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Archive for the ‘Company F’ Category

The soldier sustained serious injury to his right side while in battle at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

Invalid — 894, 309 / 785,267

Sworn Statement, Oscar Fields, 26 October 1891
“That in the spring of the year Eighteen hundred and sixty-five at Harpers Ferry, Virginia in the line of his duty, and while engaged in close quarters fighting the enemy deponent fell and several of his comrades fell on top of him and he got crushed which caused said injury to said right side”

U.S. Pension Agency (Form 3-405), New York, New York, 2 May 1899
“I hereby report that the name of Oscar Fields … has been dropped because of reported death Feb 98”

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Well after the Civil War, this veteran’s right foot was amputated at the National Soldiers Home hospital. Until that time, he had worked as a brick mason, an occupation that requires advanced mathematical skills and knowledge of building and construction. Those who vouched for him included former employees, neighbors, comrades in arms, and fellow residents of the National Soldiers Home.

Invalid — 985,606 / 990,988

Declaration for Invalid Pension, Beverly West, 29 October 1890
64 years old; residence, Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, 22 Cleaveland St., Norfolk, Virginia
“Also personally appeared Charles Bell residing at Norfolk and Cornelius Gray residing at Norfolk, Va. … their acquaintance with him for 27 and 27 years respectively”

Claimant’s Affidavit, Beverly West, 8 July 1891
60 years old; post-office address, Norfolk, Va. General Delivery
“was honorably discharged as Orderly Sargt”

Deposition, Beverly West, 14 June 1893
61 years old; occupation, brick mason; residence, 9 Hampton Court, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“Mr. W.R. Drury was the first man who ever did any writing for me in a pension claim. … I did know Charles Bell. He is dead. I do not know Columbus Grey. I never had either of those men as a witness according to my recollection no. I was a witness for Charles Bell. I do not know B.A. Richardson, Jr., Notary Public … I have also had Mrs. Lockwood as my attorney; I gave her a power of attorney after Drury dropped the case.”

Deposition, Cornelius Grey, 3 July 1893
about 51 years old; occupation, oyster opener; residence, 122 Princess Anne Ave., Norfolk, Va.
“I know Beverly West very well”

Declaration for Invalid Pension, Beverly West, 13 January 1898
65 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, No. 9 Hampton Court, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“Also personally appeared Phillip Bagwell residing at No. 3 North Street, Huntersville, Norfolk County, Virginia and Frank Leary residing at 59 Scot St., Norfolk, Va. …. their acquaintance with him for 25 years and 35 years, respectively”

General Affidavit, Beverly West, 20 February 1902
69 years old; residence, National Soldiers Home, Va.; post-office address, National Soldiers Home, Va.
“I lost my right foot by amputation in February 1899. It was amputated in the Hospital National Soldiers Home, Va. … Do not know what caused the sores on the toes which resulted in amputation of the foot.”

General Affidavit, George Washington and Isaac Reddick, 20 February 1902
[Washington] 80 years; residence, National Soldiers Home, Virginia;
[Reddick] 58 years old; residence, National Soldiers Home, Virginia;
“We have each known the claimant, Beverly West, the past 30 years, and the past 25 years respectively. We all worked together at one time in Norfolk, Va. …. we have known him to be a sober, temperate, upright, & peaceable man … He was a brick mason for many years in Norfolk, Va. during which time we worked for him & he was always complaining about his right foot & often had to walk with a stick & had great trouble in getting on the scaffold”
“He was always known where he lived in Norfolk, Va. as an industrious, hard-working and sober, temperate man, as hundreds can well testify to.”

Declaration for Pension, Beverly West, 9 March 1907
“Height, 5 feet 10 inches; complexion, bacon color; color of eyes, black; color of hair, black; that his occupation was brick mason; that he was born Sept. 1832 at Norfolk, Va.
“That his several places of residence since leaving the service have been as follows: Norfolk, Va. and Nat. Sol. Home, Va.
“Also personally appeared G. Isay, residing in Nat. Sol. Home, Va. and Frank Burghardt, residing in Nat. Sol. Home, Va. … their acquaintance with him of 4 years and 4 years respectively”

Southern Branch, National Home for D.V.S., 8 May 1907
“[Beverly West] died at Southern Branch on the 8 day of May, 1907
Cause of death, Septicoemia
Social condition, Widower
[next of kin] Sister in law, Mrs. Adaline West, No. 11 Evaline St., Norfolk, Va.”

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A widow whose child died in service was at increased risk of suffering destitution. During his lifetime, this young man raised produce on rented land and worked as an oysterman to support his entire family. The family lived in Norfolk County near Craney Island.

