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Archive for the ‘Company K’ Category

According to his Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) — not shown here — the soldier was 40 years old when he enlisted in New York City. His occupation was horse trader. After the war he and his wife settled in Baltimore.


Invalid — 125,499 / —–
Widow– 489,516 / 450,795, Catherine Jones

Declaration for an Invalid Pension, Walter Jones, 2 May 1867
43 years old; residence and post-office address, 69 Arch Street, Baltimore, Md
“He was wounded in a skirmish with the rebels about the 15th day of January 1865 as nearly as he can recollect near Suffolk, Va. striking him by a musket ball in the front and inner side of the left leg about six inches above the ankle which shattered the bone and lodged about two inches above the ankle…. always requiring a cane to walk, and limping in his movement
“Also personally appeared, George Riggs and Warren Riggs … residents of Washington, DC”

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Catharine Jones, 2 December 1890
“The soldier died July 19, 1871 in Baltimore, Md. … that she was married under the name Catharine Cheevers to said Walter Jones on May 1861 by Rev. Stephen Howard at Gloucester, Va. … the soldier had been previously married but his wife had been dead for some time when he married claimant”
“Also personally appeared, Nancy Taylor residing at 594 W. Preston St., Balto, Md. and Caroline Moseley residing at 755 Raborg St., Baltimore, Maryland … acquaintance with her of 25 years and 25 years, respectively”

Sworn Statement, Caroline Moseley, 2 December 1890
50 years old; residence,755 Raborg Street, Baltimore, Maryland
“I was bridesmaid at the marriage of Catharine Cheevers and Walter Jones at Gloucester, Va. in May 1861 and I dressed the bride.”

General Affidavit, Catherine Jones, 9 December 1891
50 years old; residence, Baltimore, Maryland
“My husband Walter Jones was a member of Company C 1st Reg U.S. Cold. Troops.
In my original declaration I was mistaken when I said my husband was a member of Co K 30th US Cold Troops.”

Sworn Statement, Anthony A. Carter and Elizabeth Maddux, 16 December 1890
[Carter] 45 years old; residence, 511 Norris Ave., Baltimore, Maryland
[Maddux] 40 years old; residence Horning Ave near Carrolton Ave., Baltimore, Md.
“[Maddux] saw him carried out of the house, dead. He died on the corner of Pine & Josephine Sts., Baltimore, Md. Anthony A. Carter moved him into the house about ten days before he died.”

General Affidavit, Catharine Jones, 28 June 1893
49 years old; residence, Baltimore, Md.; post-office address, 594 W. Preston, Baltimore, Md
“Her husband died of the smallpox and all his effects were burned by the city.”

Handwritten Note Signed by John B. Giles, Laurel Cemetery, 30 June 1914
“I hereby certify holding Mrs. Dervella Lattimore responsible for (three dollars) 3.00 to John B. Giles Supt LC for the open of grave of Catherine Jones burried [sic] in Laurel Cemetery no of lot 47 Laurel Park area.”

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The soldier and his younger sister were born to a freeborn woman in northeastern North Carolina. Their father enslaved by a Virginian was for many years too ill to work. The soldier who died in Corps d’Afrique Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana had been his mother’s sole support.

Mother — 392,359 / 261,461, Fannie Culpepper

Declaration for an Original Pension of a Mother, Fannie Culpepper, 27 March 1889
72 years old;
“[John Culpepper] died while in service in hospital in New Orleans, La. … [claimant’s husband] Miles Culpepper, aged 75 years who died 9th of May 1888 … that there were surviving at date of said son’s death his brothers and sisters … Mary ”

Memo from J.C. Kelton, Adjutant General’s Office, War Department to Commissioner of Pensions, 11 June 1889
“Final Statement shows him: Died Sept. 12, 1865 at Corps d’Afrique Hospital, New Orleans, La. … born in Craven Co., NC. Age at enrollment, 20 years. Occupation, farmer. Eyes, hair, and complexion, black. Height, 5 feet 6 inches.
“Name John H. Culpepper not borne on rolls of Co. K, 1st US Col’d Cav’y.”

Proof of Dependence, John Cornish and Isaic Manning, 4 June 1889
[Cornish] 54 years old;
[Manning] 63 years old;
“[Each said] I have been for 30 years intimately acquainted with Fannie Culpepper … [her son] considered it his duty to aid and assist her … Miles Culpepper the father of said soldier died on the 9 day of May AD 1888 at Craven Co. in the State of North Carolina … These statements are made from personal knowledge, derived from long and intimate acquaintance with said claimant and family for the past 30 years”
“Witnesses: W.R. Drury and S. Cherry

Proof of Dependence, David Nichols and John Cornick and James Normans, 11 June 1889
[Nichols] 65 years old; Currituck Co., NC
[Cornick] 60 years old; Norfolk, Va.
[Normans] 64 years old; Currituck Co., NC
“Miles Culpepper [was a] sober & temperate man”

General Affidavit, John Cornish, 27 June 1889
post-office address, Norfolk, Va.
“That he knew Miles Culpepper before the war … and that he knew his son John before he enlisted … [Miles and Fannie] had only 2 children, one was John, one was girl by name of Mary Anne now living in Norfolk aged 20 years having been born in 1869 in Pasquotank Co., NC, don’t know what day or month but I know it was in 1869 …. don’t know John’s age exactly but think he was about 20 or 21 when he enlisted, think he was born in 1842 or 1843”

Proof of Dependence, John Cornish, 11 July 1889
“I have been for 35 years intimately acquainted with Fannie Culpepper … [Miles Culpepper] unable to perform labor of any kind … setting and lying about a wreck of himself … prior to [the soldier’s] enlistment [the soldier] working for and maintaining the family paying rent and supplying food etc as far as his means would allow him to do for his mother, sister, and father until his death in 1865 … I’ve heard his mother say that he assisted & supported her and spoke of him as a good son and child”

General Affidavit, Fannie Culpepper, July 1889
73 years old; residence, 116 Nicholson st
“That she was married … on or about Feby 1838 in Pasquotank Co., NC, that she never had any owners or masters as she was freeborn. Her husband Miles was a slave and belonged to a Mr. Willoughby Wilson of Virginia. Her son John was born about 1840. That her husband for many years before the war was a cripple from rheumatism and unable to support himself … Her son John the soldier was her only support from time he was able to work until his death in service at New Orleans Hospital 1865. That since then she had one other child Mary born on January 14th 1869 in Pasquotank Co., NC. That after her birth she did not live with her husband Miles C. as he was unable to to support her and she being unable to support him he stayed with his friend who kindly looked after him and she lived with first one friend and then another to present time … She declares that all those who were present at marriage of herself & Miles now dead also at birth of children.”
“Witnesses: W.R. Drury and J.T. Wilson

General Affidavit, Mark Morris and James Washington, 1 August 1889
[Morris] 53 years old;
[Washington] 49 years old;
“That they knew Fannie and Miles Culpepper for about 15 years before the war … Also knew Miles Culpepper … was an invalid from time of breaking out of war a cripple from rheumatic afflictions. She was not a slave and her son was her own and only support belonging to no master and worked for and supported his mother for several years before war and continued to contribute to her support until he was ordered away to Texas …. Miles Culpepper died in Portsmouth, Va. on the 9th day of May 1888 ... we lived close neighbors to and saw and conversed with often”
“Witnesses: W.R. Drury and S. Cherry”

General Affidavit, Fannie Culpepper, 1 October 1889
73 years old; residence, 125 Norfolk St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 125 Hawk St., Norfolk Co., Va., c/o W.R. Drury, 16 Bank St., Norfolk, Va.
“with the natural infirmities attending age, she is a great sufferer and totally dependent on the community for every comfort and the food necessary to her maintenance, as far as medical treatment is concerned she is unable to provide for as she is penniless … prepare for winter which is so rapidly approaching and enable her to keep out of the almshouse of which she stands in so much dread”
“Also personally appeared John Cornish, residing at No. 125 in Hawk street, in Norfolk, and Margaret Harrison …residing in Norfolk County”
“Witnesses: James Coleman and B. Griffin

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Born in Nansemond County, Virginia died in the post hospital at Brazos Santiago, Texas in August 1865. At the time of his death, he owed $14.00 to a sutler named Paul Jones.* Witnesses for the widow provided contradictory testimony about her private life but her application was approved. Names of the couple’s enslavers were noted in the record.

