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Archive for the ‘Company I’ Category

The soldier was killed in action at Fort Pocahontas, Virginia. His wife re-married and her second husband was appointed guardian of the soldier’s son, his only surviving child.

Widow – 105,405 / 84,935, Nancy Young
Minor -158,406 / 116,387, Rufus Young

Oath of Allegiance, Nancy Young, 1 December 1865
“I, Nancy Young, do solemnly swear in the presence of God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of States thereunder, that I will in like manner abide by and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing Rebellion with reference to the emancipation of of slaves so help me God.”
“Nancy Young — a resident of Norfolk County … aged 28 years … doth on her oath … in order to obtain the benefit of the provisions made by the act of Congress appeared July 14, 1862, that she is the widow of Nelson Young who killed on picket duty on Wilson’s Landing on James River on or about … Sept 1864 … she was married … January 1864 by the Rev. William Knott a regular minister of the Gospel of the MP Church and has had five children … whose names and ages are as follows: Claudius, dead; Mary Anne age dead; Angenetta dead; Rufus aged five years; Elton dead … [Nelson Young] was a free person at the time of enlisting … and had been free … of his being freeborn … I hereby constitute and appoint Leopold C.P. Cowper of Portsmouth, Va. as my true and lawful attorney.”
“And personally appeared Southall Bass and Mary Bass residents of Portsmouth … they were personally acquainted with Nancy Young … they have known the said applicant and her said husband for 20 years”

Sworn Statement, Southall Bass and Alinzo Elliott, 31 December 1866
“they have known Nancy Young … for more than twenty years … they lived within five miles of [Nelson and Nancy Young] for twenty years … [Rufus Young] is now living with his mother in Norfolk County, Virginia … that said child is now is his 7th year being born in 1859 Nov … they have often been to to their house and seen the mother since said child was an infant.”

Sworn Statement, Nancy Ridgeway, 5 September 1867
“mother of Rufus Young, only surviving orphan child of Nelson Young … born on the 18th day of November 1860”
“Also personally came before me Mary Bass aged twenty seven years and Susan Elliott aged fourteen years, residents of Norfolk County, … they knew well the late Nelson Young and Nancy … that they lived within two miles of them … they saw the mother and child in its first infancy, that they often have seen the mother and said child within a few days after its birth

Sworn Statement, Thomas Ridgeway, 28 February 1868
residence, Norfolk County, Virginia
“that he is the legal guardian of Rufus Young his ward whose father Nelson Young now deceased … guardian of the minor child of Nelson Young who died at Wilson’s Landing, Va. being killed on picket on James River while on duty … Nancy Young [soldier’s widow] and mother of the child aforesaid, Rufus Young, again married being now the wife of the said Thomas Ridgeway … the parents of his ward Rufus Young were married at the home of Jesse Watts in the county of Norfolk, Virginia on or about … Jany 1855 by the Rev. William Knott, a minister of the M.E. Church and that I do constitute and appoint Leopold C. P. Corprew of Portsmouth, Virginia my attorney”
“Also personally appeared Alonzo Elliott and Josiah Elliott, residents of Norfolk County, State of Virginia … that they were personally and intimately …. Nancy Young widow of the said Nelson Young did on the 9th day of January 1867 intermarry with one Thomas Ridgway … now the legal guardian of said Rufus Young, that they were present and witnesseth the said marriage … [the couple] were married by the Rev. Jeremiah Thomas, a minister of the [illegible] Church in the County of Norfolk, State of Va. “
“Also personally appeared before me the Rev. William Knott, a minister of the [illegible] Church”

Court Decree, County Court of Norfolk County, Virginia, 3 March 1868
“The Court doth appoint Thomas Ridgeway, Guardian to Rufus Young orphan of Nelson Young dec’d: and thereupon the said Thomas Ridgeway, appeared in court and together with Wm. H. Elliott and Josiah Elliott his securities, who justified on oath as to their sufficiency, entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of One Thousand Dollars with condition according to law, which bond is ordered to be recorded.”

Sworn Statement, Nancy Ridgeway, 22 April 1868
“Her child Rufus Young was never baptized, that the children of colored persons were never submitted to this rite as she knows or believes.”
“Also personally appeared Venus Bivins by calling a midwife, aged fifty-five and Elizabeth Elliott, aged thirty-five years, residents of Norfolk County, Virginia … that they both were present at the time of the birth of and delivery of the above named Nancy Ridgeway when she was Nancy Young and the legal wife of Nelson Young … in the 18 day of Nov 1860 of her child Rufus Young”

Memorandum by Thomas M. Vincent, Assistant Adjutant General, 23 March 1868
“He is reported ‘Killed in action when on a search near Fort Pocahontas, Va. Augt. 1864. On Muster Roll dated Feby 4/66. ‘xx Was killed while skirmishing Augt. 28/64, where not known.’ Original Statements on file in this Office signed by the Co., Capt. He is reported ‘Killed August 18, 1864”

Sworn Statement, Dempsey Nash, Court Clerk, 13 July 1868
“It appears from the record in my office that on the 5th day of January 1867 a license was issued according to law to solemnize the marriage of Thomas Ridgeway and Nancy Young, a widow, both colored, and it further appears from the said record and the return of J.R.V. Thomas, a minister of the Gospel that he did on the 10th day of January 1867 duly celebrates the wrights [sic] matrimony.”

Declaration of Guardian of Minor Children for Increase Pension Under Act of July 25, 1866, 9 December 1876
“Thomas Ridgeway, aged about 45 years … mother of the child has remarried and that the date of birth of said ward is as follows 17th Nov 1860 … the maiden name of his mother was Nancy Elliott.”
“Also personally appeared Southall Bass and Thomas Riddick, residents of Portsmouth”
[Note: The word “increase” was handwritten and inserted before the word “pension” — Leslie]

Sworn Statement, Thomas Ridgeway, 30 June 1888
“Thomas Ridgeway, guardian to Rufus Young, orphan of Nelson Young … says that his post-office address is Portsmouth, Virginia”
“Also personally appeared Venus Bivins and Elizabeth Elliott”

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The soldier joined the Grand Army of the Republic, Ellsworth Post in Baltimore. Two members of his post described him as “a man of good habits, stood well in his community and everybody spoke well of him” and said that his ailments were the result of “exposure, hardships and lying upon the damp battlefield during his service in US Army during the Civil War.” After the war he and his wife had several children including some whose births were not entered into a public record. These claims included statements from a doctor, midwives, neighbors, and fellow soldiers.

Invalid — 860,966 / 929,774
Widow — 576,605 / 400, 207, Sarah Wilson

Declaration for Invalid Pension, Eleck Wilson, 30 August 1890
51 years old; residence, 206 Cross St., Baltimore, MD; post-office address, 206 Cross St., Baltimore, MD
“He hereby appoints, with full power of substitution and revocation Geo. W.F. Vernon, 108 St. Paul St., of Baltimore, state of Maryland”
“Also personally appeared Edward Wilson, residing at 206 Cross St., Balto., Md. and Robert Thomas, residing at 206 W. Hamburg St., Balto., Md. … acquaintance with [Eleck Wilson] for 23 years and 25 years, respectively”

Declaration for Original Invalid Pension, Alexander Wilson, 5 July 1892
52 years old; residence, residence, Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland; post-office address, 206 Cross St., Baltimore, MD
“in the service and in the line of his duty, at turnpike between Petersburg & Richmond in the State of Va., on or about the 10th to 15th day of May 1864 … my horse fell down and I fell on my sword which struck me on the small in my back, causing pain in the same which has troubled me ever since…. did not go to the hospital but was treated by Dr. Warner [?] … since leaving the service … resided in Norfolk, Va. since Sept 10, 1869, then moved to Baltimore, Md. where I have since resided … when enrolled, a farmer”

“Also personally appeared George Palmer, residing at Balto City, Md., and E.L. Holmes, residing at Balto City,

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Sarah Frances A. Wilson, 6 May 1893
46 years old; residence, 134 W. York St., Baltimore, Md.
“That she was married under the name of Frances Ann Harris to said Alexander Wilson on the 16th day of July 1868, by Rev. E.G. Corprew, at Portsmouth, Va.”
“Names and dates of birth of all the children now living under sixteen years of age of the soldier are as follows:

Frances born ….. June 26, 1878 Florence born ….. Sept 15, 1883
John born ….. Feby 8, 1880 Maggie born ….. March 27, 1886
Addie born ….. Feby 17, 1882 Joshua born ….. Feby 4, 1889
 Joseph born ….. Sept 5, 1891

“[her attorney] Geo. W.F. Vernon, 225 Courtland St., of Baltimore, State of Maryland”
“Also personally appeared Sarah Wilson, residing at Balto, Md, and Sharon Reed, residing at Balto, Md. … acquaintance with her of 15 years and 18 years, respectively …. Although I was not personally present at the birth, I was sent for.”

General Affidavit, Mary E. Coates, 8 May 1893
66 years old; residence, 6 E. Church St., Baltimore, Md.
“That I am a midwife … I delivered the claimant Frances Wilson wife of Alexander Wilson of a female child subsequently called Maggie Wilson… I was also God Mother to the said child and by reference to my bible I find the date to be 27 March 1886.”

