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Archive for the ‘Surname B’ Category

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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The solder enlisted under his enslaver’s surname but established himself with his father’s surname upon discharge. The veteran and his wife had ties to Virginia and North Carolina, respectively. Two sons are identified in this pension application. Further research is required to determine if there were other children.

Widow — 661,354 / 471,063, Mary Bright

Marriage License, Reuben Bright and Mary Williams, 9 January 1874
The marriage took place 12 January 1874 in Norfolk County, Virginia. They were 24 years old, single and residents of Norfolk County, Virginia. The groom who worked at farming was born to Mark and Nancy Bright in Norfolk County, Virginia. The bride was born to Mark and Patsey Williams in Currituck County, North Carolina. N.L. Overton conducted the ceremony “at 2 P.M. in Reub. Brite‘s House.”

General Affidavit, Able Northern and Abram Lamb, 29 June 1895
[Northern] 45 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk County, Virginia
[Lamb] 48 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk County, Virginia
“They have been acquainted with Reuben Wilson ever since discharged up to the present time …”

General Affidavit, V.C. Bidgood, M.D, 16 July 1895
38 years old; residence, Centerville, Norfolk County, Virginia; post-office address, Fentress, Norfolk County, Virginia
“I have known Reuben Wilson for about five (5) years …”
Note: The doctor provides great detail about his patient’s conditions and illnesses — Leslie

General Affidavit, A.L. Wilson and Aaron Ferebee, 14 September 1897
[Wilson] 33 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk County, Virginia
[Ferebee] 52 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk County, Virginia
“They both state they were present at the time and place of Reuben Bright or Wilson death and was at his burying and know he died on the 4th day of July 1897. These facts is [sic] personal knowledge by visiting him in the time of his sickness until he died.”

General Affidavit, James M. Spratley and Otelia Wilson, 14 September 1897
[Spratley] 44 years old; residence and post-office address, Fentress, Norfolk County, Virginia
[Wilson] 34 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk County, Virginia
“That they both state they were present and heard the matrimony administered to Reuben Bright or Wilson and Mary Williams by Rev. N.L. Overton on January 12th, 1874 in Norfolk County, Virginia … [Reuben Bright] died on the 4th day of July 1897.”

General Affidavit, Boston T. Parsons and J.W. Sivells, 15 September 1897
[Parsons] 36 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk County, Virginia
[Sivells] 46 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk County, Virginia
“They both state they were present at the marriage of Mary Bright or Wilson to the soldier Reuben Bright or Wilson and know they was married on the 12th day of January 1874 by N.L. Overton …”

General Affidavit, Abar Sivills and Susan Ferebee, 15 December 1897
[Sivills] 27 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk County, Virginia
[Ferebee] 26 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk County, Virginia
“They both state they were present at the birth of Mary Bright or Wilson son Victor Bright when he were born and know he was born on the day of Nov. 1889 and that he is now living with his mother and he is the only child living under sixteen years of age … these facts above stated is [sic] from personal knowledge by living near neighbors and sees each other daily”

Claimant’s Affidavit, Mary Bright or Wilson, 8 June 1898
46 years old; post-office address, Hickory, Virginia
“When [her husband] enlisted he belonged to his master George A. Wilson … and when he was discharged and came home he then changed his name to Bright after his father Mark Bright and he then married me under that name.”

General Affidavit, Charlie Griffin and John Godfrey, 17 August 1898
[Griffin] 50 years old; residence and post-office address, Indian Creek, Norfolk County, Virginia
[Godfrey] 68 years old; residence and post-office address, Indian Creek, Norfolk County, Virginia
“They know the soldier went by the name of Reuben Wilson in the United States Services until discharged and then he changed his name to Reuben Bright and married under that name after his father …”