Widow — 116,291 / 115,769, Lavinia Ashburn

Sworn Statement, Lavinia Ashburn, 24 December 1865
25 years old; post-office address, Portsmouth, Virginia
“She was married to [Miles Ashburn] in the year 1860 and that there is no record of her said marriage … there are now living two children the fruit of said marriage viz. Jane Ashburn, aged 3 years and 5 months and Mary Charity Ashburn aged 2 months … She hereby authorizes Samuel V. Niles of Washington City, DC to prosecute her case”

“The Family Record was exhibited before me of which the following is a true copy viz.
“Jane Ashburn was born on the 10th of June in the year of 1862, Daughter of Lavinia and Miles Ashburn”
“Mary Charity Ashburn was born on the 14th of September in the year of 1865, Daughter of Lavinia and Miles Ashburn.”

“Also personally came Clara A. Sparrow and Matilda Tynes residents of said city … they were also well acquainted with Miles Ashburn and knew him before he entered the service of the U. States”

A.S. Dixon, Notary Public”

Sworn Statement, Isaac Pierce and Willis Council, 1 October 1866
“they lived in the same neighborhood with [Miles Ashburn] and have known him for more than ten years past … they are well acquainted with his widow”
“and at the same time personally came Lavinia Ashburn”

Widow’s Application for Pension, Livinia Ashburn, 14 February 1867
“her maiden name was Livinia Luke … she was married to said Miles Ashburn … 1861 in Nansemond County … by an authorized minister … there are now no children living the fruit of said marriage”
“Also personally appeared …Mrs. Jane E. McCoy and Clara Ann Sparrow residents of Norfolk County”

Sworn Statement, Jane E. McCoy, 14 February 1867
“she well knew Miles Ashburn … that [the couple] lived on her premises and that she knew them as man and wife … Ashburn left two children at the time of his death and that they have since died”

Widow’s Declaration for Pension or Increase of Pension, Lavinia Ashburn, 16 August 1867
60 years old; residence, 1008 Effingham street, Portsmouth, Va.; post-office address, 1008 Effingham street, Portsmouth, Va.
“Jane Ashburn born April 1862, Charity Ashburn born Jany 1865”
“Also personally appeared Jacob Ashburn, residing in Bowers Hill, Va. and Nathan Ashburn, residing at Bowers Hill, Va. … witnesses: Nathan Ashburn, Jeff. Davis

Sworn Statement, Lavinia Ashburn, 8 February 1868
“She is unable to furnish any record of her marriage as the law of Virginia did not require the [illegal] of license for the marriage of col’d persons … personally came Richard Freeman and Albert Jones … declare that they were personally and intimately acquainted with the above named Miles Ashburn that they were in the same company with him … and that he died in the service in at the hospital at Brazos Santiago Texas and that he died in August 1865″

Declaration for Pension of Children Under Sixteen Years of Age, Lavinia Ashburn, 17 March 1891
47 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, c/o Room No. 1, 114 Main Street, Norfolk, Va.
“is the legal guardian of Jane and of Charity Ashburn … Jane Ashburn … born Jany 6, 1862 … Charity Ashburn … born Jany 15, 1865 … the father was married under the name Miles Ashburn to Lavinia Luke … declarant hereby appoints … N.E. Knoeler, No. 10 Grace Place. Washington, DC. … her attorney.”
“Also personally appeared Albert Jones residing at No. 5 on Clifford street, in Portsmouth, Va. and Charles Williams residing at No. 17, in Pearl street, in Portsmouth, Va.”

Deposition, Lavinia Ashburn, 20 August 1901
address, 814 Bart St., Portsmouth, Va.
“I am not acquainted with my age. I had two children with the northern troops came through Suffolk, Va. so I must be somewhere near 60 years old. Housekeeping is my occupation.. … My husband was born in 5 miles of me and I was born 5 miles beyond Suffolk, Va. He was born in Nansemond Co., Va. and was a slave owned by Elisha Ashburn. I do not recall name of my husband’s father. My husband took his name from his owner. He never went under any other name.”
“We were married some ten months before the ‘Yankees’ came to Suffolk. We only had a slave marriage — simply got consent of our owners and went to living together, never had a ceremony of any kind. My owner was Isaac Luke. My husband lived as I said 5 miles from me but he came Wednesday and Saturday night of each week to see me. I was married once before I married my husband but he left me and took up with another woman. His name was Charles Driver. I had two children by him. Miles Ashburn was never married before he married me.
“My husband Miles Ashburn enlisted in Norfolk, Va. Oh, yes, I saw him after he joined the army. He came to see me some 2 or 3 times. He would come home on furlough whenever he could get off. I saw him the night before they all started for Texas. The whole Regt went. They took a steamer. The steamer came up about where the present ferry wharf is now. After that I never saw him again. I finally received word that he died in ten days after he got to Texas.”

“At time of death of my husband, I lived on Queen St. near Catholic church. Lived there only about one year when I moved to Getty’s Station 3 miles out of this town. Lived there with my brother Miles Williams. Lived there one year and a half and then came back to Portsmouth. I then lived on Chestnut St. on line of County and City. Lived there a year and then moved on Green and South St. Lived there 7 years. Lived there 7 years. Was known [illegible] Charles Pierson (white), Fatry Pierson, and Mr. Ed. Johnson and since that time I have lived principally on this st. The only person who has ever lived in house with me since the war was my brother and he only lived there a short time.
“I have had seven children are dead but one, viz. George Driver.
“I had two children by Driver and three by Miles Ashburn. When I told you a few minutes ago that I had six or seven children I must have been mistaken for I can only count five. My last child was born in four weeks after its father died.
“I have cooked for four different men viz.
Eli Rix now of Boston, Mass.
Wm. Smith, no, I think it was Jesse Smith. He lives beyond this city — cannot give exact address.
William Erbett, King Street and James Gerr of Richmond.
Charles Eason used to visit me at times but he is dead. He was a roomer for Mrs. Deasondorf. He at times staid [sic] at my house at nights. His wife who is now dead used to [illegible] to look after him. I was then living at corner Green and South. He also used to come and stay at my house when I was at 1008 Effingham st. Charles Eason and I were in the house alone. Chas. Eason‘s wife lived about a mile or two out of town — she lost her mind and was sent to the asylum. Chas. Eason died about 3 years ago.”
[Note: The streets mentioned in her testimony are in a Portsmouth neighborhood called Lincolnsville.

Deposition, Lavinia Ashburn, 21 August 1901
“I do not know correct age, but I was grown and had two children when the war commenced.
“I have had two children since the death of my husband. Charles Eason was father of both said children. One of said children was a girl and was named Martha — the other was a boy and named Charles. These children were born on Green st., near South and I rented the house from Mr. Wilson. I do not recollect the age of Martha but Charles would be twenty-three years old if alive. These children died when they were small. They were about three or four years of age when they died.
“[Charles Eason] commenced his visits to me during the last of the war after my husband had been killed or died in Texas and continued his visits up to about a short time before his death. He died some two or three years ago”

“I used to be known under the name of Lavinia Driver. That was the name of my first husband. His name was Charles Driver and we were married in slavery time but he ran off and left me. He died year before last. … I have one son by Charles Driver. He is alive and over 40 years of age.”