General Affidavit, Rachael Miles, 8 May 1893
44 years old; residence, 229 W. Hill Street, Baltimore, Md.
“That I was a nurse to Mrs. Frances Wilson when she gave birth to a male child on the 4th February 1889, owing to a delay in the arrival of the midwife who had been engaged…. I personally delivered on the 4th Feby 1889 child subsequently called Joshua known and recognized as a legitimate child of Frances and Alexander Wilson. I remember the date as it was just a month before President Harrison was inaugurated. … I was an intimate friend and associate of the claimant and her deceased husband prior to the marriage … she has no property whatever, possesses only a few chairs, table, beds etc of no value, she is entirely dependent upon those not legally bound for her support and her own daily labor such as washing etc. for her support and that of her minor children all of whom are now living and have not been abandoned.”

General Affidavit, Nellie Gross, 10 May 1893
83 years old; residence 17 Winder St. Baltimore, Maryland
“That I am by occupation a midwife to Mrs. Frances Harris ... and delivered said wife of a female child, 15 Sept 1883 subsequently known and called Frances Wilson, the legitimate child of Frances and Alexander Wilson”

General Affidavit, Charles H. Fowler, MD, 10 May 1893
30 years old; residence, 712 S. Sharp Street, Baltimore, Maryland
“That he well knew Alexander Wilson … that he well knows Frances Nelson … That there was born to the said Alexander Wilson and Frances Wilson on the 5th day of September 1891 a male child … named Joseph Wilson. That the said affiant was the attending physician during the illness of the aforesaid Frances Wilson while pregnant with the aforesaid child though he did not deliver the same.”

General Affidavit, Rachael Mills, 12 May 1893
44 years old; residence, 229. W. Hill St., Baltimore, Maryland
“That I was a neighbor and intimate friend of the claimant Frances Wilson. That I Iived in the same neighborhood with the claimant for more than four years, that is from 1877 to 1891, I was sent for and saw the mother and child shortly after the Birth.”

General Affidavit, Sarah Frances Ann Wilson, 16 May 1893
46 years old; residence, 134 W. York Street, Baltimore, Maryland
“prior to the Rebellion I was a slave, that at the time of my birth my mother was owned by Rueben Culpeper of Virginia, now dead, whose wife was named Ann Culpeper. My mother gave me the name of Sarah Frances Harris but my mistress desiring me to have a portion of her name called me Sarah Frances Ann Harris. In 1868 I was married under the name of Frances Ann Harris, but since my marriage I have dropped the Ann almost entirely, sometimes giving my name as Sarah Frances, then again simply as Frances; that I am called by most of my friends simply Frances Wilson.”

General Affidavit, Sarah Frances A. Wilson, 13 October 1893
46 years old; residence, 134 W. York Street, Baltimore, Maryland
“I cannot furnish the dates of birth of our children viz. Addie born Feby 17, 1882; Maggie born March 27, 1886; Joshua born Feby 4, 1889; and Joseph born Sept 5, 1891; by the public record by the fact that the midwife (Millie Gross) who delivered one of the children Addie failed to report the birth of said child, therefore, no record of said child’s Birth; that owing to a delay in the arrival of my midwife at the birth of my child Joshua, I was delivered of said child by my nurse (Rachel Miles) who made no report to the Health Dept. … that my last child Joseph was born before the arrival of my doctor (Chas. H. Fowler) who attended me at the time, but I find also he has failed to report Birth to the Public Record. I have filed the affidavits of the midwife, nurse, and doctor as to the dates of Births of children herein mentioned … and through no fault or carelessness on my part.
“I hereby swear that the following named children are still living and have not been abandoned; viz. Frances; John; Addie; Florence; Maggie; Joshua; and Joseph.”

General Affidavit, Benjamin Green, 2 March 1897
51 years old; residence, 811 S. Eutaw Street, Baltimore, MD
“That I was personally well acquainted with the deceased soldier Alexander Wilson for two years prior to his death in April 1893, we were members of the same Grand Army Post, and was well associated … said soldier was a man of good habits, stood well in his community and everybody spoke well of him”

General Affidavit, Alfred Fields, 16 March 1897
51 years old; residence, 1010 S. Fremont, Baltimore, Md
“That I was personally well acquainted with the deceased soldier Alexander Wilson for 20 years prior to his death, that we were members of the same Grand Army Post (Elsworth Post No. 19) and that we lived neighbors for several years … he contracted [his ailments] from exposure, hardships and lying upon the damp battlefield during his service in US Army during the Civil War … Alexander Wilson was a man possessed of no vicious habits, and well respected”

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A woodcutter before his enlistment, this man received a gunshot wound in his right hand during a nighttime picket duty. His application for invalid benefits was supported by members of his Company and those who convalesced with him in the National Soldier’s Home, Virginia. He was buried at Hampton National Cemetery which adjoins Hampton University founded in 1868 as Hampton Agricultural and Industrial School. His widow ‘s application was rejected on the basis of false claims.



Invalid – 342, 851 / 507,925
Widow – 305,101 / —– , Nancy Reddick

Declaration of Original Invalid Pension, Isaac Reddick, 23 January 1880
48 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 22 Nicholson St., Norfolk, Virginia … commanded by Col. Jeptha Girard … he was wounded in right wrist by a minie ball — the ball entering on the outer margins of his right hand and passing upward across the inner side of the wrist diagonally and emerging on the inner side of the forearm — He was on the picket line when wounded … his occupation has been that of a woodcutter … when enrolled a woodcutter …”

Widow’s Claim for Pension, Nancy Reddick, 4 April 1883
41 years old; post-office address, Norfolk City, Virginia
“her maiden name was Nancy Tailor, said that she was married to said Isaac Reddick on or about the 1st day of August 1865 at Southampton C.H. in the county of Southampton, and State of Virginia, by Rev. Berrem ….
“She further declares that said husband died … in the State of Ga. … and she hereby appoints William Ward 276 1/2 Queen st., Norfolk, Va. as her lawful attorney …”
“Also personally appeared, James Dozier and Margaret Johnson, residents of Norfolk County, and State of Virginia so far as they are known to me

For Officer’s or Comrade’s Testimony, Richard Webb, 13 May 1886
residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“late Sergeant of Company I, 1st Regiment of U.S. Col’d Cav. … June or July 1864, Wilson’s Landing, Charles City Co., State of Virginia — [Reddick] was wounded … while on picket duty during the night. [Webb] was in charge of a post on his left, saw soldier wounded, atttended to him, attended to and cared for him, and saw him when he was taken to the rear. That he has since his soldier’s discharge seen him at least three or four times, maybe oftener during each year…”

For Officer’s or Comrade’s Testimony, William Reed, 30 June 1886
“late Sergeant of Company I, 1st Regiment of U.S. Col’d Cav. … [Reddick] wounded while under the command of [Reed], who was Sergeant in charge of the detail …. and that [Reed] has seen him every few months since [Reddick’s] discharge in March 1866 …”

General Affidavit, Isaac Reddick, 5 June 1893
residence, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.
“[He] is unable to furnish testimony of a Doctor Affidavit showing each and every disability… for the following reason. He had no doctor at the time when he made his application …”

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), Isaac Reddick, 15 April 1898
[married] widower, Nancy Ridley
[when, where, by whom] 1878, Southampton Co., Va., Dr. Brown
[record] Jerusalem C.H.
[previously married] no
[children living] no

General Affidavit, Oscar Jubilee and John Olds, 9 October 1899
[Jubilee] [no age reported on this document]
[Olds] 46 years old;
[Jubilee and Olds] “citizens of the Town of Norfolk, 111 Bank St., State of Virginia, that they knew applicant Isaic Riddick, that while at Wilson’s Landing the spring of 1864, while skirmishing with rebel gurillas [sic] he was shot in his right wrist from which he was disabled and sent to McClennan Hospital near Hampton, Va. and remained there about one year. Was sent Texas to join regiment 1865. And did join in Texas and served until discharged 1866. Soldier was never able to do heavy work and was kept on light duty until discharge…. disables him from doing manual labor and causes him to be idle 3/4 of his time. … [We] served in the same co and reg and knowing him ever since the war and living in same city with him as neighbors and seeing him very often. He now resides in this city on Liberty Street and is well known.”
[Note – Reddick’s address at this time was “Natl Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.” — Leslie]

Questionnaire Form (3-464), Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions, 7 November 1899
Isaac Redi also known as Redick and Reddick … born in Nansemond Co., Va; occupation, servant; Name of owner not of record.
“As Isaac Ready admitted to hospital steamer Wyoming Aug. 13, 1864; sent to G.H. Hampton, Aug. 14, 1864; as Isaac Reddick admitted to Gen. Hosp., Fort Monroe, Va., date not stated (no diagnosis), ret’d to duty, date not stated; as I. Reddick etc admitted to Conval Barracks, Fort Wood, Bedloe’s Island, N.Y. Harbor, Nov 15, 1865, (no diagnosis), disposition not stated.”
[Note — there’s a discrepancy in Isaac Reddick’s birthplace as reported here and on his Compiled Military Service Record (not shown) — Leslie]

Questionnaire (3-173), Isaac Reddick, unknown
[married] Nancy Reddick nee Riddle
[when, where, by whom] [blank]
[record] “about 20 years ago, by the Revd. Berum, called Doctor, Southampton County, Va.”
[previous marriage] “I was a single man, when I married my present wife, and so she was a single girl.”
[children living] “we had 5 children, and all grown up, supporting themself [sic]”
[Note: The form was dated “November 10, 1899” when it was sent to the soldier. The dates he completed the questionnaire and when the Pension Office received it are unknown — Leslie]

Questionnarie (3-493), Isaac Reddick, 14 November 1899 [date stamped received by Pension Office]
[address and residence] National Soldier’s Home, Va., as above
[residence after discharge] “I, after my discharge from the U.S. Army, came to my present place of residence.”
[nearest post-office] “always the National Soldier’s Home p.o. address”
[occupation] laborer
[other names] “Isaac Reddick is my name from birth, never altered.”
[in military or naval service under different name] “I have not been in the military or naval service, under no other name than as above.”

