, Va. and I lived around the corner on Bank St., Norfolk, Va. … I do not know the undertaker. He was buried on Mr. Jack Deford’s place.”

Deposition, Humphrey McCoy, 22 December 1888
39 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 326 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I saw the horse throw him. I saw him fall. … blood ran out of his mouth from the jar he got falling on the ground … He was put in regimental hospital under Dr. Gray…. We were still at Hampton, Va. when he got so he could do duty & done duty until at the cowpens near Hampton, Va. … He was thrown again, it was on a Sunday evening at General Butler’s review. This time his horse ran away & threw Deford in a puddle of water & the horse fell about the same time & the co all ran over to the horse & Deford as they both lay on the ground. The men jumped our horses over them. I saw Deford on the ground & he was one set of 4s away from me on the right, so I did not have to jump over them…. I saw him next a week or so after I reached Norfolk, Va. last March 1866 & I talked with him. He was in bad health, skin & bone.”
[Note: What does “4s away from me” mean? – Leslie]

Deposition, Enos Dennis, 22 December 1888
45 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, cor Carrolll & Green sts., Portsmouth, Va.
“I came to Norfolk in March 1866 & then it was I saw him. I then went to North Carolina & afterwards I heard he was dead …”

Deposition, Ferebee Cuffee, 26 December 1888
48 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, 39 Market Square, Norfolk, Va.
“I was a member of Co B, 1st U.S.C. Cavlry … I tented with him at Hampton, Va. when he & I first went in the army…. His horse was a hard one to manage.… My home after the war was in Norfolk, Va. I don’t know what caused his death. I know nothing about his family. I have seen his wife during the war … but I know nothing of her since the war.”

Deposition, Silvie Ann Deford, 31 December 1888
57 years old; post-office address, 31 Mosely St., Norfolk, Va.
“I cannot say who the undertaker was & we had not minister at my husband’s funeral. … Mr. Jack Deford is dead, long ago, & I don’t know where any of his family are. The sons went in the rebel army & may have been killed. The Deford farm is near Great Bridge, Va. I can’t give you the names of a living soul that was at Charles Deford’s funeral. His parents are dead & my people who were there are dead.”

Widow’s Claim for Pension, Silva Anne Deford, 9 February 1889
residence and post-office address, 90 Calvary St., Norfolk County, Virginia
“appoints Belva A. Lockwood & Co. as her lawful attorney … Also personally appeared Mary Eliza Page and Emma Pool”

Deposition, Israel Armstrong, 25 May 1889
57 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 49. St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
“[Deford] was thrown from his horse… He was right in front of me & I saw the horse throw him. We charged right by him.… When we got to the stable & dismounted, he walked lame & complained of his thigh being hurt. Next morning he went to sick call for the pain in his thigh, right thigh I think … “

Deposition, Silvie Ann Deford, 25 May 1889
52 years old; post-office address, 24 Mosley St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“[When he got thrown from his horse] I was there on a visit at the time and was looking at them when the horse threw him. He got up but had hard work to walk and was not able to get up on his horse. His side hurt him and he was lame…. It was not exactly at the fort but near a creek. I was in the habit of going to see him every two weeks after he enlisted & the day he got hurt I got there in the morning. He got hurt the afternoon of the same day. I went Saturday morning and intended to return that same day but when his horse threw him I staid [sic] with him until Monday evening …”
“I have two children. Their father was Charles Deford. Florence is now in her 25th year. She was 24 years old March last year. Annie is now 23 years old, 10th March, I don’t know exactly the year she was born but think it was in 1865”
“My husband did not get hurt the year he enlisted but it was the next spring. … Florence was a few months old when her father Charles Deford enlisted. Annie was born while her father was a soldier in Texas. …
“My mother Jane Miller was with me when these children were born. She is dead. No person but mother was in the room. Emma Pool was in the house when they were born but not in my room. She was a young girl then & lived very near me & would look after things for me.

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 1 June 1889
63 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 65 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
“[Deford] was treated by our surgeon Dr. Manley. I did not see him get thrown as I was not on drill. I was the company cook and I used to carry his meals to him … it was an inside hurt he got …
“We left Fort Monroe, Va. & went to the front near Petersburg, Va. Then we went to City Point, Va. Then to Newport News, Va. where we did garrison duty & guarding prisoners. Different members of the company were detailed at different posts of guard duty about Norfolk, Va. Some were detailed at the Jail in Norfolk, Va. & some at the Headquarters & some at the Customs House. From Norfolk we went to Guinea Station, Va. then to City Point & then to Texas…. We were in Norfolk some 9 or 10 months & we were there when Richmond fell. …”

Deposition, Humphrey McCoy, 1 June 1889
39 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 326 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“Our company was detailed to all kinds of duty in Norfolk, Va. The men were guarding the Jail and Public Buildings. Different squads had different kinds of duty to do. …”
“Charles Deford’s wife Silvie Ann Deford, lived on Brewer St. when we were on duty in Norfolk, Va. and I know he was at her house and staid [sic] there whenever he could, night & day. He often got permission to stay at her house when he was off-duty. … She used to come to our camp in Fort Monroe in 1864 when we were there & I often ran into her when we were on duty there but I know nothing of her since the war.”