Application for Re-imbursement, William Bright, 7 June 1909
“Pension was last paid [to Mary Bright] Mar 4, 1909 …
“[Your relationship to the deceased pensioner?] son
[Are you married?] no
[When did the pensioner’s last sickness begin?] about a month before death
[Name and post-office address of that person’s physician] Dr. Nicholas G. Wilson, South Norfolk, Va.
[The last illness] Nephritis
[Who boarded the pensioner during this period?] “Lived with claimant and his brother Victor Bright
[Who nursed the pensioner?] “Members of the house”
[Pensioner’s residence during last illness] Campostella, near South Norfolk
[Did pensioner pay rent?] No
[When did pensioner die?] June 2, 1909
[Where was pensioner buried?] Colored cemetery, Berkley Ward, Norfolk Co., Va.
Dr. Nicholas G. Wilson — unpaid physcian’s bill – $4.00
Wilson Fitts — unpaid undertaker’s bill – $87.00


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The widow was so poor that she “she had to go North to do menial work to defray the funeral expenses of William Bright her husband.” After the death of her second husband, she applied for a Remarried Widow’s Pension.

Invalid – 1,094,307 / 818,955
Widow – 631,803 / 455,229, Mary Minerva
Allen

Deposition, William Bright, 5 October 1892
49 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 76 Nickerson, Norfolk, Va.
“[My attorney] is W.R. Drury, of Norfolk, Va. …. I don’t know the name of the man who swore me but he occupied a desk in Mr. Drury’s office and is said to be a Notary Public. … The man I refer to is a tall slender young man, clean-shaved except a mustache, and he some defect in one of his eyes…. My witnesses Henry Gordon & Nicholas Langley were both sworn by this man I just described.”

Deposition, Henry Gordon, 5 October 1892
about 70 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant William Bright since 1868. We have been associates and fellow workmen during all of the intervening years.”

Deposition, Nicholas Langley, 6 October 1892
49 years old; occupation, watchman; residence and post-office address, 5 Salter Ave., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant William Bright from his early boyhood.”

Deposition, Philip H. Bagnall, 6 October 1892
50 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 14 Lodge St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant William Bright since his childhood … and we have been neighbors continuously since our muster out of service. I was a sergeant in said company.”

Deposition, Jasper Cornick, 6 October 1892
61 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 120 Nickerson St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the clt William Bright for the past thirty years. He and I served together … and have been neighbors continuously since our discharge from service.”

General Affidavit, Clarky Bell and Caroline Simmons, 4 April 1896
[Bell] 6 Byrd Street, (Barboursville),
[Simmons] 11 Chapel Street, Norfolk, Va.
“[The claimant] was a child when they first knew her … they saw her about two (2) or three (3) times monthly during the period of their first acquaintance with her until she became the wife of the soldier. They knew the soldier when a young man…They saw the soldier weekly or oftener throughout the period before he was married … They visited the home of claimant and soldier monthly on an average and affiant Simmons helped ‘raise’ claimant … “

General Affidavit, Margaret Anderson and Elizabeth Kindred, 27 July 1897
“That the claimant above described as no property neither real or personal, no income derived from any source. She has never owned any property of any description except a few articles of household furniture the value of which did not exceed $25.00 and the same has been disposed of. She has been without real and personal property and has had no income of any kind since March 1896, the date of soldier’s death as above described. No one is legally bound for claimant’s support but she depends entirely upon manual jobs for support for she had to go North to do menial work to defray the funeral expenses of William Bright her husband.”

General Affidavit, Joseph Nelson, 5 August 1897
citizen of Norfolk, Norfolk County, Virginia
“That he is one of the firm of Nelson Wilson & Co., who officiated at the interment of William Bright, the soldier above described who was buried March 11, 1896, at Norfolk, Virginia”

Questionnaire (Form3-506), Caroline Simmons, 14 September 1897
66 years old; occupation, housework; post-office address, 11 Chapel St., Extended, Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the clmt since a child. She is my stepdaughter and I partly raised her. Her maiden name was Minerva Simmons. I was not present when she was married but was living within a half a mile of her on Bayside, Princess Anne Co., Va. at the time of her marriage to Owen Bright, about 15 years old. I did not know him until a short time before he married clmt…. He died March before last in this city. … The said Owen Bright was also called William and Bill Bright. When I first knew him he was called Owen Bright. That was the name he gave my husband when he asked for his daughter the clmt.