General Affidavit, Edward Haig and Alexander Lewis, 30 October 1900
[Haig] 56 years old; residence and post-office address, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.;
[Lewis] 67 years old; residence and post-office address, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.;
[Haig] “personally acquainted with [Reddick] who is a member of this National Soldier’s Home, Va. … since 1893 …
[Lewis] “also a member of this National Soldier’s Home, Va. for about 9 years, when I became acquainted with Isaac Reddick as a comrade in this Home …”

General Affidavit, William Reed and Isaac P. Patterson,13 May 1901
[Reed] 60 years old; residence and post-office address, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City Co., Virginia
“do know [Reddick] over 35 years … and for 15 years I know him as an Invalid, totally unable to perform any manual labor whatever … totally deaf …
[Patterson] 64 years old; residence and post-office address, National Soldier’s Home, Elizabeth City Co., Virginia
“I’m a member of the National Soldier’s Home, Va. Southern Branch. I know Isaac Reddick personally and since I have made his acquaintance about 3 years ago I know him suffering [and Patterson lists a number of ailments — Leslie]

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The soldier’s daughter received death benefit payments from a life insurance company and a burial association. Her application for re-imbursement from the Bureau of Pensions contained a lot of genealogical information. Another document in the pension application folder mentions a nephew who served in World War I.

Invalid — 1,077,352 / 1,133,999
C – 2,487,333

Application of Discharged Soldier, Colored, Henry Copeland, 25 January 1868
23 years old; residence, Gates Co., N.C. … “and that his post-office address is Norfolk, Box 452, County of Norfolk, State of Virginia… Also personally appeared … Samuel Freeman and Isaac King of the County of Norfolk, and State of Virginia who being duly sworn according to law, declare that they have been for four years acquainted with Henry Copland …”

General Affidavit, James T. Reid and J.O. White, 22 December 1894
“That they have known the claimant since his youth over thirty years; that to the best of their knowledge and belief he is a great sufferer of an affliction of the heart, that he suffers from shortness of breath, and affliction of the head, that he has been so suffering since December 1891, that he is a near neighbor of both of them and they have seen him almost daily since that date …”

Application of Discharge Soldier for Arrears of Pay and Bounty, Henry Copeland, 16 November 1895 
55 years old; residence, Somerton, Nansemond Co., Va. “… his discharge is lost … he has not bartered, sold, assigned, transferred, loan, exchanged, or given away his final discharge papers … he has only received $150 bounty from the United States … Also at the same time and place personally appeared before me I.O. White — and James T. Reed — of the County of Nansemond and State of Virginia … that they have been for 35 years acquainted with the said Henry Copeland …”

General Affidavit, Dempsey Reed and Henry White, 28 February 1896
[Reed] 53 years old; residence, Nansemond Co., Va.; post-office address, Savages Crossing, Va.
[White] [illegible] years old; residence, Savages Crossing, Va.; post-office address, Savages Crossing, Va. … “We are well acquainted with the applicant Henry White … We have repeatedly given him food, clothing, money and firewood …”

General Affidavit, James O. White and James T. Reid, 28 March 1896
[White] 47 years old
[Reid] 40 years old, post-office address, Whaleyville, Va. … “That we have known the above named Henry Copeland from our boyhood down to the present time … we [are[ neighbors of his …”

General Affidavit, Henry White and Dempsey Reed, 6 October 1896
[White] 53 years old; post-office address, Whaleyville, Va.
[Reed] 51 years old; post-office address, Savages Crossing, Va.
“We have known [Henry Copeland] ever since he was a boy. We live in the same neighborhood with him … he has been in this condition for about six months …”

General Affidavit, Dempsey Reid and Henry White, 26 February 1898
[Reid] 53 years old; residence, Nansemond Co., Va.; post-office address, Savages Crossing, Va.
[White] [illegible] years old; residence, Savages Crossing, Nansemond Co., Va.; post-office address, Savages Crossing, Va.
“We are well acquainted with the applicant … We have repeatedly given him food, clothing, money and firewood … he is very destitute and were it not for the assistance of others, he would suffer more than he does….”

Application for Pay and Bounty, Henry Copeland, 10 April 1906
69 years old; residence, Nansemond Co., Va…. “also personally appeared William Wright, residing at Portsmouth, Va. and Dennis Battle, residing at Portsmouth, Va. … claimant’s Post Office Address is 716 Green St., Portsmouth, Va. …”

Questionnaire (Form 3-389), Henry Copeland, 9 June 1906
address, 716 Green St., Portsmouth, Va
[married?] Frances Copeland, Frances Williams
[when, where, by whom] Rev. Frank Jordan
[record] courthouse, Nansemond Co., Va.
[previously married] “yes, Martha Ann Copeland who was Martha Ann Jordan. I cannot tell the date of her death. She died in Nansemond County, Va.”
[living children] two; James Lenwood Copeland born 1886; Julia Ann Copeland born 188[?]

Questionnaire (Form 3-389), Henry Copeland, 24 May 1915 
[birthplace/birthdate] “April 1842, Nancymond [sic] Co., Va.”
[post-office enlistment] “Whaleyville, Nancymond [sic] Co., Va.”
[wife’s name] “Maiden name Francies Williams now Copeland”
[when, where, by whom] “December the 1st, 1876 at Suffolk, Va., Rev. Francis Jerden, Nancymond [sic] County, State of Va. … They are in my wife [sic] care in Suffolk, Va.”
[record] “Yes, I have the State License”
[previously married] “Yes, but my wife of then are [sic] dead as she died on are about May the middle 1872 and her name were [sic] Martha Ann Jerden and she died at our home just outside of Whaleyville, Va.”
[wife’s previous marriage] Neither was married previously; Francis Copeland lives on Main St., Suffolk, Va.
[living with wife] “Yes, I am with my wife at times only when I am here in the National Soldiers Home, Va.”
[living children] “I have but one now living out of three and her name is Julia Ann Ralls of whom are about 44 years old and the other two are dead of which I cannot just remember thire [sic] ages and they didn’t live long enuff [sic] to be giveing [sic] names and they died within six months after being born.”

Sworn Statement, Henry Copeland, 9 June 1921
76 years old; residence, 2910 South St., Portsmouth, Va. … “has one nephew, McKinley Copeland, in the Army of the United States in the late World War, that said claimant has not applied to the War Risk Insurance Bureau for compensation since the service of such soldier or in any way received benefits as a result of his service; that said nephew McKinley Copeland does not render any assistance to the support and assistance of said claimant.”

Application for Re-imbursement, Julia Rawls, 22 March 1929
47 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va. … [applies for re-imbursement for the last sickness and burial of] Henry Copeland … who died January 30, 1926 at Portsmouth, Virginia and was buried at Portsmouth, Va. ….
1 – [name of the deceased] Henry Copeland
2 – [status] soldier
3a – [ever married?] yes
3b – [number of marriages, to whom] twice; first to Martha Copeland and second to Frances Copeland
3c – [survived by wife] no
3d – [still living] no
3e – [names and death dates of wives] Martha Copeland, affiant’s mother died more than 40 years ago; Frances Copeland died March 1916
3f – [ever divorced] no
3g – [divorced wife still living]
3h – [name and death date of divorced wife] never divorced
4 – [children under 16] no
5 – [children living?] no
6 – [sick or death benefits paid out and the amount] Home Beneficial Ass’n., amount, $30.00; Burial Ass’n., amount $100.00
7 – [life, accident, or health insurance on pensioner at time of death] yes
8 – [name of insurance company and amount] Home Beneficial Ass’n, amount $30.00
9 – [beneficiary] Julia Rawls; and $100.00 paid on burial of soldier and was paid of his estate
10 – [beneficiary’s relationship to pensioner] daughter
11 – [did pensioner pay premium] no
12 – [amount of premium] All premiums were paid by Julia Rawls, his daughter
13 – [executor or administrator] no
14 – [property] no
15 – [nature of property] had no property
16 – [assessed value] no real estate
17 – [disposed of property] had none
18 – [unendorsed pension check] no
19 – [relation to deceased] daughter
20 – [married] yes
21 – [cause of pensioner’s death] old age
22 – [date illness began] “He was lingering from 1920 until his death.”
23 – [date decedent required daily care] “From 1920 until his death.”
24 – [name/address of physician] Dr. W.E. Reid, 845 Glasgow St., Portsmouth, Va.
25 – [person who nursed the decedent] Julia Rawls
26 – [pensioner’s last residence] 2910 South St., Portsmouth, Va.
27 – [payments due] no

“Also appeared Addie Wiggins, 900 Deep Creek Blvd. and Dora Williams, 2542 Graham St., Portsmouth, Va. who knew the claimant 5 years and 25 years, respectively and were “neighbors of his.”