Deposition, Mary E. Page, 4 June 1889
49 years old; 90 Calvert St., Norfolk, Va.
“I came to Norfolk Va. the first year the war began & Mr. Green enrolled my name as contraband to get a ration in Sept … I went to live on Brewer St. right away, lived half a square from Silvie Ann Deford …. The youngest child Anna was born while her father was in service … “

Deposition, Caroline Jones, 13 June 1889
55 years old; post-office address, 419 Church St., Norfolk, Va.;
“During the war I lived three doors from [Silvie Deford] at Brewer St., Norfolk, Va. I used to sell pies at Fort Monroe, Va. & went down every day for that purpose. … I remember seeing Charles Deford, Silva Ann Deford’s husband, at her house on Brewer St. frequently with his uniform on … I remember a daughter Anna was born while the war was going on … I moved from Brewer St to the Barraud farm before Charles Deford came out of the army & I never saw him after the war. Silvie, I see very seldom.”

Deposition, Elizabeth Wilson, 13 June 1889
43 years old; occupation, cook; c/o Hon. George Borden, Norfolk, Va.
“[When Silvie and Charles Deford lived on Brewer St] I lived 4 doors down from them … I left Brewer St soon after Richmond fell … Silvie Ann had her mother living with her when Anna was born; her mother is dead….”

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Lewis Dawley, Company B


A veteran wrote a letter on stationery from the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) which suggests he was a member of the organization, possibly an officer. One of his eight brothers Joseph Dawley served in Company G, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry as a bugler. His brother Charles Dawley served in Company F, 23rd U.S. Colored Troops. Their pension application folders are currently unavailable.


Invalid — 659,142 / 810,199

Memo from Lewis Dawley to John Blackwell, Pension Office, Washington, DC, 6 August 1888
“My residence is 379 Church St., Norfolk, Va. where I have been living ever since 1869, post office Norfolk, Va. Have been a truckman ever since I came out of the war. The heat of the sun affected my eyes while in Texas so that I had to be sent to the hospital in New Orleans and the dr. that attended me there. I know not where he is. Again in 1874 I was attended by Dr. Townsend then of Norfolk but removed from here some years ago and I know not where he is. In 1878 I was attended by Dr. Wisener of this city. He has deceased.”
[Note: The memo’s written on stationery of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Virginia, Headquarters, Shaw Post, Number 5. The last four letters of “Blackwell” are struck through. — Leslie]

Memo, War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, DC, 16 January 1889
Joseph Dawley, a Bugler of Company G, 1st Regiment U.S.C. Cavy Volunteers was enrolled on the 25th day Nov 1863, at Norfolk, Va. for 3 yrs. and is reported: Rolls to Feby 29 64 present: March & April present as private; May & June absent on det[ailed] service; July & Aug 64 and to Dec 31 65 present: mustered out with Co. Feby 4 1866 at Brazos Santiago, Tex.
“His personal description is as follows: Born in Princess Anne Co. Va.: age at enrollment, 31 yrs: occupation, fisherman: eyes, hair and complexion black: height, 5 ft. 5 in.”

Sworn Statement, Major Chaplin and Isaac Kellum, 13 January 1889
[Chaplin] 63 years old; post-office address, 87 St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
[Kellum] 63 years old; post-office address, 65 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
“That they have been well and personally acquainted with the said Lewis Dawley many years previous to the ‘War of the Rebellion’ …”

Sworn Statement, John Linear and Abram Carter, 3 July 1889
[Linear] 43 years old; post-office address, 23 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
[Carter] 38 years old; post-office address, 22 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“intimately acquainted with the claimant ever since his discharge. Have lived in close proximity to him from the service. Have worked at the same place and under the same employer…. We have lived as neighbors for many years and seen and conversed with him as often as times unknown.”

Memo, Lewis Dawley, 8 February 1889
“Sir, I was born April 11, 1836. My father died long before the war when I was a small child. I hardly can remember him. My mother died in the year of January 17, 1880.”
[Note: I wonder if she’s including in the 1880 Mortality Schedule? Leslie]

Memo, Lewis Dawley to Mr. Wm. E. McLean, Commissioner, 25 February 1889
“Sir, your correspondence was received and in reply to it I was born the eleventh of April 1836. My mother died Jan. 17th 1880. My father died long before the war. Please let me hear from you.
“Yours,
“Lewis Dawley, 325 Church St., Norfolk, Va.”

General Affidavit, Edward Bray and William F. Warden, 4 April 1890
[Bray] 42 years old; Plank Road, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Warden] 41 years old; 72 Scott St., Norfolk, Va.
“That they knew Lewis Dawley from time of his return from army to present time … living close to him and seeing him every day and or two and being intimate with him to present time.”