Deposition, Lavinia Reed, 27 August 1901
“unable to give my age but I had children when war commenced”; occupation, housekeeping; residence, 908 Griffin St., Portsmouth, Va.
“I have known Lavinia Ashburn some 12 or 15 years. After we got acquainted we were next door neighbors till some 3 or 4 years ago
“She never married anyone while I knew her but a man named Charles Eason used to stay a heap with her. … Lavinia did not bear a good name and drank hard at times and people talked about her and Charles Eason. I told her it was wrong myself but she did not appear to like it so I let her alone. … Lovinia rented two rooms — in lower room she cooked and slept in upper room. As I recalled in the upper room there was a bed and a lounge.”

Deposition, Anthony Reed, 28 August 1901
“I do not know my age but am over 70”; residence, 908 Griffin St., Portsmouth, Va.; “I am a laborer but cannot work much of the time.”
“I have known Lavinia Ashburn for many years. She never married Charles Eason for he had a living wife.”

General Affidavit, Mary Reed and Martha Wright, 16 January 1904
[Reed] 65 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, Columbus st., near Green, Portsmouth, Va.
[Wright] 55 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 704 London st., Portsmouth, Va.
“They have been well acquainted with the claimant … ever since before the war of 1861, that ever since the war they have lived in Portsmouth or the adjoining part of Norfolk Co. and during that time the claimant has lived in Portsmouth; that during that time they have visited her frequently and known her intimately … that for the last 7 years they have all been living near each other in Portsmouth and claimant lives with her son and his children, that she is a member of Zion’s Church in good standing and could not be so if she had been guilty of open and notorious adulterous cohabitation.”

“Also appeared Lucy Ann Johnson, age 47, a resident of Portsmouth, Va., address, Columbus St., between Green and Effingham, Portsmouth, Va. … she has known claimant all her life that she was born and raised in Portsmouth where claimant has always lived since she could remember her. … she has lived near her and visited her frequently day and night.”

*Details about Miles Ashburn’s military service, illness, hospitalization, and death are reported in his Compiled Military Service Record.

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Five soldiers in this regiment have the same name and all five are associated with pension applications. One of them was a witness in this application.

Today’s post is about a soldier was born enslaved in northeastern North Carolina. He settled in Norfolk, Virginia after discharge and worked as a house carpenter. For three years veterans, neighbors, and friends provided testimony — and some repeatedly. Names and locations of close to 40 people have been identified. Though the applications were rejected, the interviews provide detailed information nowhere else recorded e.g. name changes, half-siblings, aunts and uncles, a fiancee, a disreputable attorney and notary public, occupations and trades, living conditions, customs, and so on.

***This might be the lengthiest pension application I’ve examined. Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated July 1895-1896. Previous posts included research notes for 1892-1893 and 1894-June 1895.

Invalid — 918,580 / —–
Mother — 567,311 / —–
, Juda Williams

Deposition, Raphael Wright, 2 July 1895
53 years old; occupation, huckster; post-office address, 80 Ave.. A, Huntersville, Norfolk, Va.
“I became acquainted with the clmt Judy Williams about the fall of 1866, she then lived near Craney Island, Norfolk Co., Va. with her husband Decature Williams. Later on in the same year I became acquainted with the soldier John Williams. I used to see him at the house of his mother the clmt. … I lived in clmt’s neighborhood and not more than 4 miles away from her from 1866 until about 9 years ago. … died about 17 or 18 years ago in Norfolk Co., Va. …When I got acquainted with him in 1866 he told me that he served in my Regiment in Co. K. … I know that the soldier sent the clmt some money at times.”

Deposition, Edward R. Pitt, 3 July 1895
56 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Bowers Hill, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I was present with my company all the time except for 2 weeks about Sept 1864…. I remember John Williams. … did not know him before enlistment.
“He was a well man when he enlisted … but became feeble and sickly during his service. … We had nothing but shelter tents at [Camp Hampton near Ft. Monroe, Va.] and the weather was very cold… I saw him in Norfolk once or twice after discharge. I do not know the claimant.”

Deposition, John Hardy, 6 July 1895
50 years old; occupation, hacker; post-office address, 208 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the clmt Judy Williams all my life. She lived in Currituck Co., NC when I first met her. I also knew her son John Williams from his boyhood. His home was also in Currituck Co. NC before the war. … I knew his father Decatur WIlliams. He was my uncle. He died some years before the soldier.

Deposition, James Norman, 9 July 1895
77 years old; occupation, laborer when able to work; post-office address, Hayes Post Office, Gloucester, Va.
“I served in Co. K … I remember John Williams … I did not know him prior to enlistment and have never seen him since discharge.”

Deposition, Jerry Wilkins, 13 July 1895
73 years old; occupation, none; post-office address, National Soldiers Home, Va.
“I was well acquainted with John Williams … I knew him from boyhood. He belonged to a Mr. Bray or Gray in Currituck Co., NC. I lived across the river from him, about 4 miles, and used to pass over there very often to go to the mill and to go to a store. His father was named Kater and I knew him right well. His mother I did not know so well. I think her name was Katie. I saw her only a few times. I think she lives in the Western Branch. … [He then replies to the Special Examiner that her name might have been Judy or Juda.] I am not certain that her name was Judy but since you mention it, I believe that was her name.
“He was a very young man when he enlisted.”

Deposition, Elizabeth Lee, 15 July 1895
about 57 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 10 Calvert St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the clmt Judy Williams about 17 years. I lived near her on the Western Branch about 7 years. I also knew her son John Williams, met him soon after I got acquainted with his mother, the claimant. … The clmt’s husband died before I got acquainted with her… I have worked in the neighborhood where claimant lived every summer during the truck season since I moved into Norfolk 9 years ago.”


Deposition, Aaron Wright, 16 July 1895
54 years old; occupation, farming; post-office address, Box 49, Churchland, Va.
“I have known the clmt Judy Williams upwards of 25 years. She was then living about 3 miles from here with her husband Kater Williams. The said Kater Williams died every bit of 15 years ago. I can’t fix the date. I attended his burial. … She has no property but some household goods for $5 which would well pay for. … The claimant is now confined to her bed, had a stroke of paralysis about a month ago. I saw her son John quite often but never was much acquainted with him. He used to visit her.”

Deposition, Anthony Pinner, 3 October 1895
29 years old; occupation, letter carrier; residence and post-office address, Norfolk, Va.
“I do not know Judy Williams the claimant. …The name Anthony Pinner as it appears as an attesting witness to the signature by mark of said persons is not my signature. I did not write my name as it there appears nor did I authorize anyone to sign my name thereon.”
[Note: This document is signed by the deponent in longhand — Leslie]

Deposition, Emma Poole, 3 October 1895
52 years old; occupation, housekeeper; residence and post-office address, 83 Liberty St., Norfolk, Va.
“I became acquainted with the claimant when I moved into this house. Her son John Williams had a room in this house at that time and he retained it until he died three years ago last June.
“Two years ago last July I went with the claimant to the office of Luther C. Williams … and then about 3 months ago a pension examiner came here and got me to sign another paper.”

Deposition, Raphael Wright, 5 October 1895
54 years old; occupation, huckster; residence and post-office address, 80 A Avenue, Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Judy Williams since in 1866…got acquainted with her through her son … who served with me … He was in Company I and I was in Company H of said regiment. … went with her to Luther C. Williams office on Bute Street in this city where her application for pension was made out … when we got there Luther got D. Betts Robertson whom I know to write out said application … Luther Williams who was a notary public sworn both of us … I known Anthony Pinner the letter carrier but he was not present in [the office] … [the application] was executed the day before Christmas 1892.”