“The claimant’s post-office address is 69 Willoughby St , 100 Nicholson Street, Norfolk, Va.
“There was no prior marriage of soldier nor claimant. The claimant was never divorced from the soldier and that she has not remarried since his death.”
Note: At first I thought “Owen Bright” was a scrawled presentation of “William Bright” but the person giving testimony said he was also called “William and Bill Bright.” Curious — Leslie

General Affidavit, John Lingen and Elizabeth Kindred, 28 September 1897
[Lingen] 658 Bute Street, Norfolk, Va.
[Kindred] 302[?] Queen Street, Norfolk, Va.
“That they are each well acquainted with the claimant … having known her more than eighteen years. They both were well acquainted with her before her marriage to the soldier above named. Affiants have always known her as Mary Minerva and this was claimant’s name before her marriage….the soldier above described died March 10, 1896 at Norfolk, Va.  [Kindred] distinctly remembers the date being a frequent visitor at his bedside during his final illness and she saw his remains in about one hour after he died.”

Claimant’s Affidavit, Minerva Bright, 28 September 1897
“… although her parents named her ‘Mary Minerva’ she was not called by the name ‘Mary’ not even by her parents.  He husband, the soldier, above described, always said he liked the name Mary better than Minerva and he therefore sometimes called her Mary and at other times Minerva … he applied for license to marry only in the name of Mary. After they were married he used both names Mary and Minerva for every one [sic] else called her Minerva.”

Claimant’s Affidavit, Minerva Bright, 9 October 1897
“She generally spoke to him and to others of him when using the name “William” as William Bright simply; omitting the “D” which stands for “David.” The soldier’s full and complete name was William David Bright sometimes written William D. Bright and at other times written William Bright.”

General Affidavit, Margaret Anderson and Josephine Wilson, 9 October 1897
[Anderson] 93 Willoughby Street, Norfolk, Va.
[Wilson] 110 Nicholson Street, Norfolk, Va.
“That they both knew soldier … before he married claimant. Affiant Anderson knew him for twelve years before he married claimant and affiant Wilson knew him for at least that period. The soldier was married to claimant in the house of affiant Anderson. Affiants both lived in the immediate neighborhood fourteen, fifteen years before his marriage to claimant and they were both personally and intimately acquainted with him all living in Norfolk, Va. and seeing him on average of once or twice weekly during the period named.”

Marriage Certificate, James Allen and Minerva Bright, 7 November 1897
The couple lived at 320 W. 36th when they married. Both were widowed. The groom was 48 years old; the bride was 37 years old. He was born at Old Point, Virginia to James Allen and Adaline. She was born in Norfolk, Virginia to James Simmons and Letitia. The officiant Granville Hunt lived at 134 W. 32nd Street; the witness was H.A. Hunt.
Note: The following text appears on this document “A Transcript from the Records of the Marriages reported to the Department of Health of The City of New York.” It was date-stamped as received by the Pension Bureau on 5 November 1918.

General Affidavit, Lavinia Robinson, 5 December 1897
60 years old; post-office address, 428 E. Bute Street, Norfolk, Va.
“That she has been acquainted with the claimant ever since she was a girl; that she was first married to William Bright; that she was not married after Bright’s death until she married Allen; that she and Allen were never separated or divorced but lived together as man and wife until his death and that she has not re-married since his death.”

General Affidavit, Hezekiah Anderson, 5 December 1897
69 years old; post-office address, 421 Powell St., Norfolk, Va.
“That he has known the claimant ever since 1877 at which time she was not married …”

Death Certificate, James Allen, 15 December 1915
He was about 50 years old when he died in Elizabeth City County, Virginia on 15 December 1915. He was employed as a laborer for “NNRR & E Co.” His parents were James Allen and Adeline Cooper, both born in that county. The informant Edmond Allen lived on Fox Hill Road. The deceased was buried at “AME Cemetery” on 19 December 1915. W.T. Smith and Sons of Hampton handled the burial.
Note: The “transcript” of this death certificate was issued by the registrar of the local Board of Health of Elizabeth City County on 16 August 1921.
Note: If the abbreviation “NNRR & E Co.” is for “Newport News Railroad Company” what does the “E” stand for? — Leslie