Deposition, Abel C. Carter, 4 March 1891
about 46 years old; occupation, janitor; residence and post-office address, 22 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the clt Lewis Dawley for the past twenty years and perhaps a little longer and I have lived a neighbor to him for the past 15 years during which time I have seen him almost every day…”

Deposition, Wm. T. Warden, 4 March 1891
42 years old; “by profession a minister of the gospel;” residence and post-office address, 72 Scott St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Lewis Dawley for the past thirty years …. I was living in this city when he came home after discharge in the Fall of 1865 … I have seen him almost daily since his return home from the army. … He bears the reputation and worthily of being a first class citizen and honorable upright man. … I have never visited him at his house when he has been laid up with sore eyes. I gain my knowledge of his condition from associating with him on the streets.”

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 4 March 1891
64 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 14 Hull Street, Norfolk, Va.
“I have known Lewis Dawley continuously for more than thrity years …. I served with him … He was Commissary Sergeant of the Company and I was the Companies’ [sic] cook so that I was thrown up with him all the time.
“I visited him several times [at Post Hospital Brazos Santiago, Texas]. From said hospital he was sent to New Orleans to hospital… I found him in Norfolk on my return from the army and we have been neighbors continuously ever since and I have seen him almost daily during that time …”

Deposition, Major Chappman, 5 March 1891
64 years old; occupation, huckster; residence and post-office address, 87 St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Lewis Dawley from his childhood to the present. He was born and reared in the neighborhood where I lived and he and I enlisted in Co. B 1st USCC at the same time. … We were camped on the white sand of Brazos and most of our men took sore eyes …”

Deposition, John Lyunier, 5 March 1891
about 44 years old; occupation, shoemaker; residence and post-office address, 23 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant … intimately, continuously since the first of the year 1869. I have lived just in the immediate rear of his residence and property since that time. His property fronts on Church St and my property fronts on Newton St and our properties abut. …He and I were officers at the same church about sixteen years ago. He was our secretary and I then noticed that he had to wear glasses whenever he went to read the minutes for our meetings.”

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), Lewis Dawley, 17 March 1898
[married?] “I am. Amy Jane Dawley. Her maiden name. Amy Jane Dawley.”
[Note: His answers are confusing but I copied his statement exactly. Was Amy Jane enslaved by a person with surname Dawley? — Leslie]
[where, when, by whom] July 9, 1874, Norfolk, Va.; W.D. W. Schuremann, minister of the AME Church
[marriage record] “The record Amy Jane Dawley is the present wife.”
[previously married] Yes. Amy Dawley. Died Nov 27, 1872, on about June 1859. Princess Anne Co
[living children] “One. His name George Dawley, 12th of March 1860, Norfolk, Virginia”
post-office address, 599 Church St., Norfolk, Va.”

Deposition, Louis Dawley, 16 April 1901
66 years old; occupation, janitor or sweeper, Navy Yard; post-office address, 599 Church Street, Norfolk, Va.
“My father’s name was Joshua Dudley. He belonged to a man by the name of Robert Dudley. My mother’s name was Fannie Dawley. My mother and I belonged to Gideon Dawley. I was born in Princess Anne Co., Va. and I have resided in Princess Anne and Norfolk Cos. all my life with the exception of the period I was in the army … was discharged as a Sgt at New Orleans, La. from hospital on Oct 23, 1865.”
“The discharge [illegible] is that of Louis Dailey and the name ‘Louis’ has been altered; the spelling changed since the discharge was issued.”
“In 1866 I gave my discharge to a man by the name of Brown, a claim agent, and I never saw that discharge again until in 1896 when it came to me in an official envelope from some Department in Washington. I don’t know who altered it. My name is not Dailey. I enlisted a Dawley and answered to that name at roll call. I never heard of the name Dailey until about 16 [?] years after discharge when an officer from Washington was disbursing bounty money here in this building and he could not pay me because I did not answer to the name on his records. The bounty was afterward paid to me, however by mail, sent in care of Postmaster Long. I lost hope of receiving my discharge and secured the certificate of service which I show to you.
“I hand to you also the discharge of my brother Joseph Dawley who served in Co G, 1st USC Cavalry and who died 20 years ago, leaving no widow or minor child. He was never married.
“I had 8 brothers. Two were in the army. Joseph and Charles Dawley. Charles served in the 23rd USC Inf. and died 16 or 17 years ago. He left no widow but did leave three children. I never had any sisters. My brothers were Singer, Joshua, Sambo, Owen, Joe, Charles, Louis and Daniel. All are dead but me.

“Garrard was my Col.
Brown was Major.
McIntyre was my Capt.
[illegible] was a Lt.
Spencer was a Lt.
Alfred Lawton was Ord Sgt.
Shields, Tucker and I were sgts. James Langley, Norfolk, Va. tented with me. I was not detailed at any time. I was not in any battle. We were in a skirmish on the peninsula between here and Petersburg, when we attempted to take a provision train.
“I do not remember that my regt was at any such places such as Bermuda Hundred, Smithfield, Wilson Landing, Powhatan or Cabin Point. I never heard of these places.