Deposition, John Hardy, 9 October 1895
about 50 years old; occupation, hack driver; residence and post-office address, 208 Cumberland Street, Norfolk, Va.
“known the claimant for a number of years. I also knew her son John Willliams … I have known [Luther C. Williams] who used to keep an office on Bute St. near Church St. of this City but I have never been in his office with the claimant.”
“Q. Can you write your name? A. No sir.
“There is no other man of my name in or in the vicinity of Norfolk.”

Deposition, Samuel B. Humphries, 9 October 1895
52 years old; occupation, drayman; residence and post-office address, 46 Mosley St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Judy Williams all my life. We were neighbors and fellow servants almost from my birth. … I went with her to Luther C. Williams office two years ago last July…Myself and a woman I did not know were with her at the time … I do not know the witness Emma Poole … I now remember that Emma Poole was the woman that was present and signed said papers with me.”

Deceased Pensioner [Certificate] Application, John Ash and Agnes Mitchell, 20 April 1896
“Before me personally appeared John Ash, residing at Churchland, Norfolk County, Va. and Agnes Mitchell, residing at Churchland, Norfolk County, Va. … they well and personally knew Juda WIlliams, who died on 9th of March 1896 and who was applicant for pension as the mother of John Williams … she left no property whatever kind … Witnesses: Geo. A. Melvin and Alvah H. Martin
[Note: The word “Certificate” on the form is struck through and the word “Application” is written in — Leslie]

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Dennis Banks, Company K

When this soldier died in service, he was in debt to the U.S. Army (15 cents for ordnance plus $1.64 for camp and garrison equipage) and he owed $14.00 to a sutler.
— Compiled military service records of volunteer Union soldiers who served with the United States Colored Troops [microform]: 1st through 5th United States Colored Cavalry, 5th Massachusetts Cavalry (Colored), 6th United States Colored Cavalry (1997). Reel 0001 – 1st United States Colored Cavalry: Ackess, Alexander – Bom, John H. at https://archive.org/details/compiledmili0001akesunit/page/n5 ). Banks’s Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) can be viewed at n863-n880

Widow — 141,638 / 108,524, Caroline Banks

Caroline Banks, Widow’s Claim for Pension, 26 January 1867
25 years old; post-office address, Norfolk, Virginia
“was married to said Dennis Banks on or about the 24 Dec 1860, near Elizabeth City in the county of Pasquotank, and State of North Carolina by mutual consent ….married by consent of master John Banks to Dennis Banks by consent of his master John Banks … Dennis Banks [died at] Brazos Santiago, in the State of Texas, on or about the 5 day of July, 1865, of cholera … at the time of his death, one child born in wedlock since dead”
“Also personally appeared before me, Dempsey Elliott, and Raphael Wright, residents of Norfolk County, and State of Virginia”

Sworn Statement, Caroline Banks, 29 January 1869
“her maiden name was Caroline Banks. That she was married in the mode common among persons of color in the state of North Carolina at that time, without a license or the service of a minister of the gospel, but by mutual consent and by cohabitation of the parties”
“At the same time, personally appeared Henry Banks and Manuel Banks … that they are well acquainted with Caroline Banks … have known her for twenty years. That they were also well acquainted with her husband Dennis Banks … the said parties and the affiant living near neighbors of each other in the county of Pasquotank, NC all their lives … were present when [the couple] married, in the mode common among persons of color in North Carolina”

Marriage License [copy], Edward Clarke and Mrs. Caroline Banks, 30 December 1871
Norfolk County; Husband, 26 years old and single. Wife, 25 years old and widowed. Both lived in Norfolk County, Virginia. He was born in Norfolk County, Virginia to “Jas. and Lottie Clark.” and worked as an oysterman. She was born in Edenton, North Carolina and her parents weren’t named. They were married by Reuben Jones at Churchland, Norfolk County, Virginia.

Widow’s Claim for Arrears Pension, Caroline Banks, 20 March 1883
39 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Virginia; post-office address, Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia
“she is the widow of Dennis Banks who was a Corporal of Company K commanded by Captain Whitehead of the 1st Regiment of the U.S.C. Cavalry Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Jeffey Geard and who died in U.S. Service at Brazos Santiago Texas … September 1865″
“That she was married to the said Dennis Banks on December 1856 at Perquinky [sp?], NC by consent of their former owners; that her name before her said marriage was Carline Banks … appoints William Ward, 276 1/2 Queen St. of Norfolk, Va., her attorney”
“On the same day personally came Charles Easn a resident of Western Branch township, Va. and Benjamn Jenkins a resident of Western Branch township, Va. … they have been personally acquainted with the soldier and his wife 30 years or more.”
“[signed by] Chas. Eason … Ben Jenkins

Note: Spelling variants — “Dennis,” “Denous,” “Denis,” and “Dempsey” — appeared in the Compiled Military Service Record — Leslie

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Five soldiers in this regiment have the same name and all five are associated with pension applications. One of them was a witness in this application.

Today’s post is about a soldier was born enslaved in northeastern North Carolina. He settled in Norfolk, Virginia after discharge and worked as a house carpenter. For three years veterans, neighbors, and friends provided testimony — and some repeatedly. Names and locations of close to 40 people have been identified. Though the applications were rejected, the interviews provide detailed information nowhere else recorded e.g. name changes, half-siblings, aunts and uncles, a fiancee, a disreputable attorney and notary public, occupations and trades, living conditions, customs, and so on.

**This might be the longest pension application I’ve examined. Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated 1894-June 1895. Last week’s post covered 1892-1893 and next week’s post will include July 1895-1896.

Invalid — 918,580 / —–
Mother — 567,311 / —–
, Juda Williams

Names and P.O. addresses of officers and comrades of Co. I, 1st Reg’t USC Cav for use in above case (Form 3-514), 17 December 1894

NameRankPresent P.O. Address
Richd. WebbSgt.209 Bank St., Norfolk, Va.
Wm. ReedCorp’l.78 Jefferson St., Norfolk, Va.
Chas. PiercePvt.Near corner High & Garden St., Portsmouth, Va.
Wm. YoungNorfolk, Va.
Chas. Jones243 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
Mattison KnightPortsmouth, Va.
Chas. Holmes1529-4th St., NE, Washington, DC
Henry Stone18 St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
Thos. WilliamsWilcox Wharf, Charles City Co., Va.
Henry SmithLand of Promise, Princess Anne Co., Va.
Andrew MadreHertford, Perquimans Co., NC
Alex CherryPortsmouth, Va.

Deposition, Judy Williams, 7 May 1895
68 years old; occupation, servant; post-office address, Churchland, Norfolk Co., Va.
“My name is Judy (not Juda) Williams … I am the mother of John Williams … I saw the soldier in the army, he came home to see me a time or two before he went to Texas with his Regt. … before he was discharged he went to Washington, DC and stayed but a short time, could not tell whether he stayed a year or not.
“I don’t know how long he had been discharged when I first saw him on his return from the army. It might have been about a year…. Samuel Humphrey told me he complained a good deal in the army, I don’t know of what. … I reckon the soldier lived in Norfolk, Va. from his discharge until his death. I never lived in the same house with him after the war. I used to come and see him. I could not tell who he worked for when he first came out of the army, did not do much work at first. He was a carpenter and worked on houses.
“Q. Where did he live here in Norfolk immediately on his return from the army?
He lived in the same house with Moses Massenburg on Liberty St. a good while. He had not Dr. attending him. Got medicine from different sources.
“About 10 years before his father died, that is about 25 years ago he had a bad attack of rheumatism so that he could not turn himself. We took him to the Western Branch and I and his father nursed him … he had another attack here in Norfolk … The soldier died suddenly on Scott St. on June 20, 1892 from asthma.”
“John Williams, the soldier was never married, nor lived or cohabited with any woman as her husband…. No sir, he left no child or children surviving him. … Decatur Williams, the soldier’s father.”