Declaration for Remarried Widow’s Pension, Mary Minerva Allen, 1 November 1918
residence, 609 Smith Street, Norfolk, Virginia
“[D]eclares she is 58? years of age, and that she was born 1860? at Princess Anne County, Virginia…That she was formerly the widow of William Bright … That she was married to said soldier …under the name of Mary Minerva Simmons … that said soldier died March 18, 1896 at Norfolk, Virginia … her marriage November 7, 1897 to James Allen at New York, NY that he died December 16, 1915 at Phoebus, Virginia …”

General Affidavit, Mary Minerva, 4 December 1918
58 years old; residence, 609 Smith Street, Norfolk, Virginia
“That her husband, James Allen, died at Phoebus, Virginia, on December 16, 1915; at that time she was living at Phoebus, Virginia, and remained there for about one month when she came to Norfolk, Va. to live and lived with her sister on Washington Avenue until August, 1916; she then went to New York and was in service and lived at 2111 Fifth Avenue until the 2nd day of July, 1918, when she returned to Norfolk and since then has been living at 609 Smith Street.”

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“I knew the soldier during the last five years of his life as a depraved and worthless vagabond …. I have thought it not necessary to lose and incur an additional expense of $3.00 to confront the guardians with the adverse testimony obtained. I thereby recommend the rejection of the claim as it now stands.”
Letter from H.P. Maxwell, Special Examiner, to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 31 March 1897

 

Minor — 597,473 / —–,

 

Marriage License [copy] Stephen Balentine & Cynthia Jones, 11 May 1865
Norfolk, Va.; both, 21 years old; both, single; both born, Princess Anne Co., Va.; husband resided, 1st US Cavy (Cold), Co. G;  wife, Norfolk; husband’s parents, Stephen & Cloe Balentine; wife’s parents, Jack & Charlotte Jones; husband’s occupation, Private, Co G, 1st U.S. Cold Cavy; officiant, John M. Brown, Pastor, St. John AME Chapel, Norfolk, Va.

 

Death Certificate, Steven Ballentine, 30 June 1894
” … departed this life on the 21st day of September 1890, aged 50 years; that the cause of death was gangrene; That the death was reported by J.E. Riddick and occurred at the Almshouse …”

 

Declaration for Children Under Sixteen Years of Age, Daniel Smith, 16 June 1894
58 years old; post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“[He] is the legal guardian of Mary F., Joseph, Magzner, Lucinda and Rosetta … [Stephen Ballentine] died Sept 22, 1890. That he left no widow surviving him, she having died April 16, 1890. That the names and dates of birth of all the surviving children of the soldier under sixteen years of age are as follows:

Mary Frances March 16, 1878
Joseph Dec 21, 1880
Magzener Oct 9, 1882
Lucinda Mch 4, 1884
Rosetta Aug 16, 1886

“That the mother was married under the name Sarah Smith to Stephen Ballentine … Also personally appeared, Abraham Elliott, residing at Norfolk, Va., and Thomas Willie, residing at Norfolk, Va. …”

 

General Affidavit, Daniel Smith, 14 July 1894
post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va. …
Sarah Jane Smith, which was her maiden name, was married to Stephen Ballentine after the custom of slaves on the 15 day of January 1876 by a Rev. William Lewis of Norfolk, Va. and the said William Lewis who performed the ceremony and [illegible] Anna Fentress the midwife who attended the births of the children of Sarah and Stephen Ballentine are dead. And there is no public nor church record of the births nor baptisms of the said children in existence. And it is not in my power to furnish the testimony of but one who was an eyewitness to the ceremony. Some have died and others have moved off to parts unknown to me but I offer the testimony of two who were not immediately present at the marriage of Sarah and Stephen Ballentine but they were intimately acquainted with [them] and lived near neighbor to them. And visited them soon after they were married and to the day of her death.

“And I further certify that the above statement was written by J.A.H. Armstead  in my presence and only from oral statements to him on this 14th day of July 1894 at his office #251 Bank St., City of Norfolk, Va. … ”

 

General Affidavit, Lucinda Smith, 16 July 1894
60 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known and I have been intimately acquainted with Sarah Jane Ballentine from her childhood to her death …. I lived near neighbor to her all the time. I was also well acquainted with Stephen Ballentine for 35 years before he died. He died … at the Almshouse at Norfolk, Va. …. I am well and intimately acquainted with this family and I do well remember the dates of the births of the children….”