“We took the boat to Fort Monroe and went to Texas. We were 21 days en route. We landed at Brazos Texas where I was taken sick and sent to Hospital at New Orleans, La. where I remained between two and three months when I was dischared for disease of eyes and head contracted in Texas. The only other injury I sustanined was back at Camp Hampton shortly after enlisted while practicing. My horse sprained my back while jumping.”

Dr. Lee, dead, has been my physician since the war. John Linyer, Abel C. Carter, were witnesses in my pension claim. … Amy J. Dawley is the name of my present wife. We were married in Norfolk, Va. in 1874 by Rev. W.D. Schumann. I had a former wife, Amy Harris, who died in 1873. My present wife never had a former husband.”

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The soldier referenced his birth date as close to the time of “Nat’s War” in Southampton County, Virginia.

 

Invalid — 985,510 / 946,450

 

General Affidavit, James R. Worrells and J.B. Sugars,  20 November 1893
[Worrells]  22 years old; post-office address, Newsoms, Southampton Co., Va.
“has known Shelley for six years … He lived about 2-1/2 miles from my resident [sic] and moved about 5 miles away and stayed two years and then moved about seven miles further …
[Sugars] 43 years old; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.

 

General Affidavit, James Robert Worrells and Peter Walter Blow, 1 April 1897
[Worrells] 25 years old; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
[Sugars] 42 years old; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
“They have known Albert Shelley the claimant … for ten years …”

 

General Affidavit, Jacob Sugars and Howell Jones, 5 April 1897
[Sugars] 64 years old; residence, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
[Jones] 55 years old; residence, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
“We were Privates in Company I … and knew Albert Shelley who was a member of Co. B …. We were stationed at Brazos Texas and Shelley was taken sick which was sometime the first of the year 1866 and he was in the barracks hospital … and while there attended by Dr. Gray. He was in the hospital, helpless for several weeks. We knew Shelly before he enlisted. He went from the same county, Southampton, Va. as us. He was a strong, healthy man before enlistment but since his discharge has been crippled and incapable of much manual labor. But for his relatives & friends he would not be able to live without becoming a charge on the public.”

 

General Affidavit, James Robert Worrell and Peter Walter Blow, 28 April 1897
[Worrell]  25 years old; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
[Blow] 42 years old; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton Co., Va.
“We have known Albert Shelly the claimant for many years … Worrell for 12 years …. Blow for 30 years … and during that time he has never been addicted to any vicious habits … In fact he is a sober, quiet, and well-behaved man. Keeps good hours and is steady and regular in all his habits.”

 

Deposition, Edmund Matthews, 4 June 1913
88 years old; occupation, farm work; post-office address, Drewryville, Va.
“I have known Albert Shelley a long time, ever since the war. … I believe that he is all of 10 years younger than I am. …”

 

Deposition, Albert Shelley, 4 June 1913
87 years old; occupation, farm work; post-office address, Drewryville, Va.
“I was born in Southampton Co., Va. on the farm of Chas. Urquhart who was my master on May 20, 1826. If anyone wrote it May 5th
“Q.  How do you know that you were born on May 20, 1826?
A.  After the war my old master gave me my age. He had it on a long book, a list of all the slaves he owned. He gave it to me on a strip and I had it put on my Bible bur my Bible got burned when my house was burned down. … I know that I am over 80 years old. I was five years old in Nat’s War” that was 1830 or 1835
“Q. What has become of your master’s record?
A.  I don’t know. He, his wife, and all of his sons are dead.
Q.  Who knows about how old you are?
A.  All the old people I knew, mighty near all of them, are dead.  I don’t know of but one and he is Hartwell Brown. He lived in Norfolk Co. somewhere 9 or 10 years ago but I have no idea where he can be found. He was about my age, belonged to Mr. Urquhart … the last I heard from him he lived in Princess Anne Co., Va.

Q.  Are there not some old people in this county somewhere who are sure about your age?
A.  …Old man Edmund Massey, he is about my age. He has known me for some years. There is Peter Daughtry since I think of it. He ought to know more about my age than anyone else living. He has known me from a boy and is a little younger than I am. … My master has some grandchildren but I don’t know their names or where they live. I have been anxious to find some of them.

“I was not married til the second year after the war. Then I married Anna Marie Blow who is now living with me. We were married in Southampton Co. by ——- forget the preacher’s name. She was never married before.”

 

Deposition, Peter Doughtry, 4 June 1913
near 70 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Drewryville, Va.
“I have known Albert Shelley near my whole life. … He is a full piece older than I am….. I don’t know my own age but I don’t think I am less than 70.  In 1866 I was registered for 21. I think that it was in 1866”

 

Deposition, Mrs. Rebecca M. Dillard, 19 June 1913
72 years old; no occupation; post-office, Waverly, Va.
“Albert Shelley belonged to my father Chas. Urquhart of Southampton Co. All my father’s records relative to his slaves have been lost or destroyed. I don’t know the exact age of Albert Shelley. I thought that he was between 65 and 70 but I now recall that he was a little older than I am. He was between my age and a brother two years older. He, Albert Shelley is now about 73 years of age. I don’t know the month of his birth….He is not 87. He is mistaken if he thinks he is. I was born in 1841 and he was probably born in 1840. I am sure that he was not born in 1826  …”