[Note: There was a handwritten note on the application: “Claimant paid $150.00 on funeral (and doctor bill and medicine for which she files no claim). She claims $150.00.”]
[Note: A 1911 map of Virginia counties showed “Savage Cross” in Nansemond County.– Leslie]

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It was somewhat easier for white officers and their families to have their pension applications approved. Family Bible entries for births, marriages, and deaths could be corroborated with other sources to prove relationships.

Invalid – 495, 059 / 979,556
Widow – 1,083,100 / 826,058, Clara J. Howard

General Affidavit, Charles M. Howard, 29 December 1898
50 years old; post-office address, 59 Quimby Street, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Have known O.L. Howard for years having been in business with him …”
[Note: Another individual’s name “Charles [illegible], aged 20 years …” and signature were struck through — Leslie]

General Affidavit, George W. Morris, 30 December 1898
60 years old; post-office address, 43 Close Place [???], Detroit, Michigan
“I have known Orville L. Howard for the past thirty years. I know that he was in the Mt. Clemens [???] Mich in 1892 suffering from rheumatism and taking baths for treatment of the same. I know this for I visited him there two or three times.


General Affidavit, Orville L. Howard, 1 July 1914
69 years old; post-office address, 142 Wallach Ave., Buffalo, NY
” … there is no public or church record of his birth and no way to prove same other than a leaf [of paper] from the family Bible … This leaf was taken from the family Bible by this soldier some years ago and he does not known where the family Bible is now. [He recalls seeing his name in the Bible] giving his date of birth as July 26, 1844. o

General Affidavit, William H. Smith, 6 September 1912
40 years old; residence, Warsaw, Wyoming Co., NY; occupation, Pastor of the First M.E. Church, Warsaw, NY
“Have examined the church records here and find the following record
O.L. Howard — Farmer — Brockport, NY
Clara J. Morris Warsaw, NY
Married Dec 22nd, 1866 by H.H. Lyman, Pastor”

General Affidavit, Orville L. Howard, 1 July 1914
69 years old; post-office address, 142 Wallach Ave., Buffalo, NY
” … there is no public or church record of his birth and no way to prove same other than a leaf [of paper] from the family Bible … This leaf was taken from the family Bible by this soldier some years ago and he does not known where the family Bible is now. [He recalls seeing his name in the Bible] giving his date of birth as July 26, 1844. o

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Clara J. Howard, 26 October 1916
“77 years of age … born November 23rd, 1839 at Warsaw, Wyoming Co., NY
“That she is the widow of Orville L. Howard who enlisted August 9, 1862, at Brockport, NY… as 1st Sgt & Cptn. in Company M, 3rd NY Cavalry and was honorably discharged November 22, 1864 …
“That she was married to said soldier December 22, 1866 under the name of Clara J. Morris, at Warsaw, NY by Rev. H.H. Lyman, that she had not been previously married, that he had not been previously married …
“That said soldier died October 20, 1916, at Buffalo, NY …”

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The soldier who was found frozen to death left behind one widow — maybe two. He was survived by several children.

Invalid — 786,287 / 987,248
Widow — 748,448 / 547,985, Matilda Cherry

Marriage License [copy] Alexander Cherry and Matilda Butler, 8 September 1869
Marriage took place 9 September 1869 in Portsmouth, Virginia. Husband was 23 years old; wife was 25 years old. Both were single. Husband was born in Norfolk County; wife was born in Southampton County. Both resided in Norfolk County. Husband’s parents were Isaac and Louisa Cherry. Wife’s parents were Eli and Lucy Butler. Husband’s occupation was laborer. Officiant, Rev. Thomas Washington.

Neighbor’s Affidavit, Kindred Edwards and Peter Dozier 2 February 1891
[Edwards] 30 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Va.; post-office address, Portsmouth, Virginia
[Dozier] 26 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Va.; post-office address, Portsmouth, Virginia
“That they have been well and personally acquainted with Alexander Cherry for 16 years, and 21 years, respectively … being near neighbors to the said Cherry and seeing and conversing with him nearly every day.”


Disability Affidavit, Alexander Cherry, 24 May 1894
47 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 709 County Street, Portsmouth, Va.
“For 16 years immediately preceding my enlistment … I resided in the following named places, Norfolk County, Va. within four miles of Portsmouth City from the time of birth till enlistment and my occupation was that of a laborer.
“Since my discharge … I have resided in Portsmouth City, Virginia continuously to the present time and my occupation has been that of a laborer.
“I further state that the disability for which I claim a pension arises from exposure in service which was contracted … during the summer of 1865 at Brazos Santiago, Texas for a cause by having to sleep on damp ground … about two years after my discharge was treated by … Dr. G.W.A. Maupin of Portsmouth now deceased and also about the same time by Dr. E.M. Watts of Portsmouth also now dead.”

Questionnaire (Form illegible), Alexander Cherry, 11 November 1897
[married] yes, Cora Cherry was Cora Lee Fidgett
[when, where, by whom] Feb 15, 1879; by Thomas Washington in Portsmouth, Va.
[record] “I am satisfied that I has such good record only I am feeble now.”
[previous marriage] “Cora Cherry is my only wife. I never had any other wife.”
[living children] Oscar Cherry, Harrison Cherry, John H. Cherry, Lenwood Cherry, 4 children is all that I have living.”

General Affidavit, W.F. Bell, 29 October 1901
45 years old; c/o Gaskins Store, Glasgow Street Extended, Portsmouth, Va.
“That as an Overseer of the Poor for Western Branch District, Norfolk County, Virginia, I buried the body of Alexander Cherry in said district on the 21st day of January 1901, he having died on January 19, 1901.
“That I knew the said Cherry in his lifetime and identified the body as his.”

Claimant’s Affidavit, Matilda Cherry, 11 November 1901
post-office address, c/o Willis Hall, Portsmouth, Va.
“That I own no property of any kind, real or personal, and have no income from any source except what I can earn with my own hands.
“That I did keep a record of the death of my husband … and that my statement that he died on January 20, 1901 was made from calculation which might have been a day or so from the exact date as I cannot count very well.
“In addition to this [my husband] was alone at the time of his death. He was alive on Friday night and was found dead the next morning and it was not possible to say exactly on what day his death should be stated to have occurred.
“I am informed by a lawyer that no record of death is now kept in any County of the State by the Health Board or otherwise so that a certificate from death record cannot be furnished.”

General Affidavit, Geo. W. Cherry, 11 November 1901
73 years old; post-office address, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“That he was well acquainted with … Alexander Cherry having known him from his birth to his death. He was my nephew, being my brother’s son.
“That said Alexander Cherry was never married previous to his marriage to Matilda Butler .. and could not have been married without her knowledge.”

General Affidavit, Julia Wright, 11 November 1901
70 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia; post-office address, King St Extended, Portsmouth, Va.
“That she knew Alexander Cherry … from his birth to his death, being the sister of his father, Isaac Cherry, now dead.
“That said Alexander Cherry was never married prior to his marriage to the claimant Matilda Cherry and could not have been married without my knowledge.”

General Affidavit, Thomas Jones and Jacob Parker, 11 November 1901
[Jones] about 60 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, the same
[Parker] 74 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, the same
“That they have known Matilda Cherry all her life having been residents of the neighborhood in which she was born at the time of her birth and for many years thereafter and knew her intimately from that time to the present.

“That for a number of years prior to this death … he and the said Matilda, his wife, had not lived together.”
“That they knew the said Alexander Cherry from the time of his marriage to the said Matilda to the time of his death.

Claimant’s Affidavit, Matilda Cherry, 25 November 1901
post-office address, c/o Willis Hall, Portsmouth, Va.
“Before my marriage to Alexander Cherry, I had always gone by the name of Matilda Butler, after my father whose name was Eli Butler … friends may have called me ‘Tildie’ for short name.”