 

General Affidavit, John E. Bonney, 25 August 1894
54 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va. near Kempsville
“I have known Stephen Ballentine for 40 years previous to his death, lived near neighbor to him all the time in Princess Anne County, Virginia.”

 

General Affidavit, Manda Hodges, 24 July 1894
45 years old;  residence, corner Scott & Jefferson sts., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I have been intimately acquainted with Sarah Jane Smith and Stephen Ballentine from 1870 to the day of their deaths … [hers, 16 April 1890] … [his, 21 September 1890] at Norfolk, Va. and that they left surviving the following named children: Mary Frances Ballentine born on the 16th of March 1878; Joseph Ballentine born on the 24th of December 1880; Magline Ballentine born on the 9th day of October 1882; Lucinda Ballentine was born on the 4th of March 1884; Rosetta Ballentine born on the 16th day of August 1886. I was present at each of their births in the capacity of nurse…. They are all living and I see them frequently.”

 

General Affidavit, Daniel Smith, 16 February 1895
60 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Va. … “that he was well acquainted with Stephen Ballentine … all of his life to the day of his death”

 

Affidavit As To Family Record Entries, Daniel Smith, 25 August 1895
58 years old; post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Va., 12 June 1894
“Their births and baptisms was recorded in the Smith St. Methodist Church in the City of Norfolk, Va. Said records was in the possession of Wm. Smith, Elder of said church and after his death on the 17th of September 1890, they were misplaced or destroyed, therefore there is no church record in existence. The name of Maglene are spelt wrong by the Clerk of the Court. It should have been spelt Maglene & not Mageline and Maglener….”
[Note: The birth dates in this document are the same as those reported above in Declaration for Children Under Sixteen Years of Age … 16 June 1894 except Joseph’s which appears in the Affidavit … 25 August 1895 as December 24th — Leslie].

 

General Affidavit, Daniel Smith, 10 December 1895
60 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, 262 Church St., Norfolk, Va. … “The said Stephen Ballentine was born and raised in Princess Anne Co., Va. His age when enlisted was about 23 years. His occupation was a farmer. His height was about 5 feet and 4 or 5 inches. His complexion was dark. His hair and eyes was dark. There was no marks or scars on his body that I know of. His discharge certificate was destroyed by fire by his house being burned down. Stephen Ballentine was admitted in the National Soldiers’ Home at Hampton, Va. on the 28th day of August 1890 and he died at the said home on the 21st day of September 1890.”

 

General Affidavit, Philip Bagman and Willis Quickmore, 10 December 1895
[Bagman] 52 years old; 26 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Quickmore]  64 years old; 62 Chapel St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
Bagnam “has known Stephen Ballentine for 25 years and he was he was the first sergeant of Company G with the said Stephen Ballentine … Quickmore was acquainted with the said Stephen Ballentine since 1856 and that he was a private in the company with said Stephen Ballentine …. {and they know that while in the service] Ballentine was frequently treated by Dr. Manley and Dr. Gray in the Regimental Hospital for misery in the head and shortness of breath….”

 

Deposition, Daniel Smith, 24 March 1897
65 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, 402 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I am the guardian of the minor children of Stephen Ballentine. … I knew [Ballentine] from his boyhood. He belonged prior to the late war to a Mr. Land. I think Bennett Land although it may have been Horatio Land and he used to  drive a dray in Norfolk, Va. prior to the war. And I knew him well both before he went to Norfolk to work and when he was in Norfolk. … he was not married prior to his marriage to my daughter… They were married in Norfolk, Va. but I have forgotten the date. Rev. Wm. Lewis married them but he is dead. I do not know in whose house they were living at the time of their marriage. Nor do I know of anyone that was present at their marriage.
“[The five children] are all under my care and custody as their guardian but I cannot give the date of birth of either of the said children as they were born in Norfolk, Va. about five miles from where I live and from where I have lived all my life. …. My wife Lucinda Smith was present when each of them was born. …
“Q. What is the correct name of the minor whose name appears as Magzner.
A.   Her name is Magdalene Ballentine.
q.  Have you had the care and custody of said minors continuously since the death of the soldier Stephen Ballentine?
A.  Yes, sir, I took charge of them before he died as he was unable to take care of them on account of his physical condition.”