“My son could write his name. Learned that in the army. Could also write a lettler…. Henry Judkins, Sam Humphries, Moses Massenburg, Mrs. Poole and Mrs. Price were present when he died.
“I have no property at all except clothing and a bed.
John Hardy and Sam Humphrey know that Decatur Williams is dead. Emmaline Williams also knows he dead. Was at his funeral.
“Q. Where was the soldier living when he had the first attack of rheumatism?
I don’t known on what street he lived. Yes, sir. I came to town to take him out. I don’t know who waited on him. I have forgotten.”

Deposition, John Williams 2d, 31 May 1895
56 years old; occupation, laborer; residence, Baltimore Ave near Ocean View R.R., Norfolk County, Virginia; post-office address, c/o Mr. Smith‘s Co., Princess Anne and Kelly Ave’s., Norfolk, Va.
“I served as Pvt in Company I, 1st USC Cav … under the name John Williams 2d… I was born in Hampton city, Va. … There was another John Williams in said Company I … he was known as John Williams first and was right smart older than I. He died here in or about Norfolk about 18 years ago. I do not know who his parents were…. I did not know any man named John Williams in Co. K … Our company was most of the time detached off. I never could write my own name.
“I do not know Emma Allen… I have ‘put in’ for pension before W.R. Drury … I afterwards ‘put in’ for pension through R. Bagnall, Jr. once or twice.”

Deposition, Peter Fentress, 3 June 1895
56 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, c/o W.H Miles, Broad Creek Road & Park Ave., Norfolk, Va.
“I remember the soldier John Williams very well. … Did not know him before enlistment but saw him quite often in Norfolk He died 2 or 3 years ago I heard. … I heard him talk about his mother but don’t know her.”

Deposition, Samuel B. Humphries, 8 June 1895
51 years old; occupation, truckman; post-office address, 46 Mosley St., Norfolk, Va.
“I was on detached service at Genl. Weitzel‘s, no, Genl. Wheeler‘s Hdqtrs….[John Williams] and I were tentmates at Fort Monroe, in front of Petersburg and in Texas. I know him some years before enlistment, met him in this county. I was also acquainted with his father and mother. His father was named Kader Williams and his mother is named Judy. She lives on the Western Branch in this county.”

Letter from Azriah Griffin to Bureau of Pensions, 10 June 1895
“I am Azriah Griffin, I am farming on my own [illegible] I can stop and see you upon notice any hour of day. I am farming 1/2 mile east from Bell Cross, Camden, NC.
“Respectly,
Azriah Griffin
Late Co K, 1st USC Cal

P.S. Direct to Azriah Griffin
in care of O.D. Cartwright
Box 27
Camden, NC

Deposition, Squire Bright, 18 June 1895
56 years old; occupation, fishing and crabbing; post-office address, 313 Dinwiddie St., Portsmouth,, Va.
“I knew the soldier John Williams well…. I do not know the clmt Judy Williams, do not know that she was the soldier’s mother. I saw him at times in Norfolk, Va. every year or two from discharge until his death. … I never was his tentmate.”

Deposition, Moses Massenburg, 19 June 1895
64 years old; occupation, carpenter; post-office address, 120 St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
“I was well acquainted with the soldier… I became acquainted with him the same year he came out of the army and I knew him intimately until he died. We worked together often as carpenters…. He died suddenly. I heard he dropped dead. I did not know the soldier’s father. I know his mother. Her name is Judy Williams. She lives toward the Western Branch. While I and the soldier lived together she came over many Saturdays and stayed over til Monday morning, generally cooking for us. My former affidavit is correct except that I did not know soldier’s father, do not know whether he is dead or not….The soldier used to give clmt money regularly. She looked to him to help support her.”

Deposition, Henry Judkins, 25 June 1895
59 years old; occupation, carpenter; post-office address, 86 Scott Ave., Norfolk, Va.
“I served as corpl in Co. A… I was well acquainted with John Williams. He was a member of Capt. Whiteman‘s Co K of the same Regt. … From his discharge until death I lived not more than about 200 yards from him in this City and he worked with me right smart. He was a carpenter.”

Deposition, Charles Murden, 25 June 1895
64 years old; occupation, whitewasher and plasterer; post-office address, 6 Fifth St., Norfolk, Va.
“I became acquainted with the soldier John Williams about 22 years prior to his death and knew him intimately until his death which occurred about 3 years ago. … I would go to his shop and ask him how he was and he would tell me that he would do alright if it was not for the pain in his knees or back.”

Deposition, Emma Poole, 25 June 1895
52 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 83 Liberty St., Norfolk, Va.
“I became acquainted with John Williams .. about 15 years before his death. He was a carpenter. In Sept 1890 I and my husband and children moved into this house where he was then living in a room that he rented. … He died on June 20, 1892 at Mrs. Price’s house on Scott St. He roomed here. She washed for him and cooked for him sometime. He went around to see her and was taken with an attack of asthma and pain in breast. She sent for me and he died with his head in my hands between 3 and 4 o’clock in the morning.”
“I am also acquainted with the clmt Judy Williams. She used to come here to see him .. and he told me she was his mother. … He used to give her provisions and shoes and things.”

Deposition, Emma Harrison, 25 June 1895
40 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 38 Willoughby St., Norfolk, Va.
“I became acquainted with the soldier John Williams about 1880 … I knew him very well. I washed for him about 5 years and boarded him three years. … He died in my house on Scott St. on June 20 or 21, 1892 from shortness of breath, asthma and rheumatism…. He was going to marry me in Nov. but died in June. I filed a claim for reimbursement of expenses of his last sickness and burial under the name Emma Allen.. I have since married a Mr. Harrison. I was also sometimes called Emma Price but that was never my name.”

Deposition, Stephen Reddick, 26 June 1895
67 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, Berkley, Va.
“I served as corpl and sgt in Co. K … I remember the soldier John Williams … I did not know him prior to enlistment but saw him several times here in Norfolk after the war. He told me he was a house carpenter…. I do not know the clmt Judy Williams.”

Deposition, Isaac Manning, 29 June 1895
61 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, c/o W.H. Miles, Park Avenue, Norfolk, Va.
“I served as Pvt in Co K … I remember John Williams very well. He was a small man, had dark hair and complexion.
“I first met him after enlistment about the time the company was organized at Ft. Monroe … I was not his tentmate…. I do not know the clmt Juda Williams.”

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Five soldiers in this regiment have the same name and all five are associated with pension applications. One of them was a witness in this application. Today’s post is about a soldier was born enslaved in northeastern North Carolina. He settled in Norfolk, Virginia after discharge and worked as a house carpenter. For three years veterans, neighbors, and friends provided testimony — and some repeatedly. Names and locations of close to 40 people have been identified. Though the applications were rejected, the interviews provide detailed information nowhere else recorded e.g. name changes, half-siblings, aunts and uncles, a fiancee, a disreputable attorney and notary public, occupations and trades, living conditions, customs, and so on.

*This might be the longest pension application I’ve examined. Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated 1892-1893. Future posts will include research notes for 1894-June 1895 and July 1895-1896.