Mother — 165,978 / 207,170, Lydia Deans

Father, Mother, or Orphan Brother’s Application for Army Pension, Lydia Deans, 26 September 1868
55 years old; residence, Norfolk County, Virginia
“his father is dead … my domicile or place of abode is on the place of William Dean
“Also personally appeared John Pitt and George Elliott residents of the County of Norfolk in the State of Va “

Sworn Statement, Lydia Deans, 16 May 1869
“That her son the said Jasper Deans died at Brazos Santiago Texas the 9th of August 1865: that he left no widow, child, or children. That her husband Jasper Deans died in April 1868, but that for at least seven years before his death he was hardly able to work … That during the lifetime of her son, he rented about ten acres of land with the proceeds of which and his earnings as an oysterman he supported the entire family. That she rents the same land now but she can barely make a living.”
“At the same time also appeared Dempsey Elliott and William Elliott … That they saw him buy and take home to his mother articles of food about every Saturday enough to last for a week…. They know this for having a lived all their lives within a hundred yards of Lydia Deans and family.”

Sworn Statement, Lydia Dean, 20 April 1872
“She received twelve dolls [sic] from her son while the regiment was encamped at Norfolk and two letters from her son one containing ten dolls [sic] and the other seventeen dolls: that before the regiment was sent to Texas while it was at Norfolk her son not having any money gave her a silver watch telling her to dispose of it and use the money for herself and husband: that she and her husband Jasper Dean (sometimes called Jasper Hopper) rented a piece of land from Wm. Dean of Norfolk County, Va. and paying from $40 to $100 per year rent for it: that Wm. Dean is dead and the best evidence she can furnish is that of the receipts given her for said payments: that when her son Jasper was in the army she had to hire labor to work for her, her husband being unable to perform much work: that she is unable to secure any evidence more than the affidavits of Dempsey Elliott and Daniel Wright as to the earnings of her son as he worked on the farm a considerable portion of the time and the produce raised was appropriated for rent and in support of the family: no separate account being kept of her son’s earnings [illegible] and her husband (what he was able to do) all worked together: that she desires her Pension Certificate and all other communications sent to her at Freedmen’s Bank, Norfolk, Va.”

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, Branch Office of Claim Division, No. 14 Main Street — in Freedmen’s Bank, Norfolk, Va. 20 April 1872
“I hereby certify to a careful examination this day in the pension claim [of Lydia Deans] the claimant and her identifying witnesses appearing before me & being examined separately & apart from each other.
“From the examination, & from the appearance of the parties, and from having already paid the claimant the bounty & back pay one by reason of the service of Jasper Deans … I am satisfied of her identity as the mother of the said soldier on whom she seems to have been dependent for her support.”
[Note: The letter is on government stationery and the agent’s signature is illegible — Leslie]

Claimant’s Testimony, Lydia Deans, 8 January 1883
Post-office address, Churchland, Norfolk County, Virginia
“In the year 1865 she lived in Western Branch Township near Craney Island, Norfolk Co., Va. and her P.O. address was Portsmouth, Va. and she since that date continuously resided in Western Branch District, Norfolk Co., Va. but a new P.O. has been established 2 1/2 miles from her called Churchland: her children in the year 1865 were John Deans, Elizabeth Copeland, Sandy Deans, and Lucy Ann Deans, aged then 30, 28, 22 and 17 years, respectively and these were the only members of her family living at that date except Jasper Deans her husband who died shortly after her son did.”

Claimant’s Testimony, Lydia Deans, 27 January 1883
“That after the death of her said son she has been supported by her own labor and assistance from her other children John Deans, Sandy Deans, Elizabeth Copeland, and Lucy Ann Wright.
“This assistance was given from time to time as I needed it and I now live and for ten years have resided with one of my children viz Elizabeth Copeland.”


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The soldier was shot and killed by his tentmate in a dispute of undetermined cause. His father was enslaved; his mother was freeborn. His mother’s pension benefit was jeopardized by conflicting statements about her personal relationships and living arrangements.