 

Deposition, Lucinda Smith, 24 March 1897
55 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 402 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I am the wife of Daniel Smith, the guardian of the minors of Stephen Ballentine. The said Stephen Ballentine married my daughter Sarah Jane Smith in 1867 or 1868. They were married in Norfolk, Va. in my presence but I do not remember the date. They were married by license by Rev. Wm. Lewis now dead. The wedding took place on James St. near Queen St. but I have forgotten the no. of the house in which they were married. I knew the said Stephen Ballentine since his youth … Joseph was born in Rogers Ct., Norfolk, Va. on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1880. He was 16 years old the 24th of last December. Magdalene was born in October 1881. She was 15 years old her last birthday. Lucinda was born March 4th 1884, the very day that Grover Cleveland was inaugurated President of the U.S. the first time and Rosetta was born, also in Rogers Ct. August 16, 1896 …. I give said dates from memory. Manda Hodges of Norfolk, Va. was present when said children were born. She staid right with my daughter when they were born and she ought to remember when they were born.”

 

Deposition, Harriet Bearman, 24 March 1897
43 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, Kempsville, Princess Anne Co., Va.
“I have knows [Daniel Smith] for about 35 years. I also knew his daughter Sarah Jane Smith from her early childhood. She and I were near of an age. I lived right by the family and was very intimate with the said Sarah Jane Smith from her childhood until she died … [I knew Stephen Ballentine] from 1866 until he died. I was not present at their marriage but I remember very well when it took place but I cannot give the date.”

 

Deposition, John E. Bonney, 25 March 1897
58 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Broad Creek, Princess Anne Co., Va.
“I have known Daniel Smith … for the past 35 years …. I knew the said Stephen Ballentine for 40 years before his death. I knew him as a neighbor and as an associate from before he was grown until he died. I also knew his wife Sarah Jane from her early girlhood until she died …. They lived in Norfolk and I lived about four miles distant but I visited them frequently.”

 

Deposition, Henrietta Jones, 25 March 1897
70 years old; residence and post-office address, 190 St. Paul’s St., Norfolk, Va.
“I do not know Daniel Smith …. but I did know Stephen Ballentine who died in the Norfolk City Almshouse. I got acquainted with him on his return to Norfolk after his discharge from the army in the Spring of 1866.
Q.  Under what circumstances did you make his acquaintance?
A.  He visited next door to where I lived for a while and then he visited my house. He was then a single young man. When I first made his acquaintance he was visiting a girl named Lucinda Jones, my cousin who lived next door to me on East Main St. in this City and about two years thereafter he married this girl Lucinda Jones. I was not present when they were married as I had moved to Church St. and was living some distance from them when they were married. I do not know who married them nor do I know who saw them married. No, I don’t think they lived together but he used to visit Lucinda and she had three children by him viz. Alexander, James, and Eva — all living. No, Stephen Ballentine did not support said children. Their mother supported them until she died eleven or twelve years ago and then I took said children and raised them. The child Eva was only about a month old when the mother Lucinda died.
Q.  Where was Stephen Ballentine when Lucinda Jones died?
A.  He was living on St. Paul St. this city with another woman by whom he had the children for which Daniel Smith is the guardian.
Q.  Can you refer me to anyone from whom I may obtain the fact of Stephen Ballentine’s alleged marriage to Lucinda Jones?
A.  I don’t know for certain but I think Rosa Sparks and Susan Perry knew all about the marriage. They lived right by Lucinda when she and Stephen Ballentine were said to have married. They live on Suffolk St. near James in this city. Stephen Ballentine did not live and co-habit with his Lucinda Jones as a husband should do by his wife but he visited her occasionally and she had the abovenamed children by him. Yes, sir, Stephen Ballentine owned and recognized said children but he never provided them with any part of a support.”