Letter from Chief of Law Division to Chief of the Special Examination Division, Bureau of Pension, Department of the Interior, 15 August 1902
“soldier was found frozen to death and that he had not lived with his reputed wife for about twenty-five years before his death … determine whether this claimant is his legal wife. … If Cora Lee is living and believes that she and soldier were legally married why have she and her children not applied for pension?
“The papers in this alleged widow’s claim were prepared and executed before William M. Reid, a colored notary public of Portsmouth …”

Letter from Matilda Cherry, General Delivery, Portsmouth, Va. to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC 19 June 1917
“I am 73 years of age, having been born in April 1844, in Nansemond County, Virginia.”
[Note: Typed on stationery of Hubard & Hubard, Attorneys-at-Law, 145 Bank Street, Norfolk, Virginia — Leslie]

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Oscar Jubilee, Co I

Born on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, this soldier lived in North Carolina for a time after the war but settled in Virginia. His brother was Samuel C. Jubilee, Company A, 24th U.S. Colored Troops.  The attorney representing their interests engaged in questionable practices.

727,803 / 484,292, Virginia Jubilee

General Affidavit, John Herring and John Nottingham, 9 August 1889
[Herring] 65 years old;
[Nottingham] 50 years old; citizen of the Town of Norfolk, County of Norfolk, State of Virginia
“[clt] treated in Texas by Dr. Grey and Manley … [they served] in army with soldier, know when he was shot, and was in same co with him at times, have known him ever since having lived close to him in same city & county … Oscar Jubilee is well known in this city and bears a good name in this city…”

General Affidavit, John Simmons and John Whitehurst, 28 August 1889
[Simmons] 75 years old
[Whitehurst] 65 years old; citizen of the Town of Norfolk, County of Norfolk, State of Virginia
“That they have known Oscar Jubilee for many years back, that he returned to this place in 1866 from army … Oscar Jubilee is known to be an inoffensive and good quiet citizen commanding the respect of the community at large… [see and converse] with him frequently.”

Deposition, Oscar Jubilee, 1 June 1893
about 54 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address,  30 Lee St., Barboursville, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.,
“Q. Who has possession of your certificate at this time?
A.  Mr. John T. Dezendorf of Norfolk, Va. … He told me to bring it to him … [Dezendorf has had it] going on two years.”
[Did you ow him money?] No
[Have you asked for it back?] No
[Have you borrowed from him in last two years?]  Yes, sir. From fifty cents to a dollar at a time until the quarterly payment was due for which he charge [sic] me 20 cents on the dollar.
“Q. How long have you lived in Dezendorf’s home?
A.  Going on eight months. … When my pension check comes I touch the pen and sign it, the check over to him.”
“Q.  Who was your attorney for the prosecution of your claim?
A.  I went to W.R. Drury‘s office on Bank Street this city … There was always a crowd of colored people whenever I was in his office.
Q.  Do you know Samuel Jubilee and Henry Bush?
A.  I know Samuel Jubilee; he is my own brother. I don’t know Henry Bush.
Q.  Do you know B.A. Richardson, Jr., a notary public?
A.  No, sir, I do not….My brother Samuel Jubilee died two years ago. I made an application for his pension to reimburse me for money spent to bury him but I never received anything. When my claim was allowed I paid Drury fifty dollars. He said twenty-five dollars was for Belva A. Lockwood and twenty-five dollars for himself.
Q.  Who were witnesses for you in your claim for
A.  Peter Rickman, Richard Grant and Richard Webb all members of my company were witnesses for me …”

Deposition, John Simmons, 8 June 1893
about 70 years old; no occupation; residence and post-office address, 11 Chapel Street Road, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Va.
[How long have you known Oscar Jubilee?] About fifteen years … I moved to Norfolk from Bayside in Princess Anne Co., Va. about fifteen years ago and became acquainted with Oscar Jubilee soon after coming here.”

Deposition, John Whitehurst, 8 June 1893
69 years old; residence and post-office address, 209 Goff St. (Barboursville), Norfolk, Va.
“Q.  How long have you known this claimant?
A.  I moved to Norfolk from Norfolk County in 1871. and did not get acquainted with said Jubilee for about fifteen years after that.
Q.  How do you fix the date?
A.  My first wife died and was buried the day Cleveland took his seat as President the first time. and then I had just become slightly acquainted with him (Jubilee).
Q.  So then you have known him but about eight years.
A.  Yes, sir, that is all.”

Deposition, Richard Webb, 9 June 1893
57 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 209 Bank Street, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I am well acquainted with Oscar Jubilee. I served in the same company and regiment with him….”

Deposition, Peter Rickman, 9 June 1893
about 45 years old; occupation, working around market; residence and post-office residence, 16 Lincoln  Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I am acquainted with Oscar Jubilee. We both served in the same organization …”

Deposition, Oscar Jubilee, 24 January 1894
about 54 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 30 Lee Street, Barboursville, Norfolk, Va.
“I was pensioned for gun shot wound on left side of my head and disease of eyes. I got that wound, I don’t remember the day of the month but I think it was in Sept 1864. We had been out on a scout and coming back the rebels fired into us. We were riding in columns by fours and the man on my right was killed and the man on my left got a ball in his sabre scabbard and I got a ball in my head. but it hit me in the head, it was a glancing shot.
Q. Who was with you at the time you got that wound?
A.  Peter Rickman who I understand is here in Norfolk is the only one I know of. Some of them are dead and others are scattered. Dr. Gray tied up my head at the time but I don’t know anything about where he is.  I get night blind. I can’t do no stooping down work.  I can’t work on the truck farms around here….Before I enlisted I lived up in Northampton County close to Eastville. I served my term under Bill Moore, old Perry Moore‘s son. Since I came home I have lived here in Norfolk. Thomas Boykin, Levin Steward, and William Purnell have known me ever since. … [Steward and I] were boys together … [Purnell] was in the same company as me …
Q.  Who was your witness in the old law claim?
A. Tom Johnson and Charles Jones, I think.”

Deposition, William Purnell, 24 January 1894
about 47 or 48 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 23 Jackson St. Barboursville, Norfolk, Va.
“I have been well acquainted with claimant ever since he was discharged … I have lived close to him ever since our discharge and seen him on average of once or twice a week ever since.”

Deposition, Levin Steward, 24 January 1894
55 years old; occupation, laborer; residence, Chapel Street Extended, Barboursville, Norfolk, Va.
“I am acquainted with clt and have been since we were boys. I was in the same regiment with him but I was in Co I 1st US Cav
“[When claimant was wounded] I was at Fort Powhatan at the time and he was at Harrison’s Landing in Va. The news came that Jubilee was wounded in the head. … I have lived close to him every since we came home and have seen him probably on an average of twice a week any how during that time.”

Deposition, Thomas Boykin, 24 January 1894
69 years old; occupation, laborer; address and post-office address, 25 Lee St., Barboursville, Norfolk, Va.
“I was a teamster in the 37th Colored Infantry. I got acquainted with claimant about the time he enlisted…. When I was at Bermuda Hundred I heard that Jubilee got hit in the head at Harrison’s Landing by a ball.”

Deposition, Richard Webb, 23 February 1894
57 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 209 Bank St., Norfolk, Va.
“I served as Sgt in Co I, 1st US C Cav from Dec 1863 to Feb 1866. I am acquainted with Oscar Jubilee … [Once in Brazos] he wore a handkerchief over his eyes for a good time …”

Deposition, William Reed, 23 February 1894
52 years old; occupation, laborer, but cannot work right now; post-office address, 56 Willoughby St., Norfolk, Va.
“He and I served together in Co I 1st U S C Cav … I do remember that I heard that James Linnear, now dead, had a ball strike his sabre scabbard. I saw the scabbard that had been struck. There was no member of our company killed at that time. This was at Wilson’s Landing but sometime in 1864.
“I wish to state that my memory is not good.”

Deposition, Charles Jones, 26 February 1894
about 50 years old; occupation, cook; post-office address, 243 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
“I am acquainted with the claimant Oscar Jubilee. He served in the same company with me, enlisted after I did.
“I do however remember that the scabbard of one of our men was struck by a ball. This was in Charles City Co., Va. in 1864. His name was James Linnard, now dead. Nelson Young a member of our company was killed at the same time.
“I have seen claimant about once or twice a year since discharge but don’t know anything about his physical condition.”

Deposition, Albert McCoy, 27 February 1894
53 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Berkley, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I remember the claimant … he was a member of the same co and regt. Did not know him before the war …. A good many of the boys had eye trouble while we were in Texas.”

Deposition, Peter Rickman, 27 February 1894
45 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 429 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I saw the claimant 4 or 5 times after discharge and have seen him since at different times.”

Deposition, Henry Stone, 7 March 1894
54 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, National Soldiers Home, Va.
“I remember Oscar Jubilee as a member of my company.”

Deposition, Henry Smith, 11 May 1894
50 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Land of Promise, Princess Anne Co., Va.
“I remember Oscar Jubilee, a member of the same co and regt, have not seen him since discharge.

Deposition, Oscar Jubilee, 16 May 1894
54 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 29 Wise St., Norfolk, Va.
“Q.  Who were your tentmates at the time you claim to have received the alleged wound?
Preston Parker, Joshua Roan, and Wiley Knight. These three and myself were in a tent together at said time. Parker and Roan died in the service. I do not know what became of Knight, have not seen him since discharge, do not know where he came from. He had a son in the same company named Madison Knight. I remember Charles Holmes. … I do not know whether Wiley Knight is living or dead …. I do not know where John Parker is. I was not intimate with him in the service, did not know him before enlistment and have not seen him since discharge.”