 

Questionnaire (Form 3-389), Albert Shelley, 24 April 1915
[birth place/birth date] May 20, 1826
[post-office at enlistment] Hampton, Va.
[married] Anna Maria Shelley, Anna Maria Black
[when, where, by whom] don’t know date, by Chas. Urquhart, Southampton Co., Va.
[record] no
[previously married] no
[wife living] yes, living with her
[names, birthdates of children] Rosa Shelley (dead), Robert Shelley (dead), Martha Ann Shelley (dead), Harry Shelley (dead), Norfleet Shelley (dead), Anna Shelley (living near Anna Worrell), Louvenia Shelley (living near Louvenia Howell), Susanna Shelley (living near Susanna Eppes), Albert Shelley, Jr. (living), Edward Shelley (living) — dates of birth lost owing to family bible being burned”

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These applications were prosecuted by W.R. Drury, an attorney in Norfolk, Virginia. There seemed to be a pattern of shady dealings viz statements taken in this attorney’s office for a number of pensioners in 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry. Statements on behalf of the soldier and his widow came from childhood friends, comrades-in-arms, and the daughter of the former slaveowner. 

Invalid — 804,931 / 1,057,118
Widow — 584,509 / 408,908, Maria Portlock

General Affidavit, Nelson Portlock, 5 April 1892
50 years old; residence, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“[T]hat he was sent to Texas and while at work unloading a vessel laden with lumber he was overstrained and hurt by heavy lifting. This occurred in 1865. He couldn’t remember dates. He is an unlettered man and cannot read or write, that he is confident his injury is permanent and was not incurred from vicious habits.”

Deposition, Lewis Walke, 16 July 1892
65 years old; occupation, farming; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have known the clt Nelson Portlock all his life. We have always lived within a half mile of each other — were owned before the war on adjoining plantations near where we now live and have lived continuously since discharge. We enlisted at the same time ….”

Deposition, Emmerson Cuffee, 1 August 1892
66 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have known clt Nelson Portlock since childhood. He was reared in the immediate neighborhood prior to the late war and we served together…. He in Co. B, and I in Co. F. and we have been neighbors continuously since discharge …”

Deposition, Alexander Hodges, 15 June 1893
about 75 years old; occupation, rag gatherer;   7th St. cor Mahone Ave., Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I served on the U.S.S. Georgia and Port Royal also Colorado … I do not know Nelson Portlock. I know Louise Walke, John Coy, and Emmerson Cuffee. Yes, I have been in W.R. Drury’s office in Norfolk, Va.. .I do not know how my name came to be on the pension papers of Nelson Portlock because I do not know him ….”

Deposition, John Coy,16 June 1893
66 years old; occupation, farming; post-office address, Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I served in Co B., 1st U.S.C. Cavlry. I have known Nelson Portlock since I was a small boy.”

Deposition, Racho Jackson, 17 June 1893
56 or 57 years old; post-office address, 45 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“My name is John H. Brown alias Racho Jackson…. I have seen the signature Racho Jackson on the application of Nelson Portlock executed Sept 12, 1892 and it is my signature but I do not now have any recollection of putting it there or any of the circumstances of that event. I have no personal knowledge of Nelson Portlock or John Coy, or Louise Walke.”

General Affidavit, L.L. Sawyer, M.D., 20 April 1894
68 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“… I attended Nelson Portlock, the husband of Maria Portlock, during his last illness and know that he died July 23, 1895 …”

General Affidavit, Mary Elizabeth Armstrong, 20 April 1894 
67 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I knew them both from birth. They both belonged to my grandfather’s estate and then to his children. My mother was one of them. They have lived near me all the time up to his death on July 25, 1893. He left one child under 16 years of age. She has no means of support other than her own labor….”

General Affidavit, Albert McCoy, 20 April 1894
54 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have known Nelson Portlock and his widow Maria since they were children …  The child was born Sept. 19, 1880 … I lived near them from the time they went together as man & wife and until Nelson died. I saw the child in a few weeks of birth …”

General Affidavit, Mary Corprew, 17 September 1894
60 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have lived near and been acquainted with Maria Portlock for twenty-five years or more and was with her when her son Willie Portlock and which is the only child Nelson left at his death under 16 years … I have always lived near her and am well acquainted with all of her children … I nursed Maria at the birth of Willie Portlock, during her sickness, was with her the most of the time, and know that the child was born Sept. 19, 1880….”

General Affidavit, Susanna Blankenship, 17 September 1894
45 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have known Maria Portlock for fifteen years or more and have always lived near her and went to see her soon after the child claimed for, Willie Portlock, was born … I also visited her several times after the child was born …”

General Affidavit, W.N. Williamson and Alexander Payne, 26 September 1894
[Williamson] 34 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Payne] 30 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“We are well acquainted with Marie Portlock … we have been living near her for 10 or 15 years and see and talk with her as often as once or twice a week … She is living in a rented house, has no income at all other than her own daily labor.”