 

Deposition, Henrietta Jones, 25 March 1897
70 years old; residence and post-office address, 190 St. Paul’s St., Norfolk, Va.
“I became acquainted with the late Stephen Ballentine in the Spring of 1866 on his return from the army. I was then living on Church St., this City. Prior to that time I had lived on East Main Street, this City, and a young girl, a cousin of mine named Cynthia Jones, not Lucinda, lived next door to me. Her parents were Jack & Charlotte Jones and were from Princess Anne Co., Va. This was about the close of the late war that Cynthia Jones lived next door to me, about the time Richmond, Va. fell, and I occasionally saw this man Stephen Ballentine visiting her (Cynthia’s) house but I did  not make his acquaintance for a year later. Yes, he, Ballentine was in the U.S. Army when I saw him at the house and I heard that they were married but I have no personal knowledge of that fact. … The night his wife died, my daughter (Rachel Jones) went after him and found him in bed with the Smith woman in a house in Rogers Ct. this City. He was not married to the Smith woman nor was he ever divorced from his wife Cynthia Jones. Yes, sir. Cynthia was known as Cynthia Ballentine, the wife of Stephen Ballentine until she died about 14 years ago. …. Cynthia Ballentine died at the corner of Hawk and Willoughby sts., this CIty.”

 

Deposition, Willis Quickmore, 27 March 1897
67 years old; laborer; residence and post-office address, 62 Chapel Street extended, Norfolk, Va.
“I knew [Stephen Ballentine] for at least five years before the beginning of the late war. He followed draying here in the city prior to the war and up to the date of his enlistment …  He and I enlisted about the same time [and served together through discharge and muster out] and came home to Norfolk, Va. together and we lived right here in the city together from the time we left the service until he died in Sept 21, 1890. I visited him at his home and knew him well. ”

 

Deposition, Phillip Bagnall, 27 March 1897
52 years old; laborer; residence and post-office address, 380 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va.
“I knew [Stephen Ballentine] for ten years before he enlisted. He and I used to work together before the war. … If his name appears on the company roll as Stephen Ballenting it is a clerical error, as his name was spelled and pronounced Ballentine. There was no other man of the name of Ballentine or Ballenting in said company.”

 

Deposition, Phillip Bagnall, 27 March 1897
52 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 380 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va.
“I served in Company G … I knew Stephen Ballentine of said company well, for ten years before his enlistment. … I do not know of my own knowledge where [Ballentine was born and reared] but I have heard that he came from Princess Anne Co., Va. not far from the Norfolk Co. line. I do not know who he belonged to nor do I know the names of his parents…. He married just before we started to Texas in the Spring of 1865. I saw the woman during service that he claimed to have married while in service but I do not know her maiden name.  I also saw her after our discharge from service and they lived together from some years and had some children and then he left her and took up with the mother of the children for whom Daniel Smith is guardian. He lived with said woman in an old house in Rogers Court and was living with her when his wife died. I think Jim Langley, Joseph Cornick, and Willis Quickmore will know of Stephen Ballentine’s marriage during service and will know of their separation. No, sir, he was not divorced from the woman he married while in service but just got wrong after the Smith woman.”

 

Deposition, Jasper Cornick, 27 March 1897
66 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 42 5th St., Norfolk, Va.
“I served in Company G … and [I knew Ballentine well]. I first met him at enlistment and knew him well from that time until he died nearly seven years ago….. He married in May 1865 Cynthia Jones, whom I knew prior to my enlistment. She was from Princess Anne Co., Va. and was owned by a Mr. Morris. At the time of said marriage our company was camped out in the edge of Portsmouth, just across the river from Norfolk, and Stephen Ballentine got a furlough to come over to Norfolk to get married and he did not return that night and when he returned the next day Capt. Wm. H. Carter put him in the guardhouse. I have seen the father of Cynthia Jones whom Stephen Ballentine married but had no particular acquaintance with him. His name was Jack Jones…. I do not remember the date of [Cynthia’s] death but she died here in Norfolk on Hawk st (St. Paul’s) near Willoughby st. She died about 12 years ago. I heard that Stephen Ballentine was living with another woman when Cynthia died but I have no personal knowledge of the fact.”