Questionnaire (Form 3-173), Oscar Jubilee, 1 October 1897
[wife] Virginia Jubilee; Virginia Greene
[when, where, by whom] August 1879; Norfolk, Va.; Rev. Edward Pinner
[record] Clerk’s Office, Norfolk, Va.
[previous marriage] “Yes, Millie Jubilee. Caught her in bed with another man 21 years ago in Norfolk Co., Va. , has not lived with her since. She has been married twice since then.”
[living children] One by 1st wife; four by last wife. 1st wife child is John Henry. By second wife William Jubilee born Feby 5th 1880, Andrew Jubilee born 5 August 1886, Nellie Harrison Jubilee born 31 March 1889, Wesley Virgin Jubilee born 21 December 1891.”

General Affidavit, Caroline Todd and Bettie Nimmo, 18 September 1900
[Todd] 34? years old; residence, Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, 65 Pine St., Norfolk, Va.
[Nimmo] 39 years old; residence, Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, 63 Pine St., Norfolk, Va.
“that they have known the claimant well for 10 and 30 years respectively; that they have been living in the same neighborhood with him for three years and 9 months, respectively … they are neighbors, affiant Todd living in the upstairs portion of the same house and affiant Nimmo living just next door …”

Deposition, Oscar Jubilee,  2 January 1901
61 years old; occupation, laborer; residence, 65 Pine St., Norfolk, Va.
“I was born in Accomack Co., Va. and was owned by Perry Moore. I never knew my father but I heard he was Oscar Roberts.
“The way I came to be called Jubilee was as follows: My owners were Quakers and they left a will freeing me when I was twenty one years of age and the rule was to call colored people who were freed in that way Jubilee and that is the way the name was given me. My neighbors call me William Lee for short. My correct name is Oscar Jubilee.”

“I was never in a battle but was in a skirmish at Chickihominie [sic] Swamp and around Richmond. Lewis Baxter was killed in a skirmish near Wilsons Landing. No men were wounded. A ball shot a cap off my head and glanced the skin but I never went to the hospital. Dr. Gray put a patch on it. …

“Gray was 2d Lt. He was the son of Dr. Gray our Reg’t Surgeon.”
Thomas was our First Ord. Sgt. but was killed accidentally at Harrison’s Landing.
James Nichols was the man who succeeded Thomas as Ord. Sgt.
Dick Webb was 1st duty Sgt.
Reed was 2d Sgt.
Chas. Jones was 3rd Sgt.
I do not recollect name for 4th Sgt.”

William Parnell of Pine St., this city was a friend of mine in service. So was John Williams of the Ocean View R.R. and Daniel Williams. Frank Smith and Alex Peyton also knew me well in service but they are dead. So is David Grant … I gave my discharge to Mr. Brown about twenty-five years ago when he was trying to get my bounty and he lost it….”

“Soldier has several scars on his face and nose caused by a woman throwing lye on him … I was working on Old Man Tom Ballentyne‘s Farm when I first had eye trouble bad after the army.

Richard Webb, Dick Reed, Dick Grant, William Kammeyer, and Chas. Jones were my witnesses … I have only been married once — no, twice. First married Milly Bell in Curratuc [sic] Co. We were married by Rev. Spratt Sampson in Mowyayork [sic] . Millie was never married before she married me. We lived together as man and wife for twelve years when she ran away and left me. The last I heard of her she was in Elizabeth City, NC.  We have never been divorced.
“I next married Jennie Green. She was never married till I married her We have been married twenty-four years. We were married right here in this town. Millie got married after she left me but I do not recollect name of man that she married. I think she married a man in Curratuc [sic] County, North Carolina.”

General Affidavit, William Purnell and Caroline Todd, 14 October 1901
[Purnell] 57? years old; residence, Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, 66 Pine St., Norfolk, Va.
[Todd] 38? years old; residence, Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, 72 Pine St., Norfolk, Va.
“That they have been well and intimately acquainted with claimant for over 25 years; that they both now live in the same neighborhood with the claimant  — on the same street, and only a few yards distant; that affiant Todd has been living on Pine St. for a number of years; that affiant Purnell has lived there only a short while but was accustomed to see claimant very often before he moved there …”

Declaration for Pension, Oscar Jubilee, 27 February 1907
66 years old; resident of National Home, County of Elizabeth City, State of Virginia … he was born March 1840
“Also personally appeared, William T. Oliver, residing in Nat Sol Home, Va. and Henry Custis, residing in Nat Sol Home, Va. … their acquaintance with him of 2 years, and 40 years, respectively …

Declaration for Pension, Oscar Jubilee, 14 March 1909
70 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; enrolled at Accomack Co., Va. … (near 20th) May 1864 … occupation was farmer & oysterman … he was born March (about 15th), 1839 at Accomack Co., Va.
“That his several places of residence since leaving the service have been as follows: Currituck Co., NC, 3 years; Camden Co., NC, 7 years; in Norfolk, Va. remaining years … Inmate of SB Natl Home for DVS Va. — on furlough … post-office address, 98 Henry St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.”
“Also, personally appeared, Isaac Riddick, residing in Norfolk, Va. and John A. Johnson, residing in Norfolk, Va. … their acquaintance with him of 46 years and 25 years, respectively…”

Death Certificate, Oscar Jubilee, 13 April 1912
[residence] 98 Henry St., Norfolk, Va.
[personal] male; colored; married
[age] 73 years old;
[occupation] laborer
[birthplace] Virginia
[parents’ names/parents’ birthplaces]  don’t know
[informant] Millie Lee, 98 Henry St., Norfolk, Va.;
[illness] April 5, 1912 – April 13, 1912
[cause of death] acute indigestion/contributory, shock;
[physician] N.A. McCurdy, MD, 733 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
[burial] Calvary Cemetery, Norfolk, Va. 15 April 1912
[undertaker] D.M. Jones & Co., 197 Wide St., Norfolk, Va.

Application for Reimbursement, Virginia Jubilee, 20 June 1912
53 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
[married] twice — Milly Jubilee and Virginia Jubilee
[wife survived him] yes
[wife still living] yes
[all wives’ names] 1st wife Milly died November 1901 at Moyock, North Carolina
[child under 16] no
[life, accident, or health insurance] no
[money, real estate, personal property] no
[relationship] Virginia Jubilee, wife
[residence during last sickness] “98 Henry St., Norfolk, Va., on furlough from Soldiers’ Home, Hampton, Va.”
Also personally appeared, William Jubilee and Lulu Jubilee, both of 98 Henry St., Norfolk, Va.

General Affidavit, Virginia Jubilee,  23 October 1912
residence, Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, 98 Henry Street, Norfolk, Va.
“I only learned that soldier had a wife living at the time of my marriage to him since soldier’s death. I got this information from soldier’s daughter by Milly who lives in North Carolina.”
Witness: William Jubilee
Witness: Lulu Jubilee

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Five men — including the soldier and his two brothers Joe and Harrison Sykes alias Williams — liberated themselves from a Southampton County, Virginia plantation and “joined the Union Army at the same time and place.”

Invalid — 952,123 / 1009,466
Widow — 1013,048 / 783,847, Harriet Sykes

Marriage License, Henry Sykes and Harriett Madison, 18 April 1877
Southampton County, Virginia; marriage took place 20 April 1877; husband’s age, 46 years old; wife’s age, 38 years old; husband, widowed; wife, single; husband’s and wife’s birthplace, Southampton Co., Va.; husband’s and wife’s residence, Southampton Co., Va.; husband’s parents, Solomon & Louisa Sykes; wife’s parents, Giles & Arsenia Madison; husband’s occupation, farmer; T.G. Newsomes, officiant, Shiloh Baptist Church

Questionnaire (Form 3-173), Henry Sykes alias Henry Williams, 1 October 1884
[wife] Harriet Sykes; Harriet Madison
[when, where, by whom] April 30, 1896; Southampton Co., Va.; by Rev. Saml. Newsome, Branchville, Va.
[record] Clerk’s Office of Southampton Co., Va.
[previous marriage] Yes. Margaret died June 11, 1884 in Southampton Co., Va.
[living children] Yes, four: Louis born Dec 28, 1876; Maggie born May 4, 1878; Loreno born April 30, 1887; Rosalind born Jan 12, 1892

General Affidavit, Howell Jones and Jacob Sugars, 11 January 1892
[Jones] 52 years old; residence, Drewryville District, Southampton Co., Va.
[Sugars] 58 years old
“We were in the army of the U.S. Co I, 1st U.S.C. Cavalry and that Henry Williams alias Henry Sykes, was a member of the same command & company with us. … discharged at the same place & time … we were all close neighbors living in the same neighborhood before we were in the army.”