General Affidavit, Washington Nichols and Louis Walke, 27 March 1895
[Nichols] 54 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Walke] 68 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“We hereby state that we were in the army with Nelson Portlock … and think that it was the result of marching …”

Deposition, Maria Portlock, 29 June 1895
52 years old; occupation, housekeeping; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.

Deposition, Rosalie Nichols, 11 February 1896
23 years old; occupation, housegirl; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have known the pensioner Maria Portlock all my life and my father Wash Portlock and I went with her to Great Bridge, Va. the 1st day and at the time she drew her first pension money as his widow ….”

Deposition, Washington Nichols, 11 February 1896
about 54 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address,   Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have known the pensioner Maria Portlock since my earliest recollection   and I was present at Great Bridge post-office Va. when she received her first pension money as the widow of Nelson Portlock …”

Deposition, J.J. Reynolds, 11 February 1896
40 years old; occupation, merchant;
“I know the pensioner Maria Portlock and I have known her the past six or seven years. I think I prepared nearly all of the affidavits for use in her pension claim and they were all executed before me in my character as Notary Public.”

Deposition, Maria Portlock, 12 March 1901
65 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I know my said husband was born in Churchland. “Nat” Portlock was his owner and Nat Portlock‘s sister Barbara Wilson was my owner. My said husband’s father’s name was Aaron McCoy and his mother’s name was Sue Portlock and the soldier was never known by any other name than Nelson Portlock. We were born and raised near Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va. and at that place we resided he died and I have since resided in Great Bridge, Va.

“He and I were married by consent, three or four years before the war began. I had two children by the soldier before he enlisted. He enlisted in the army here at Norfolk, Va. and served 3 years …. I visited him in camp at Fort Monroe ….”

“I have 4 children living. My oldest son James lives with me. The other three reside in the same neighborhood.  I have cooked and washed since the death of my husband and my son James has contributed to my support. My said husband died in the summer of 1893 …. Dr. Sawyer was his physician.

“Riddick who had a store at Great Bridge did my writing and he took $35 out of my first check for his services. Riddick removed to Norfolk in Dec 1900. George Hall, Great Bridge, Va. has executed my vouchers. I trade at Hall & Hall’s store. My son William for whom I draw pension resides with me. He is now 18 years old.”

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Killed in action six months after his enlistment? Confirmed. Born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland? Confirmed. A young widow with two children? Maybe.  

 

Widow — 105,232 / 99,305, Mary E. Milburn
Minor – 406,701 / —– , Gustavus Milburn 

Note: Mary’s claim gave the soldier’s name as “Charles Milburn” which was the name under which he enlisted; Gustavus made a claim several years later and reported the soldier’s name was “Sandy Milburn.” Two pension index cards were created but on pension application folder. Please see the comments section which explains how the discrepancy was resolved — Leslie.]

 

Sworn Statement, Mary E. Milburn, [undated]
“[T]here was one child, born to her by her husband, Charles A. Milburn during her marriage that was living at the time of her husband’s death, to wit Ann Rebecca Milburn who was born about 1st December 1859, and now resides in the City of Norfolk, State of Virginia; and that after her husband’s death, to wit, on the ___ day of June A.D. 1865 she had by him another child, Frederick Abraham, now living with her in Norfolk.”

 

Widow’s Claim for Pension, Mary E. Milburn, 8 August 1865
22 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“That her maiden name was Mary E. Mason and that she was married to said Charles A. Milburn on or about the 25th day of December 1857, at Great Mills, in the County of St. Marys and State of Virginia [sic] …”
“Also personally appeared before me Charles E. Raboteau [sp?] and Alice Tarlton, residents of Norfolk City & County . .”
[Note: St. Mary’s County is in Maryland — not Virginia — Leslie]

 

Department of the Interior, Pension Office (Form 14), 15 November 1865
“Were there two Milburns in Co. B?”

 

Widow’s Claim for Pension, Mary E. Milburn, 16 July 1866
23 years old; residence, Norfolk, Virginia … “That she was married to Charles A. Milburn on or about the 25th day of December 1858, at Great Mills in the County of St. Mary’s in the State of Maryland by Rev. Father McMullen and that she knows of no record evidence of said marriage and believes that none is in existence. …. [her husband] died at or near Newport News in the State of Virginia [in] December 1864, while in the discharge of his duty, at the hands of armed rebels by musket shots (shot while on guard) … Also personally appeared before me Alice Tarlton and Thomas H. Milburn, residents of the City of Norfolk … and that the said Alice was an eye-witness of the marriage ceremony of the applicant and Chas. A. Milburn & said Thomas knew that they cohabited as man and wife about six years.”