Mother — 154,600 / 150,931, Millie Smith

Exhibit E, Martha Ann Pierce, 19 January 1874
52 years old; residence, Suffolk, Nansemond Co., Va.
“well and intimately acquainted with Millie Smith … has known her for the last 18 years … Ned Pierce died of the smallpox a short time after the assassination of President Lincoln”

Exhibit E, Allen Pierce, 19 January 1874
45 years old; residence, Suffolk, Nansemond Co., Va.
“Well and intimately acquainted with Millie Smith, mother of Fred Smith … that after the death of her first husband Dempsey Smith, she took up with affiant’s brother Ned Pierce and they lived together as husband and wife until after the fall of Richmond”

Exhibit F, Sophia Shears, 21 January 1874
45 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“well acquainted with Millie Smith … that she has known her for the past 2 1/2 years”

Exhibit [?], Edward Baptiste, 9 February 1874
30 years old; a private in Company F, 1st USCC
“Well and intimately acquainted with Willis Corwell and Frederick Smith”

Exhibit D, James Brooks, 9 February 1874
27 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“well and intimately acquainted with Willis Corwell and Frederick Smith”

Sworn Statement, Jupiter White, 2 July 1874
“says that for ten or eleven years he has personally known Millie Smith … lived near Millie Smith seeing her two or three times a week since his acquaintance with her.”

Sworn Statement, Mary Keeling and Irene Porter, 2 July 1874
“that she is a resident of the city of Norfolk and for thirteen years she has personally known Millie Smith … that for four years she has lived on the same street with Millie Smith directly opposite the house of said Millie Smith and sees her every day and has seen her daily for the past four years having visited her often … prior to living on the same street with said Millie Smith affiant lived near her in Norfolk City, Va. and saw her and her family often, two or three times a week.”
“Also at the same time and place, personally came, Irene Porter … says for twenty years she has personally known [claimant].”

Exhibit A, Millie Smith, 19 November 1874
about 50 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“That she was born and raised in Suffolk, that her mother was a freeborn woman and she was also freeborn. That she was never married in her life. That when she was about eighteen or twenty years of age, a collored [sic] man by the name of Dempsey Smith a slave and belonging to Ben Smith got with her and from connection with him Frederick Smith was born … That about ten or twelve years after the said Frederick was born she had another child by the same man named Frank Smith. That the said Dempsey Smith was soon after sold and taken away and that she never saw him again. That about fifteen years ago she had a third child, a daughter, by a man named Isaiah Smith which child she named Angeline Smith. That said Isaiah Smith was sold and taken away soon after the said Angeline was born. That afterwards she had two other children who died infants and that she is unable to tell who their father or fathers were. … That there are now living with her two children belonging to her daughter Angeline and about eleven years of age named Tom Smith and about five years of age named Alice Smith.”

Exhibit B, Elizabeth Webb, 20 November 1874
about 50 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“that she has been acquainted with Millie Smith … and lived in the same house with her for the last two and one half years; that since the affiant and has lived in the same house with claimant there has been a man living with her (claimant) by the name of Patrick Allen, that she said Allen still lives with her; that she has been informed by claimant that she has two small children, one named Tom and one named Alice and that the said Patrick Allen was the father of the child Alice; that she never knew anything about claimant’s older children.”

Exhibit C, Sophia Shears, 20 November 1874
about 40 years old; residence Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“has been acquainted with Millie Smith … for four years last past. …. Millie Smith informed affiant tht the said Patrick was the father of the girl Alice but that she never knew who was the father of Tom; that she thinks Tom is about ten years old and Alice about five or six … she did not know very much about claimant before she moved in her house that she lives in now.”

Exhibit D, James E. Fuller, 24 November 1874
30 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“has been acquainted with Millie Smith … since 1863; that he was Quartermaster Sergt. of the 1st Regt. U.S.C.C.; that he was acquainted with Frederick Smith who was also a private in said Regt., Co. F. … he has known claimant ever since his return from the service … That claimant is now and has been for the last five or six years living … cohabiting with a man by the name of Patrick Allen; that she has two small children one a boy (he thinks) seven or eight years of age and a little girl about three or four years of age”

Exhibit E, Mary Keeling, 20 November 1874
about 40 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“she has been acquainted with Millie Smith … for five or six years before the War of 1861; that when she first knew claimant she lived in Norfolk, Va. on FenChurch St and the affiant lived on Main St., Norfolk, Va. at the same time. That claimant at that time had three small children. The oldest a boy called Frederick Smith then about twelve or fourteen years of age. Another boy called Frank Smith about five or six years old and a girl Angeline Smith about two or three years old. That the father of the children was Frank Smith who was married to claimant after the fashion of colored people in those days. … That there is a man by the name of Patrick Allen who is boarding with claimant who has been with her for the last three or four years … [Allen] does not pay claimant anything for his board”

Exhibit F, Irene Porter, 20 November 1874
about 35 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“she has been acquainted with Millie Smith … for twenty-five last past; that she knew her as the mother of Frederick Smith who was killed while in the U.S. Service; that she has known [her] since the War, lives about two miles from her”

Deposition, Jane Custis, 11 September 1900
42 years old; occupation, washing and ironing; post-office address, 78 James Street., Norfolk, Va.
“I am the widow of Geo. Custis. … I have known Millie Smith 21 years. She lived with my father the late Patrick Allen and had one child by him, one is all I know of. … He died about 14 years ago.”
“She has always been called Millie Smith since I have known her, never was called Millie Allen. I don’t know when they commenced living together.”