Neighbor’s Affidavit, Frances E. Williams and Benj. F. Knight, 18 March 1893
[Williams] 52 years old; residence, Southampton Co., Va.; post-office address, Newsom’s, Va.
[Knight] 56 years old; residence, Southampton Co., Va.; post-office address, Newsom’s, Va.
“personally acquainted for 50 years and 30 years, respectively and they are farmers and have personally known Henry Sykes alias Williams all their lives, that he has worked for them, and in their neighborhood all their life, that they knew him before he enlisted”

General Affidavit, Jacob Sugars and Samuel Smith, 26 October 1896
[Sugars] 60 years old; post-office address, Boykins, Southampton Co., Va.
“I have lived in a mile and half [of him] for over 30 years
[Smith] 58 years old; post-office address, Pope, Southampton Co., Va.
“He has known Henry Smith for 40 years or more…”

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Harriet Sykes, 11 August 1913
66 years old; residence, Pope, Southampton County, Va.;
“She was married under the name Harriet Madison to said soldier at Shiloh Church, So. Hampton [sic] Co., Va. … April 1887 by Sam Green Newson … the soldier had been previously married to Margaret Harrison under the slave law who died about two years before I married him.
“Also personally appeared J.T. Barham, residing in Capron, Va., and G.L. Ganis, residing in Capron, Va. …”

Widow’s Application for Accrued Pension, Harriet Sykes, 11 August 1913
“widow of Henry Williams alias Sykes … that he died on the 4th day of Feb, 1912 … she was married to the said Henry Williams alias Sykes … April 1887, at Hampton Co., Va. … that her name before said marriage was Harriet Madison … her post-office address is Pope, Virginia …
“Also personally appeared J.T. Barham, residing at Capron, Va., and R.L. Gains, residing at Capron, Va.”

Sworn Statement, N.M. Pope and W.E. Worrells, 25 August 1914
“This is to certify that we N.M. Pope, 71 years old, and W.E. Worrells, 76 years old, both of Capron, Va. was born near this place, and have lived here all of our lives. … That Henry Williams alias Henry Sykes, her deceased husband, was born and raised near our home, and has lived here all of his life with the exception of what time he was in the war. He married Margarett Harrison not long after he got home from the war. She died about 1884 and he married Harriet Madison …”

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Five men — including the soldier and his two brothers Joe and Henry Sykes alias Williamsliberated themselves from a Southampton County, Virginia plantation and “joined the Union Army at the same time and place.” In addition to an alias surname, various given names were recorded in the application.

Invalid – 512,287 / 1,011,632
Widow – 1094996 / 886,187, Frances Sykes

Questionnaire (Form 3-173), Harrison Williams, 13 January 1898
[married]  Fannie Hill
[when, where, by whom] Southampton Co., Va.; March 18, 1867; by Dr. Barham, N.P.
[record] the first one
[previous marriage] Fannie Hill, the first and last
[living children] John, age 28; Frank born 1870; Annie, 1872; Eddie, 1873; Mattie, 1875; Mary, 1877; Fredie, 1879; Joseph, 1881; Hattie, 1884; James, 1886; Hubbard, 1888; Paul, 1888; Waveley, 1890; Willie, 1894. I gave you the year of each birth and two are dead. The others are living.”

General Affidavit, Howell Jones, 10 March 1899 
57 years old; residence, Worrells, Southampton County, Virginia; post-office address, Worrells, Southampton County, Virginia
“I have been knowing Harrison Williams ever since I joined his company [?] first Reg Col Cav in 1864 … I have lived in the same neighborhood with him since the war …”

General Affidavit, Jacob Sugars, 10 November 1899
60 years old; “citizen of Courtland, county of Southampton and State of Virginia”
“I was a private in Company I, 1st Regt USC Cavalry and while is said service became acquainted with a soldier serving in the same company under the name of Harrison Williams. The same soldier and myself were discharged at the same time and returned to Southampton County, Virginia together and have ever since lived in the same neighborhood. After the said soldier returned with from the service he assumed the name of Harrison Sykes, as her father’s surname was Sykes, and has ever since been known by that name.”

General Affidavit, Henry Charity, 10 November 1899
54 years old; “citizen of Boykins, county of Southampton and State of Virginia”
“I have been acquainted with the above named soldier all of my life. I know that prior to his enlistment … he was owned by Jacob Williams. The said soldier and two of his brothers and myself and a brother of mine all ran away from our owners at the same time and joined the Union Army at the same time and place. … [Harrison Williams and I] were discharged at the same time and returned home together and have since lived in the same County together. The father of the said soldier was and is known by the name of Solomon Sykes.”

General Affidavit, J.E. Drake, 28 May 1900
62 years old; “citizen of Capron, county of Southampton and State of Virginia”
“I have known Harrison Williams since 1861. He lives one and a half miles of me. Sometimes does little work for me. “

General Affidavit, J.T. Barham, 22 June 1900 [date stamped by Pension Bureau]
36 years old; “citizen of Capron, county of Southampton and State of Virginia”
“I have been knowing Harrison Williams more than fifteen years. He lives in a half mile of me and sometimes try to do some work for me but is not able to do much and he has not been able to do hard work since I first knew him.”

Sworn Statement, Mary Turner, 3 May 1912
78 years old; post-office address, Emporia, Va. “I was present at the marriage of Frances and Harrison Sykes, alias Harrison Williams, which took place about the first of March 1869. I further state that Sifey Powell who will give further testimony was also present at the marriage of said parties.”

Letter from N.M Pope and W.E. Worrell to Department of Interior, Bureau of Pensions, Washington, DC, 19 July 1917
“We, N.M Pope and W.E. Worrell, two white farmers living in the vicinity of Capron, Va. wish to testify jointly in behalf of Frances Sykes as follows:
“P1 That on December 16, 1919, Harrison Williams, alias Harrison Sykes died at his home near Capron, Va.
“P2 That Frances Sykes and Harrison Sykes were married some more than 30 years ago and lived together as husband and wife until his death
“P3 That they have never been divorced; have lived in this vicinity the [sic] entire married life and a part of this time have lived with us.”

Letter from Mary Turner to Pension Bureau, 4 May 1918
On letterhead of J.T. Barham & Company
“I, Mary Turner of Emporia, Greenville County, Virginia … was born in Southampton County, Virginia in about 1840 and have lived in that county in the neighborhood of Capron all of my life until the last twelve months. I was one of the waiters at the wedding of Harrison and Frances Sykes in the spring of 1867 … [they had] fourteen children of whom there are eleven living and three dead.”

Sworn Statement, Mary Turner, 13 February 1919 
78 years old; post-office address, North Emporia, Virginia
“I was a waiter and was present at the marriage of Frances Sykes to Harrison Sykes, alias, Harrison Williams, about the first of March in 1869. They were married by [illegible] Auth. Barham in his office about six miles from Capron, Virginia. 

Sworn Statement, Lifey Powell, 12 May 1919 
74 years old; post-address office, Pope, Va. “I was present at the marriage of Frances and Harrison Sykes, alias Harrison Williams, which took place about the first of March 1869. I also state that Mary Turner who will give further testimony was also present at the marriage of said parties.”

Sworn Statement, W.E. Worell, 12 May 1919 
80 years old; post-address office, Capron, Va. “I was born and raised within a few miles of Capron and that I know Frances and Harrison Sykes, alias Harrison Williams, were married a few miles from my home about 1869 and that they lived together until the date of his death and were never divorced. I further state that Frances Sykes is now his widow and lives within a few miles of Capron, Va.”

Sworn Statement, N.M. Pope, 12 May 1919 
75 years old; post-address office, Capron, Va. “I was born and raised with a few miles of Capron and that I know Frances and Harrison Sykes, alias Harrison Williams, were married a few miles from my home about 1869 and that they lived together until the date of his death and were never divorced. I further state that Frances Sykes is now his [sic] maiden name and lives within a few miles of Capron, Va.”

Sworn Statement, Frances Sykes, Parley Baker, B.F. Applewhite, 14 July 1919
[Sykes] 65 years old; post-office address, Capron, Va.
[Baker] 51 years old; post-office address, Capron, Va. … “I have known Frances Sykes for the last twenty (20) years she lives in about one (1) mile of my home …”
[Applewhite] 42 years old; post-office address, Capron, Va. .. “I have known Frances Sykes for the last twelve (12) years, she lives about one (1) mile of my house …”

Sworn Statement, Dr. J.N. Applewhite, 14 July 1919 
52 years old; post-office address, Pope, Va.
“I rendered medical treatment to Harrison Williams, Alis [sic], Harrison Sykes in the year of 1916 and also was in his room when he died on the 15th day of December 1916. Apoplexy being the cause of his death.”

Deposition, Wm. Everett Worrell, 4 March 1920
81 years old; occupation, farmer; residence, Capron, Va.
“I have known Frances Sykes from the time she was a child and I also knew her husband Passon Sykes from the time he was a boy. He was first known as Passon Williams and he belonged to Jacob Williams and he ran away and went into the army and then we he came back he took his daddy’s name and was known as Passon Sykes. I do not know anything about him going under the name Harrison Sykes or Harrison Williams. The first name as Passon is the only one I knew him to go by.”