 

Widow’s Claim for Pension, Mary E. Milburn, 5 April 1867
25 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Box 270, Norfolk, Va. … “she was married to said Chas. Alex. Milburn on or about the 25th day of December 1859 at Allston’s Plantation, Md in [State of Maryland] by Father McMullen … She further declares that said Chas. Alexr Milburn her husband, died in the service of the United States on [the] James River … on or about the 11th day of December 1864 of gunshot wounds, received on a tugboat in charge of Capt. Sawtell, sent to procure rock for paving … [her children with her husband who were under 16 years old at the time of his death] Ellen Ann Rebecca born 25th December 1860 … Frederick Abraham born 12 June 1865″

 

Sworn Statement, Jane Jones & Rosa Turner, 5 August 1867
[Jones] residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va. and [Turner] residence, City of Norfolk, Va. … “they were well acquainted with Mary E. Milburn and her late husband Chas. Alexander Milburn … having known them for the space of twenty years, and that they were present and eye-witnesses of the birth of Ellen Ann Rebecca [a child of the couple] which occurred at Allston’s Plantation in the County of St. Mary’s and State of Maryland on the 25th day of Dec 1859. They further swear that there is no record, public or private, of the birth of this child, nor was there a physician present …”

 

Sworn Statement, Jane Jones & Rosa Turner, 5 August 1867
[Jones] residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va. and [Turner] residence, City of Norfolk, Va. … “they  were well acquainted with Mary E. Milburn having known her for the space of twenty years … they were present at and eye-witnesses at the birth of Frederick Abraham … which occurred on the 12th day of June 1865 at Norfolk in the County of Norfolk. They further swear that there is no record, public or private, of the birth of this child, nor was there a physician present …”

 

Claim for Widow’s Pension With Minor Children, Mary E. Milburn, 21 August 1867
residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Box 270 Norfolk, Va. … “Charles Milburn was mustered as a Private on 22 February 1864 … killed in action 6 December 1864 … Charles A. Milburn and Mary E. Mason were married 25 December 1858 at St. Mary’s, Maryland shown by testimony of a person who was present and evidence of cohabitation … [their children] Ellen Ann Rebecca born 25 December 1859 who will be 16 years old 24 December 1875 [and] Frederick Abraham born June 1865 who will be 16 years old 11 June 1881 … ”

 

General Affidavit, Charles Tarlton, 31 March 1890
75 years old; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
“I knew Sandy Milburn long before the war. He married my daughter and had only one child by her and it was Augustus. …. This is his son and the only one and I have been knowing him all of my lifetime.”

 

Claimant’s Statement, Gustavus Milburn, 11 March 1891
residence, Hampton, Va.; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
“That Sandy Milburn, claimant’s father … was five feet six inches in height, weighed about 180 lbs., was of heavy frame, large face, clean shaved, brown-black color, black eyes, short black hair, age at time of enlistment 25 years; by occupation a farm laborer; was born in St. Mary’s Co., Md. and that he was owned by a widow named Bower [sp?] and that he enlisted at Port Smith [sic], Va. and that he was shot on James River, Va. in the year 1865.”

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The soldier’s pension application was hindered when his attorney went out of business and left the state with documents and paperwork.  Two cousins also enlisted: Humphrey McCoy served in the 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry, Company B and Moses McCoy served in 36th U.S. Colored Troops.  Peter’s widow had “three acres and a hut near Great Bridge, Norfolk County, Virginia. The couple’s former slaveowner supported the widow’s claim.

 

Invalid — 879, 471 / 688,044
Widow — 811,977 / 607,397, Lucinda McCoy

 

Deposition, Humphrey McCoy, 2 November 1891
44 years old; residence, 70 Willoughby St., Norfolk, Va.; occupation, huckster …”I have known [the claimant] all my life …”

 

Deposition (Form 3-446), Nelson Portlock, 2 November 1891
51 years old; post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va. “[The claimant and I] served together and have been neighbors continuously since our discharge from service…”

 

Deposition, Peter McCoy, 2 November 1891
56 years old; post-office address, Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.

 

Deposition, Emmerson Cuffee, 19 May 1893
about 68 years old; post-office address, Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.; occupation, farmer … “I know Peter McCoy. I been knowing since before the war … ”

 

Deposition, Jeffrey Cousins [Carson?], 20 May 1893
about 53 years old; post-office address, Berkley, Va.; occupation, farmer … “I have been acquainted with [Peter McCoy] ever since I have been big enough to know anything ….”

 

Deposition, Peter McCoy, 22 May 1893
about 58 years old; post-office address, Berkley, Va.; occupation, farmer …

 

General Affidavit, Peter McCoy, 24 June 1895
residence, Berkley, Norfolk County, Virginia … “That he cannot return his old certificate and voucher because he deposited them with one C.B. Roper, a notary public and alleged pension atty. of 31 Bank St., Norfolk, Va., about 2 years ago for the purpose of having his claim completed, that the said C.B. Roper has failed in business and left this state taking with him all his books and papers.”

 

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), Peter McCoy, 4 June 1898
[married] Lucinda McCoy, maiden name Lucinda McCoy
[when, where, by whom] married before the war by my owner
[previously married] never married before
[living children] Mary born 1863; Frances born 1866; Sarah born 1868; Martha born 1870; Josephine born 1874; Denorah born 1877. India born 1880; Peter Thomas born 1882; Estell born 1884.