Invalid — 918,580 / —–
Mother — 567,311 / —– , Juda WIlliams

General Affidavit, Emma Allen, 12 July 1892
residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“John Williams died indebted to me in the sum of $159 for board, eating, and waiting on for 13 months. Also she paid for medicine … John Williams boarded with her at least 13 months and the soldier was sick all the time. He was not able to work and she trust him … he died on the 20 of June 1892”

General Affidavit, Emma Poole and John Hardy, 27 January 1893
[Poole] 48 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 83 Liberty St., Norfolk, Va.
[Hardy] 52 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 208 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va.
“That each of them were well and intimately acquainted with the claimant and were also with her deceased son”

General Affidavit, Moses Massenburg and Raphael Wright, 27 January 1893
[Massenburg] 61 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 120 St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
[Wright] 48 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 58 Smith St., Norfolk, Va.
“That each of them is well and intimately acquainted with the claimant.”

Deposition, Emma Poole, 30 May 1893
50 years old; occupation, washing and ironing; residence and post-office address, 83 Liberty St., Norfolk, Va.
“I first knew [John Williams] over 15 years ago. I knew him up to the time of his death. When I moved into this house on September 15, 1889, he was living here and had been living here for about four years. … He died on June 20, 1892 very suddenly in a neighbor’s house. He had gone out a few hours before. I was sent for and he died with his head in my hands. He died at Mrs. Price‘s on Scott St. He had been ailing a long time. He had shortness of breath. I think it was asthma, heart disease or something of the sort. He was a single man. He had told me he was never married. His mother is living. Her name is Julia Williams. She lives on the Western Branch. … Witnesses: Willie Poole and C.A. Holley

Deposition, Thomas Norris, 30 June 1893
73 years old; occupation, inmate, National Home, P.O. National Soldiers Home, Va.
“I was in Co. I in USC Cavlry during the war. …[John Williams] never put in a claim that i knew anything about. He was never confined in hospital while in service that I ever knew of. I know Robert Brickhouse. I do not know B.A. Richardson, Jr., Notary Public, Norfolk, Va.”
“I never knew John Williams mother. In 1863 John Williams father married a woman on Hawk Street, Norfolk, Va. named Lucy after her husband John’s father died but I never knew him.
“John Williams first wife died as much as six years ago. I don’t know her name. Later he married another woman who was very nearly white. I don’t know her name. She and John Williams were living on Lamberts Point road about two years ago. I did not know until now that John Williams was dead.”

Deposition, Juda Williams. 7 July 1893
66 years old; occupation, job work; residence and post-office address, Churchland, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I was married to the father of John Williams, Decatur Williams, by masters consent many years before the war and I lived with him until his death about fourteen years ago as near as I can now remember. My son was born in Currituck, Va. … I was the mother of four children. All of whom are now dead but James Williams with whom I now live.”

[My son] told me once that he was going to be married but the girl he was waiting on died and he did not marry anyone that I ever heard of. I saw my son on average ten or twelve times a year”

Deposition, Robert Brickhouse, 12 July 1893
63 years old; occupation, light job work; residence and post-office address, Lamberts Point R.R., Barboursville, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I do not know John Williams of Co I of same regiment. I never knew him… I sometimes write my name and sometimes sign by mark but I was never a witness for a person I do not know.”

Deposition, Raphael Wright, 11 July 1893
50 years old; occupation, selling on the market; residence and post-office address, 58 Smith Street, Norfolk Norfolk Co., Va.
“I was intimately acquainted with [John Williams] and if he had been married I should have known it. Except when he was out on Western Branch with his father or on the boat he was in Norfolk where he always lived.
“I saw him often the last three or four years and he did not live on the Lamberts Point rd. … I know [John Hardy] mighty well. He drives a hack”

Deposition, John Hardy, 11 July 1893
about 50 years old; occupation, hackman; residence and post-office address, 208 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“[Juda Williams] was my uncle’s wife. I knew her son John Williams since we were boys together. … I was never in [Luther C. Williams] office in my life.”

Deposition, Luther C. Williams, 12 July 1893
31 years old; occupation, notary public; residence and post-office address, 308 Bute Street, Norfolk, Va.
“I knew [John Williams] all my life … He was never married to my knowledge … [Juda Williams] executed an application for pension … six or seven months ago…..I know Raphael Wright and two men of the name John Hardy”

Letter from J.W. Montgomery, Special Examiner to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 13 July 1893
“As there have been some suspicions cast upon the official actions of Luther C. Williams before whom the mother of this soldier executed her application I thought it well enough to test the validity of it also.”

Sworn Statement, Samuel B. Humphries, 21 July 1893
“the claimant is the mother of John WIlliams … [the soldier] died unmarried and leaving no children neither whole or half-blood and that his mother the claimant is a person that I have intimately known for the past thirty years and that she is a widow and during the time when her son’s health permitted him to work he always contributed to the support of his mother … have known her son since his boyhood in fact we served together in the same Company and Regiment”

Sworn Statement, Elizabeth Lee, 21 July 1893
55 years old; residence; 51 Pulaski Street, Norfolk, Va.
“the claimant is unmarried … she has known the claimant for the past fourteen years”

Sworn Statement, Raphael Wright, 21 July 1893
“became acquainted with [the claimant] shortly after I left the service of the late war … have known [her son] to send her money as she had no one legally bound for he support … I was also a member of the same regiment”

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The soldier and his cousin went to Norfolk after being discharged from the service. The cousin worked in “the swamp” — presumably in the Dismal Swamp where laborers cut timber and produced naval stores — and saw little of him for a few years. The soldier married twice. There weren’t any children from the first marriage.

Invalid — 867,253 / 625,591
Widow — 979,256 / 737,267, Margaret Nelson

Marriage License, Joseph Nelson and Margaret Mitchell, 13 October 1868
Husband, 23 years old, widowed; wife, 24 years old, single. Both were born in Norfolk, Virginia; both resided in Norfolk, Virginia. Husband’s parents, Tony and Sally Nelson; wife’s parents, [blank]. Husband’s occupation, driver. Geo. T. Watkins, officiant, performed the ceremony in Norfolk on 15 October 1868.

Deposition, Joseph Nelson, 31 December 1901
about 59 or 60 years old; business, undertaker; residence and post-office address, 235 Charlotte St., Norfolk, Va.
“I was born in Suffolk, Va. a slave to Elisha Norfleet (decd). My father’s name was Toney Nelson and he was a slave to ‘Parson’ Keeling. My mother’s name was Sallie Norfleet and she was a slave to my master.”
“Immediately after my discharge I came to Norfolk and have resided here ever since.”
“I received over $200 bounty after I was discharged … but didn’t receive any back pay.
“My witnesses were Alonzo Hodges, Isaiah Nicholson (decd), Norman Pleasant, and George Goodson.”

General Affidavit, Edwin Ferby, 1 January 1912
70 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 16 4th Street

General Affidavit, Enoch Gordon, 1 February 1912
69 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Virginia; post-office address, 263 Cumberland St.
“That I am first cousin to the soldier Joseph Nelson and I in fact am the only near relative now living now that I know of … When we were discharged we all came to Norfolk, Va. and I worked in swamp & saw very little soldier first two years and about two years after discharge … [soldier’s first wife] died in Norfolk, Va. soon after the close of the war”

General Affidavit, Rebecca Mackey, 1 February 1912
63 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 32 Ave. A, Huntersville
“That the soldier Joseph Nelson and his first wife lived with my mother Susan Lowery where Mrs. Nelson died on Fenchurch St., Norfolk, Va. and was buried by undertaker Salzberg and is now also dead … Joseph Nelson remarried to Margaret the claimant. There was [sic] no children by soldier’s first union.”