Deposition, Nathan M. Pope, 4 March 1920
76 years old; occupation, farmer; residence, Capron, Va.
“I have known Frances Sykes since she was a little girl and I have known her husband Parson Sykes since he was a little boy. Parson Sykes and his brothers Joe and Henry Sykes were owned by Jacob Williams … I have always lived within half a mile of this place and those colored people have lived in the neighborhood within two or three miles all of their lives….His name was always Passon Sykes or Passon Williams and I do not know anything about his army service. … I do not know Dr. Cuth Barham married these people but I know he did marry a good many people both white and colored for while he was a doctor of medicine but he was a preacher in his younger days.”

Deposition, Parthenia Williams, 4 March 1920
nearly 83 years of age; address, Capron, Va.
“widow of Francis E. Williams and Jacob Williams was my father. I have known Frances Sykes ever since she was a child and her husband Person Sykes or Parson Sykes or Passon Sykes as his name was called belonged to my father. … his father was Solomon Sykes but Parson Sykes and his brothers Henry and Joe Sykes all ran away during the war and someone who met up with them came back and reported they were going under the name Williams. … I think that before [Frances] married Passon Sykes Frances went by the name of Kindred for she was owned by that family and I do not know whether she went by the name of Frances Hill or not but she had a brother that I remember that went by the name of Hill. The [redacted] are so strange it is hard to tell just what name they did go by. … my husband fixed up a place for them to live in on our place and they lived there until they had several children … Dr. Cuth Barham was a doctor of medicine but he had been a preacher and while for some reason the church took away from him his license to preach the court did not take away from him his license to marry people and he married a good many and I myself saw him marry three couples and some of those after he had stopped preaching.”

Memo from J.T. Barnham, Newsoms, Virginia, 12 March 1920
“[T]he late Cuthbert D. Barham was not my farther [sic] but a distant relative.
“I know nothing of his private papers and I very much doubt that he kept any records of the marriages he somlenized [sic], have always heard that he was a very careless man as to his business affairs, besides about that time every-thin [sic] in the South was in a very unbusinessliie [sic] maner [sic] especially as to the freedmen.
[Note: This typed note was in response to a request from Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions, Room 22 Post Office Building, Norfolk, Va., Mar. 11, 1920 — Leslie]

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Witnesses from Accomack County, Virginia spoke of a wedding and a funeral, health and employment, a benevolent society and a farm property. 

Invalid — 634,939 / 665,486
Widow — 895,178 / 681,407, Jane Collins

Declaration for Original Invalid Pension, James Collins, Sr., 2 January 1887 
65 years old; residence, Accomack…. post-office address, Pungoteague, Va.;  discharged at Hampton, on or about 3d day of June 1865, by reason of disability … treated at hospital near Hampton, Va. …. Also personally appeared R.W. Blackstone and John H. Joynes”

General Affidavit, James Martin, 16 October 1889
56 years old; occupation, farmer; residence, near Pungoteague, Va.; post-office address, Pungoteague, Accomack Co., Va.
“That he knew James Collins, Sr. before he enlisted in the army and has been intimately acquainted with him ever since his discharge; that  he has  lived upon on average within two miles of him each year from 1865 to 1885, and for the last four years has lived within 1/2 a mile of him; … that he has seen and conversed with said Collins upon on average 2 to 3 times a month from 1865 to 1885, and since then to the present time 3 or 4 times a week….that he has employed said Collins to work for him at different times for the last 12 years, and that he is sure said Collins cannot perform more than 1/2 so much manual labor as a healthy, strong man can.”

Affidavit, James Collins, Sr., 14 July 1890
70 years old; residence, near Pungoteague, Accomack Co., Va. … private … Company I, 1st regiment of the USC Cavry commanded by Capt. Howard, and was honorably discharged at Hampton, Va., on or about the 1st day of June, 1865 by reason of being incapacitated for further duty by illness … Also personally appeared George Hack, residing in Pungoteague, Virginia, and John Hack, residing [in Pungoteague, Virginia]”

Questionnaire (Form 3-056a), Jane Collins, 15 May 1897
[When did you first see soldier after the war?] “In April 1866 we met at a Loving Charity [sic] meeting which started among us 31 years ago.”
[“Love and Charity” was a benevolent society founded after the Civil War. I’ve seen it mentioned in Freedman’s Bank passbooks and in obituaries published as late as the 1960s. More research! — Leslie]

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), James Collins, Sr., 4 June 1898
[married] Jane Collins, Jane Dennis
[when, where, by whom] 1885, month & date do not remember, near Pungoteague, Va., Rev. T. W. Nettles
[record] in clerk’s office
[previously married] Margaret Weeks died 1875 near Pungoteague, Va.
[living children] Nancie [?] born 1852; Sarah born 1855; John born 1860; Lauranette [?] 1857; Rachel 1862; Lelia, 1865; Maggie, 1867; James, 1869; Ella, 1870

Origin of Disability in the Service, James Collins, Sr., 1 June 1900
87 years old; post-office address, Pungoteague, Accomack Co., Va.
“That it is impossible to furnish the evidence of a commissioned officer of my regiment as none of them now resides in the county in which I live nor can I furnish the affidavit of a doctor that treated me in the service as they do not reside in this county. I was treated in McClennan Hospital in Hampton near Hampton, Va. and by Doctor Gray at Camp Lincoln, Va. I served under Lieutenant Gray. I do not know of a comrade living in my county that served in my regiment with me. Sergeant Reed residing in Norfolk, Va. is the last officer that I know anything of. I am very old and cannot go far from my home.”

Origin of Disability in the Service, John Major, 18 January 1901
69 years old; post-office address, Pungoteague, Accomack Co., Va.
“I have been acquainted with the claimant Jas. Collins from boyhood. We were raised together. We enlisted in the same regiment but assigned different companies. He was in Co. I and I in Co. F.”

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Jane Collins, 14 May 1908
58 years old; residence, near Nandua, Accomack County, Virginia; post-office, Nandua, Accomack County, Virginia
“That she was married under the name of Jane Dennis to said soldier at her home [in 1885 or 1886] by Rev. T.W. Nettles …. That the said soldier died April, 1907, at home … Left no children under 16 years of age … Also personally appeared A.S. West, residing near Nandua, Va. and George W. Hash, residing near Nandua, Va. … their acquaintance with her of 30 years and 15 years, respectively”

Memorandum, Clerk of Circuit Court, John D. Grant, 20 March 1909
Accomack County, Virginia; I, John D. Grant, Clerk of the Circuit Court for the County of Accomack, in the State of Virginia, do hereby certify that it appears recorded in the ‘Register of Marriages,’ a record book in the Clerk’s Office of the said Court, that James Collins and Jane Dennis were married at Shiloh Baptist Church, in said County, on the 17th day of November, A.D., 1885, by Rev. T.W. Nettles. In testimony thereof, I hereunto set my hand, and annex the seal of the said Court, this 20th day of March, A.D. 1909.”

General Affidavit, Jane Collins, 31 March 1909
about 60 years old; post-office address, Nandua, Va.
“James Collins was married once before he and I were married and his wife died several years before we were married. I had never been married before I married James Collins and I have not married since his death.”

General Affidavit, George E. Hatton, 31 March 1909
53 years old; residence, Pungoteague, Va.
“We have no public records in our State that tells when a person dies. And in regard to the death of James Collins I know that he died April 1907 and was buried in the Baptist church burying ground near Pegueyville [sic], Va.  I was present at his burial.
“I know that James Collins and Jane Collins lived together as man and wife since Nov. 1885, at the time they were married, I was present at their marriage and have lived neighbor to them most of the time up to his death.”

General Affidavit, Augustus S. West, 31 March 1909
47 years old; post-office address, Nandua, Va.
“No public records of deaths are kept in my county. To my knowledge he has been dead nearly two years and was buried in the Baptist Church Cemetery near my home … claimant (Jane Collins) lives near me at present …. No doctor attended [James Collins] in his last illness.”

General Affidavit, Sarah Walker, 15 April 1909
55 years old; post-office address, Craddockville, Va.
“That she is the daughter of James Collins, dec’d, by his first wife and that she (his first wife) died on the 30th day of April 1876. She died near Pungoteague, Va. on the farm known as Shepperd Plains, and she further testifies that James Collins died on the 23rd day of April 1907.”

General Affidavit, James A. Collins,15 April 1909
44 years old; post-office address, Craddockville, Va.
“That James Collins late pensioner of the U.S. died on the 23rd day of April 1907. The reason why he knows the date of James Collins’ death so well is that he is a son of James Collins dec’d.”

General Affidavit, Louis Duncan, 1 May 1909
68 years old; post-office address, Craddockville, Va.
“That Margaret Collins is the first wife of James Collins (late pensioner of the U.S.) died on the 30th day of April 1876. She died on the farm known as ‘Shepherd’s Plains‘ near Pungoteague, Va.
“I know of the facts in this case because I was living in the same neighborhood at the time of her death. and what makes me recollect it so well I had an aunt to die about the same time, only about a week before her death.”

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