 

Deposition, Peter McCoy, 11 October 1901
65 years old; residence, near Great Bridge, Norfolk County, Va…” I was born a slave; was owned by William H. Ellis. My father was Daniel McCoy, and it was from him that I took my name…I was never on detached service … I gave my discharge to Mr. Brown when I was trying to get a bounty and it was never returned to me. I got the bounty all right but I cannot recollect what the amount was…prior to enlistment was a farm laborer.

“I was in the following engagements: Chicihomie [sic], Drury Bluff, Petersburg. We had only one man killed out of my company and he was killed at Chickihominie [sic], but I cannot recollect his name.

Jeffrey Garrard was my Colonel;  Brown was our Lt.; Col. Sypes was our Major; Archie McIntosh was my Captain; Spencer was my 1st Lt.; LaBode was my 2d Lt.

Albert Long was our 1st Ord., Sgt., but he was succeeded by John Sales.
James Pool, Enos Dennis were my bunk and messmates in service.

Milo B. Stevens was my attorney in Washington, but Mr. Brown did my writing from here. Brown charged me very little for what he did — a few cents each time he wrote a paper. He is now dead. Stevens got ten dollars when the claim was allowed.

Enos Dennis and Humphrey McCoy were my witnesses. They charged me nothing. I was also a witness for them. I never got over or under $8 pension … George Hall of Great Bridge executes my vouchers. He charges me fifty cents for each voucher executed. He always swears me. I have never pawned my pension papers.

“I have been married only once; married Lucinda McCoy so her marriage to me did not change her name. We were married near Great Bridge, Va. Neither of us had been previously married and she is still living with me. We have only one child under 16 years of age, viz. Estelle McCoy and she is now 13 years of age.”

 

Sworn Statement, Wm. H. Etheredge, 23 July 1904
“To Whom It May Concern — I hereby certify that Lucinda McCoy the bearer of this note is the widow of Peter McCoy (dec’d). They came together as man and wife according to a customer in the state then followed. I can’t say positively when this took place but to the best of my knowledge, it was in the fall of the year 1861 or /62. Peter went into the Northern Army sometime during the war, got through safe and returned home at the end of the war and lived together as man and wife up to his death in May 1904. Peter the husband of Lucinda was a slave and belonged to the undersigned.”

 

Sworn Statement, E. Lumford, Henry Sivils, Casper Tillery,  4 November 1904
[Lumford, 64 years old], [Sivils, 63 years old], [Tillery, 46 years old] … “E. Lumford knows of the death of Peter McCoy only by the statements of neighbors that were present at the funeral & saw him buried. Henry Sivils knows of his death by the reason of he was in the immediate neighborhood at the time of his death, was attending John McCoy, a cousin of Peter McCoy during his last sickness. Casper Tillery knows of the death of Peter McCoy from the fact he was present when he died at twelve minutes to five 3rd day of May 1904. He was at the funeral & saw him buried. Each of the above witnesses certifies that they have been knowing Lucinda McCoy since they were children & have been living in the immediate neighborhood with each other all of their lives …”

 

Sworn Statement, Edmond Clemens & George Thornton, 25 July 1905
[Clemens, 76 years old], [Thornton, 29 years old]; residence [for both], Great Bridge, Virginia … “That they lived and have lived for more than 25 years in immediate neighborhood with Lucinda McCoy widow of Peter McCoy deceased; That Lucinda McCoy has a life interest in about three acres of land and a hut near Great Bridge in Norfolk County, Virginia left by her husband at his death which occurred on the 3rd day of May 1904. Value of said land and hut being less than $200.00 and her estate of less value than $25.00. That said valuations of real estate at $200.00 and personal estate at $25.00 are the highest. That said real and personal is the only property she possesses and has not disposed of any property since her husband’s death May 3rd 1904. That Peter McCoy was a poor sickly man and left his wife at his death in very humble, if not really needy, claimant compelled to work daily for her support.”

 

Sworn Statement, Lucinda McCoy, 25 July 1905
post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va. … “That she has a life interest in three acres of land and a hut near Great Bridge, Norfolk County, Virginia valued at about $200.00 and personal property at same place worth about $5.00 … [she has not] encumbered the said land. That she has no bonds, stocks or other valuables or property that as above. That she is a poor woman without any income save her daily labor and asks that this claim may be made special. That her husband’s funeral and sickness before death caused expenses which she worked out and paid … ”

 

Sworn Statement, Leroy W. Nicholas, Commissioner of Revenue, Second District of Norfolk County, Virginia, 28 March 1906
“… have made a careful examination of said lists for the years 1904 and 1905 and find that there is assessed against
Peter McCoy … personal property … 1904 … $8.00
Peter McCoy … real estate … 1905 … $260.00
Peter McCoy … personal property …1905 … $dead
Peter McCoy … real estate … 1905 … $dead
Lucinda McCoy … personal property … 1904 and 1905 … $nothing
Lucinda McCoy … real estate … 1904 and 1905 … $nothing

Lucinda McCoy widow of Peter McCoy has nothing additionally assessed with her name for year 1905 over and above the estate standing in the name of Peter McCoy in the year 1904”

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