General Affidavit, Cuetta Wilson, 1 February 1912
61 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Va.; post-office address, 35 Ave. A, 9th Ward           
“That Joseph Nelson’s first wife died in my mother Susan Lowery’s house. We were then living on Fenchurch St. between Holt & Mariner St. Norfolk, Va. and while I can’t remember this Mrs. Nelson’s name, I being young and so much excitement in those days, yet I do remember her as a corpse and about undertaker Salzberg’s burying her. Her husband Joseph Nelson worked for this undertaker at time Mrs. Nelson died. Mr. Salzberg has been dead several years….it was a year and more than a year after first Mrs. Nelson died before Joseph Nelson married Margaret.”


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Though the soldier sustained a serious injury when his horse fell on him, he lived for many years. The chaos of these times is evident in witness testimony. The widow stated “I left my owner during the war, early part, don’t know the date and came to Suffolk, Va. which was then in the hands of the U.S. Army. I was there about a year and then Suffolk was evacuated and I came to Portsmouth, Va. and I have lived in and near Portsmouth, Va. ever since.” She later said “I drew rations from the government while the soldier was in the army. He got a paper from his captain and I carried that to the Warehouse near the Forty Wharf in Norfolk and got rations until just before he returned from Texas.”

Invalid — 737,873 / 549,035
Widow — 756,491 / 544,264, Martha Reddick

General Affidavit, Willis Murdaugh, 22 February 1890
60 years old; residence, Pearl Street, Norfolk Co., Va.
“That I have known the claimant … since his discharge from the service … near neighbors and seeing him very often.”

General Affidavit, Miles Carey, 22 February 1890
56 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I am well acquainted with the claimant having known him for 30 years … [and] by seeing him several times each week.”

General Affidavit, David Coleman, 19 March 1890
49 years old; Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have known the claimant ever since he got out of service, have worked with him on the material train”

General Affidavit, Charles Pierce, 19 March 1890
55 years old; Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have known the said Thomas Riddick from his discharge to the present time… ever since he came out of the service have seen him as often as 3 or 4 times per week and have worked with him”

General Affidavit, Thomas Reddick, 4 April 1890
50 years old; Norfolk County, Virginia
“It is impossible for me to get the testimony of the surgeons who treated me in the service for my disabilities and those who have treated me since my discharge because they have died, moved away so I cannot find them.”

For Officer’s or Comrade’s Testimony, Ives Smith and Nelson Elliott, 24 October 1891
“Reddick was a strong healthy man. … June or July 1864 in front of Petersburg, Va. [Riddick] was injured by having a horse fall on him and severely injured him on the left knee and left side … was injured very badly, was relieved from duty and finally sent to Newport News, Regimentl Hospital.”

Deposition, Maria Shepheard, 2 February 1902
60 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“We was raised together with claimant, hence have known her from childhood to present time … That she knowed [sic] soldier since 1865 … that she attended the funeral of soldier”

General Affidavit, W.H. Fisher, 12 February 1902
25 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“That he is a funeral director and furnished coffin, hearse, and 4 carriages on the 11th day of December 1901 and interred the remains of Thomas Reddick in Mt. Olive Cemetery situated near the city of Portsmouth … Reddick died on the 9th of December 1901, at his residence 1437 King Street, that there is no City ordinance existing in the County nor no health officer’s certificate of death etc unless the body is carried in or through the City.”

General Affidavit, Ann Reed, 12 February 1902
56 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia; post-office address, Chestnut St. near Griffin, Portsmouth, Va.
“That she knowed [sic] claimant and soldier before they were married, that she lived in the same house with her before her marriage to soldier also at the time of and a short while afterwards. That they were married on or about the 16th of July 1865, the ceremony was performed by one Rev. Thos. Barrett… that she was present and saw the ceremony performed”

General Affidavit, W.H. Fisher and Charles Sugar, 8 March 1902
[Fisher] 25 years old; Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Sygar] 50 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.
“That they are well acquainted with claimant and deceased soldier, that they live near the claimant, and the said W.H. Fisher is the undertaker who conducted the funeral exercises and buried the deceased soldier….[Syger] visited and waited on deceased soldier during his sufferings from the paralytic stroke from which he died.”

General Affidavit, Martha Reddick, 26 March 1902
54 years old; residence, Portsmouth, Norfolk Co., Va.; post-office address, 1437 King St., Portsmouth, Va.
“That she owns no stocks or bonds, nor no personal property worth mentioning, only a one half interest in the old house and lot owned jointly by deed to her and her late husband … The lot is worth about one hundred and fifty dollars it being situated in a locality where land is not worth much … [the house] was built about 22 years ago and no repairs except what was necessary for immediate comfort. “

Deposition, Martha Reddick, 15 November 1902
54 years old; occupation, housework; residence, 1437 King St., Portsmouth, Va.
“[I am] the legal widow of Tom Reddick … [who] died at 1437 King Street, Portsmouth, Va. on Dec 9th of last year (1901) of paralysis … [he] was born near Suffolk, Nansemond Co., Va. son of Rhody Reddick, don’t know the name of his father. His owner was Willis Reddick.
“I was born in Edenton, NC. My mother’s name was Judy Wilson, don’t know name of my father, he was sold away when a child. My owner was Tom Hoskins.
“I left my owner during the war, early part, don’t know the date and came to Suffolk, Va. which was then in the hands of the U.S. Army. I was there about a year and then Suffolk was evacuated and I came to Portsmouth, Va. and I have lived in and near Portsmouth, Va. ever since.
“I became acquainted with Tom Reddick in Suffolk after I had been there about two months. He was then still with his mother. He commenced to court me there, but I did not live with him and I was not his wife. I was known as Martha Wilson while there.
“I did not come to Portsmouth with the soldier. He came down about two weeks after I did.
“I had been in Portsmouth, Va. about two months when I was married to said Thomas Reddick, by Rev. Tom Burnett, a white preacher, in Newtown, a part of Portsmouth, Va. on Court Street extended. We were married by a regular ceremony, in a house rented by Reuben Reddick and two other families, the home was very large.”

“We were married in July on the 16th but I don’t know the year but it was 5 months before the said Tom Reddick enlisted in Dec.
“Q. The soldier alleged that he was married to Martha WIlson in Nansemond Co., Va. in 1861.
[The widow maintained that the correct date was the date she’d given — Leslie]”

“Q. Who was present when you were married or alleged.
Some 7 or 8 people, Scott Riddick, Mary Brinkley, that’s all who I know are living.”

“I drew rations from the government while the soldier was in the army. He got a paper from his captain and I carried that to the Warehouse near the Forty Wharf in Norfolk and got rations until just before he returned from Texas.
“I have my papers to show that I drew rations. The soldier sent me money, the last by Stephen Reddick, a Sgt in his company from Texas.

“I was his wife near 40 years. I had 9 children by him. I live with my children. Mr. Barrett who married us. came from Suffolk, Va., don’t know that he was pastor of any church, but he was a preacher.
“I have no property at all except a house and lot near Portsmouth in mine and soldier’s names. I don’t know the worth of the property. The house and worth much, about $25.00, the lot is worth and $100.00, I reckon….No income at all except from my labor and what my children give me.”

Annie Reed was present and saw us married…Scott Reddick and Mary Brinkley knew him long before he married me, and know that he was never married before he married me.”
J.M. Rutter, Portsmouth, Va. has attended to all the writing in my case. …. Mr. Rutter told me that Mr. D. Preston in Wash, DC. was my atty. … The soldier’s captain was Whiting. I went to see the soldier at Fort Monroe and Newport News, while with his company.”