Deposition, Josephine Mosely, 11 September 1900
58 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 266 St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
“After the death of [Millie Smith’s son] she remarried here in Norfolk to one Parrott Allen now dead. She had two children by him, and after his death had another one by another man but was not married to said man. She is now the widow of said Allen.”

Deposition, Angeline Mosely, 13 September 1900
about 45 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 226 St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
“I am the wife of Joe Mosely and the daughter of Millie Smith … The soldier’s father and mine … was sold away before the war. My mother’s next husband was Ned Pierce who died during the war, before the soldier was killed. At the time he was killed, she had no husband.”

Deposition, Millie Smith, 15 September 1900
“I don’t know my age”; post-office address, 226 St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
“I was freeborn near Suffolk, Va. My father was named _______ Smith and my mother ‘Letita’ Smith. My husband was Jim Smith. He died just before the war.
“The soldier … was my first child. His father was Dempsey Smith, he was never my husband.
“Jim Smith died in Aug before the war, don’t know the year, in Portsmouth, Va. I am sure he died in Portsmouth.
“No, sir. I never had any other husband after Jim Smith died, never married again…. I never married Ed Pierce nor did I live with him. I used to wash and cook for him. He never lived with me. Cooked and washed for him about a year, that was before my son Frederick enlisted in the war. Pierce died in Portsmouth, Va. of smallpox in Aug. Don’t know what year but it was before my son enlisted.”
“A man shot my son, the soldier here in Norfolk, Va. on Cumberland St. Billy Scarborough shot him. Both were soldiers.”

Deposition, Angeline Mosely, 19 October 1901
about 50 years old; occupation, housewife; residence, 156 Nicholson St., Norfolk, Va.
“I am the daughter of Millie Smith … father’s name was Dempsey Smith and he was sold away from my mother during slavery and before the war. There were two other children … Ned Pierce took up with my mother in Nansemond County soon after my father was sold and took her to Portsmouth, Va., and she and he lived together in the same house in Portsmouth up to the time of his death from small pox [sic] while the war was going on. Sewell Smith then took up with her along towards the close of the war after she came to Norfolk and she had one boy by him named Thomas Smith…. [She and Sewell Smith] lived on Bermuda St., at that time. No, I am mistaken for he was born corner of Chapel and Holt as she had moved there from Bermuda st.”

Deposition, Millie Smith, December 1902
70 years old; post-office address, 110 Nicholson St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“[Frederick Smith] was born at Suffolk, Nansemond Co., Va. and was my son by Dempsey Smith who was a slave. Dempsey Smith just before the war left me and I never saw him since. I was not married to Dempsey Smith but had the child by him. I was freeborn and he was a slave.”
“I have had two children, one Tom Smith and another Alice Allen. Tom Smith lives here in Norfolk at Winslow’s Court. … Sewall Smith was the father of him. He, Sewell Smith, is dead….No, I was not married to Sewell Smith.”
“I was not married to [Smith]…We bought a house together at Howard and Lodge sts. He paid 175 and I paid 300. We were not married. I never went under his name. … Alice Allen is about 27 years of age. She is married to Amos Wilson.”

Deposition, James Sparrow, 12 January 1903
73 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 1444 Glasgow st., Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I never knew Frederick Smith … to speak to…. I was doing guard duty over at Portsmouth at the time [the shooting] happened … I don’t think I was present when Cowell was tried by court-martial but I remember being present when Cowell was hung for I saw him ‘strung up.’ It was on a Friday I think and between Petersburg and City Point, Va. This was in 1865 while we were getting ready to go to Texas.”

Deposition, Beverly West, 23 January 1903
70 years old; “an inmate of the Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va. I get my mail here. I am a pensioner having served as an orderly sergeant … I never knew [Smith] before he enlisted in the USA.
“While we were encamped at Norfolk, Va. in 1865 Frederick Smith was shot by another member of our company named Willis Cowell. …[the shooting took place] directly after retreat roll call and I was just entering my tent when I heard the pistol shot. … I immediately reported the matter to Lt. Frank B. Garrett now of Syracuse, NY and Cowell was arrested. I am not sure where they put Cowell but think it was in the Norfolk jail. He was later hung up the peninsula somewhere near City Point”

Deposition, James E. Fuller, 26 January 1903
58 years old; occupation, janitor, US Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va.; residence and post-office address, 168 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have been acquainted with [Millie Smith] since my discharge. She was living in Norfolk when I got acquainted with her on some little street between Cumberland and Smith sts. I remember she had a girl named Angeline and a boy younger than her and another girl still younger”
“I knew Frederick Smith … who was shot by a comrade named Willis Cowell while we were encamped on Cumberland st., Norfolk in 1865 … Don’t know whereabouts of Irene Porter. Elizabeth Webb is dead.”

Deposition, Arthur Nelson, 31 January 1903
about 61 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address,
“I know he had a mother because she visited the camp often to see soldier.”

Letter from Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC to Millie Smith, 110 Nicholson Street, Norfolk, Virginia, 26 March 1903
“You were not dependent on the soldier at the date of his death, as at that time you were living with, and being supported by your husband, one Sewal Smith

General Affidavit, Emma Smith and Amos Wilson, November 1903
[Smith] 45 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 24 Hill Street, Norfolk, Va.
[Wilson] 55 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 69 Star Street, Norfolk, Va.
“That they have been well acquainted with claimant for 40 years; that claimant owns no property, real, personal or mixed … no one is legally bound to support her …. Affiant Wilson is her son-in-law and has given her a home with him”

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**Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated 1891-1892. Last week’s post included research notes for documents dated 1868-1888.

The widow’s former enslaver offered testimony about the widow’s age, her children’s ages, the year of purchase, and the year he moved “his people” from Hampton, Virginia to Dinwiddie County, Virginia. Pension benefit applications from the widow and the guardian dragged on for more than 20 years and were eventually denied.

Widow — 425,390 / —–, Margaret Washington
Guardian — 162,426 / —–, Albert Portlock



Widow’s Declaration for Pension or Increase of Pension, Margaret Washington, 16 November 1891
about 50 years old; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
[She married the soldier Isom Portlock] on the 1st day of October A.D. 1856 by Rev. Rich’d Parker at Norfolk, Va. … Claimant re-married … 1867 … [the soldier’s] legitimate children
Georgiana born November 1st 1859
Cyrus born September 15th, 1861
“Also personally appeared Lee Price, residing at Hampton, Va. and Annika [Amanda?] Robinson residing at same.”


Declaration for Original Pension of a Widow — Child or Children under Sixteen Years of age surviving, Margaret Washington, 10 December 1891
46 years old; residence, Hampton, Va.; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
“She was married under the name of Margaret Young to said Isom Portlock … 1856 by consent of former owners … names and dates of birth of all his legitimate children yet surviving who were under sixteen years of age at the father’s death,
Georgia Portlock, born Oct 1, 1859
Cyrus Portlock, born Sept 15, 1859
“Also personally appeared L.C. Williams, residing at No. 19 in Jefferson street, in Norfolk, Va. and Cyrus Portlock residing in Atlantic City, Norfolk, Va.
[Note: There are discrepancies in the reported birthdates — Leslie]



Names and P.O. addresses of officers and comrades of Co. F. 1st Reg’t U.S. Col. Cav., 31 March 1892

NameRankPresent P.O. Address
Jno. Walker2d Sgt.Elizabeth City, Pasquotank Co., NC
Beverly WestSgt.22 Cleveland St., Norfolk, Va.
Cuffy EmmersonPvt.Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.
Wm. FullerPvt.Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.
Henry SivillsPvt.Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.
Edw. W. WhithersPvt.c/o J.F. Dezendorf, Norfolk, Va.
Isaac DeansPvt.Barboursville, Orange Co., Va.
Edw. ProctorPvt.South Mills, Camden Co., NC



Report from Special Examiner, Eastville, Virginia, to the Commissioner or Pensions, Washington, DC, 22 November 1892
“p.o. addresses are respectively: Georgiana until the Spring of 1893, Calhoun Colored School, Calhoun, Lowndes Co., Ala. After the Spring of 1893, Normal School, Hampton, Va., Cyrus, Atlantic City, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va. … Wm. B.F. Hudgins, who was the last owner of the mother and who appears to be a highly intelligent gentleman and to have a good memory, states that he bought the mother in 1858 and that she had two children then … Wm. Hudgins, moved his slaves off from Hampton to Dinwiddie, Va. in July 1861 … the soldier ‘kept company’ with one Jennie Selden after the mother of the minors was sold and sent away in 1858, that he ‘kept company’ with Jennie when his company was stationed in Norfolk for 7 [or 9?] months during service and that when his regiment was sent to Texas after the war ‘Jennie’ accompanied the soldier and occupied a tent with him there as his wife and was known by his surname although it is stated that they were not married and did not live together after service and that afterwards ‘Jennie’ would not have anything more to do with him.”

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