Deposition, Stephen Reddick, 21 November 1902
74 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, Berkley, Va.
“I served as Corpl and Sgt in Co. K …. We always call him Tom. We were related, but we both belonged to the same man, Willis T. Reddick, of Suffolk, Va. now dead.
“Tom and I were raised together, enlisted together, and were discharged together…. I lived in Portsmouth, Va. for a while after the war and I went to see them at times.”

“I brought a prisoner here to Norfolk from Brazos Santiago, Tex., in 1865 and Tom sent some money by me to her, and I gave it to her, and I gave it to her in Newtown, Portsmouth, Va. where she then lived.”

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The claimant injured hurt his back while jumping his horse over a fence during a Company drill at Fortress Monroe in Spring 1864. Years later his widow gave information his former enslaver and the couple’s nine children in her application for pension benefits. Witnesses lived in Isle of Wight County and Elizabeth City County, Virginia.

Invalid — 187,499 / 171,121
Widow — 833,152 / 435,444 — Susan Randall

Sworn Statement, J.T. Boutell, M.D., 7 August 1879
“I have known Moses Russell since 1875. He supports his family by doing odd jobs and sawing wood. The latter however seems to be too much for him & although he does a small amount of sawing yet most of it is done by his son. He has worked for me at times and I have noticed that he cannot stand much heavy work or lift heavy weights.

Sworn Statement, Edward Pleasants, 7 August 1879
resident, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Virginia
“IThat he has known the said Moses Russell from June eighteen hundred and sixty-five at which date Moses Russell was discharged from the United States Service, to the present day, that he has lived withiin one hundred yards of him from his discharge from said service to to the present day, saw him the day he arrived at home from said service, and has seen him nearly every day and night since coming out of said service to the present time . … “

Sworn Statement, Jerry White, 7 August 1879
resident, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Virginia
“That he has been intimately acquainted with the said Moses Russell since the 7th day of February A.D. 1866, that he was a private in Company H, in the 1st U.S.C. Cav. with the said Moses Russell … Russelll was injured in the back by the jumping of a horse while on duty … and has been living within two hundred yards of him all the time, to the present day, see him every day, and frequently visiting each other especially in his sickness … he was attended by Dr. L.D. Seymour, deceased, up to his death, which took place on the third day of November 1870 and afterwards he was attended by Dr. Boutelle of Hampton … “

Sworn Statement, Thompson Walker, 7 August 1879 [presumed date]
“that he know said Moses Russell for the last twenty years, lived within two hundred yards of of him all the time, frequently visiting each other …”

Sworn Statement, William Randall, 7 August 1879
“William Randall was a private of Company K, 1st Reg United States Cavalry and was personally acquainted with the aforesaid Moses Russell … [the claimant hurt his back] while in the act of jumping his horse over [illegible] fence while in the line of his duty in Company Drill at Fortress Monroe, Virginia sometime during the Spring of A.D. 1864 … he never knew the aforesaid Moses Russell to be addicted to intemperance or other immoral habits.”

Declaration for Original Pension of a Widow–Child or Children under Sixteen years of age surviving, 28 November 1885
“the following are the names and dates of birth of all [soldier’s] legistimate children yet surviving who were under sixteen years of age at the father’s death, to wit: Samuel Russell, born 1866; Lule Russell, born about 1874; Hattie Russell, born about 1876 [But it might be 1878 — Leslie]
“Also, personally appeared Agnes Crocker … and Andrew WIlliams … Hampton, Va.”
[Note: The date at the top of the form is November 28th and the date at the bottom of the form is November 30th. Both dates are handwritten — Leslie]

Sworn Statement, Thomas Brooks and Samuel Robinson, [undated]
“residing at Hampton, Va. … they were members of Company K, 1st Regiment of the United States Colored Cavalry … [Russell] was transferred from his company to hospital on account of said injury …”

General Affidavit, Eliza Nelson and Cora Hyde, 1 April 1890
[Nelson] 50 years old; residence, Elizabeth City County, Virginia; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
[Hyde] 30 years old; residence, Elizabeth City County, Virginia; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
“That they are near neighbors to Susan Russell, widow, Moses Russell …”

General Affidavit, Owra Hope, 24 April 1890
40 years old; residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Virginia; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
“I am well acquainted with Susan Russell and her husband Moses Russell … I live as neighbor”

General Affidavit, Eliza Nelson ____
44 years old; residence, Elizabeth City County, Virginia;
“I am well acquainted with Susan Russell … I live as neighbor”

General Affidavit, Milly Prentis, 13 February 1889
70 years old; residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City Co., Va.;
“I was presebt as a nurse for Susan Russell at the birth of Hattie Russell. She born 1878 and died March 6th 1889 at Hampton, Va.”

Sworn Statement, Susan Russell, 3 June 1888
“I was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia about the eyar 1830 — at which place she continued to live until about April 1861 — with Dr. James Southall who was my master and owner. I first met Moses Russell in Smithfield, Isle of Wight Co., Va. about the year 1854 and was married to him about the year 1858 in the county Isle of Wight by Rev. Dr. Colton. Moses Russell at that time was a slave and owned by Wm. Willis Wilson of Smithfield, Isle of Wight Co., Va. at which place he was born. My maiden name was Susan [illegible] … I have had 9 children by him as follows: 3 before the war of the Rebellion, Mary M. Russell, Laura, and John Russell; 6 since the war, Julie, Hattie, Daniel, Russell; the remaining died at birth before being named. Moses Russell was born about 1826. He was a slave before the war and laborer after the war ended…. I have only three children now living John Russell aged about 28 years, Julie aged 12 years, and Hattie aged 9 years.”

Physician’s Affidavit, J.T. Boutelle, MD, 24 February 1890
residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Va.
“acquainted with said oldier for about four years … knew nothing [of Moses Russell] prior to 1875 or 1876 when I first knew him as a resident of Hampton, Va. and began to act as physician to his family. At the time he was in poor condition physically, doing odd jobs for a living. “

General Affidavit, Susan Russell, 27 February 1893
about 45 years old; residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Va.
“Julia born about 1878 and that Hattie is dead and Julia is the only surviving child of the soldier …

General Affidavit, Caroline Spratley and Elia Nelson, 15 July 1893
[Spratley] 52 years old; residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Va.; post-office address, Hampton, Va.;
[Nelson] [blank years old]; residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Va.; post-office address, Hampton, Va.;
“That we have known the claimant since long before the war, that [they] were play children together, their owners living on adjoining farms … the only property [claimant] owns is a small house and lot, that she has no income other than her daily labor.”

Secondary Proof of Marriage, Susan Russell, 11 October 1893
“I am the widow of Moses Russell … my maiden name was Susan Pinner … was lawfully married at Smithfield, County of Isle of Wight, State of Virginia, by Rev. Dr. Colton … on or about 1859 … by said marriage the following children … John Russell, 30 yrs old; Lou. Russell, age 14 years. The former married and living to himself. The latter dependent upon me….The records of our County were destroyed during the war… I cannot obtain the affidavit of the party who performed the marriage ceremony, because he cannot be found and no doubt is dead as he was passed [sic] middle age then… husband died on the 19th day of November, A.D. 1880″

General Affidavit, Caroline Spratley, 19 October 1893
residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City Co., Va.; post-office address, Hampton, Va.
“I was present wihen the claimant Susan Russell was married to Moses Russell which took place before the late war….Her husband belonged to the same person who owned me.”

General Affidavit, Susan Russell, 17 September 1894
about 50 years old; residence Hampton, Elizabeth City Co., Va.;
“That she has no property except a small house and lot which is assessed on the landbooks at this county as $200.00
… on account of her health she is unable to work”

Deposition, Susan Russell, 27 November 1896
about 56 years; occupation, laundress; post-office address, Hampton, Eliz. City Co., Va.

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