 

Deposition, Isaac Brower, 31 March 1897
60 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 45 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“I knew the late Stephen Ballentine from his childhood. He was the son of Stephen Ballentine and Chloe Ballentine, late of Princess Anne Co., Va. I also knew his wife Cynthia from her early childhood. Her parents were Jack & Charlotte Jones, also of Princess Anne Co., Va. I was not present [when they married] but I know that he lived with and acknowledged her as his wife for several years next after he came home out of the U.S. Army. No, I didn’t serve with him as I was in the Navy. …. They lived together for a number of years and then he got careless about her and took up with another woman whom I did not know and would not notice his wife. I heard that he married the woman he took up with and I am sure he was never divorced from his wife Cynthia. Cynthia has been dead 14 or 15 years now. ”

 

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 31 March 1897
74 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 165 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“I knew [Stephen Ballentine] well. We enlisted at the same time and place. … I also knew his wife Cynthia, whose maiden name was Cynthia Jones. I know that he married her while he was yet in the army, and just a short time before our regiment went to Texas in June 1865. They had been married about a month before we started to Texas. The said wife visited him frequently while we were in camp in Portsmouth, Va. just across the river from Norfolk …

 

Letter from H.P. Maxwell, Special Examiner, to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 31 March 1897
“I knew the soldier during the last five years of his life as a depraved and worthless vagabond…. I have thought it not necessary to lose and incur an additional expense of $3.00 to confront the guardians with the adverse testimony obtained. I thereby recommend the rejection of the claim as it now stands.”

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This 21-year-old enlistee was born free in Nansemond County, Virginia. He worked as a woodcutter. The soldier was charged with mutiny, “confined to Hard Labor Prison in Norfolk, Virginia,” and “ordered to wear a ball and chain weighing twenty (20) pounds attached to his left leg.”

 

Invalid -– 608,514 / 543,484
Widow -– 1,025,911 / —– , Adolph Babb

 

War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, 19 January 1888
“General Order No. 40 Head Quarters Desk of Eastern Va., Norfolk, Va., Dec. 18, 1864 show him tried by General Court Martial on
Charge 1st – Disobedience of Orders;
Charge 2nd – Conduct prejudicial to good order & military discipline;
Charge 3rd – Threatening the life of superior officer.

“Findings of the 1st and 2nd Charges and specifications: “Guilty;”
Of 1st specification of 3rd charge: “Not guilty;”
of 2nd specification of 3rd charge: Guilty;”
Of 3rd Charge: “Not guilty.”
Sentence: “To be confined at hard labor at such place as the Commanding General may direct for the balance of his term of enlistment: to wear a ball and chain weighing twenty (20 pounds) attached to his left leg, and to forfeit to the U.S. ten (10) dollars per month of his monthly pay for the same period.

“Proceedings, findings, and sentence approved & confirmed and will be carried into effect at the Jail at Norfolk, Va.

“Special Order No. 76 …”The unexecuted portion of the sentence of Genl. Ct Martial promulgated in G.O. No. 40 dated Dec. 15, 64 …is hereby remitted.
“He will be released from confinement at hard labor prison, Norfolk, Va. & furnished transportation to Richmond, Va. to enable him to report to Chief Mustering Officer for discharge, his regiment having been mustered out of service.

“He was furnished a discharge by Chief Mustering Officer of Dept of Va. at Richmond, Va. April 7, 1866.

“Records on file furnish no evidence of disabilities alleged or of any other disability during his service….

“Requested Hospital Records, gave Surgeon’s Numerical Morning Reports, which furnish no information are not on file.”

 

General Affidavit, J.D. Wilson, 12 March 1892
37 years old; post-office address, Deep Creek, Norfolk Co., Va. “I live in the immediate neighborhood the claimant and see him almost every day, have known him for 16 years and he is in my opinion unfit for manual labor.”

 

General Affidavit, Jerry Edlow, 17 April 1897
50 years old; post-office address Portsmouth, Va. … “I was a member of the same company with the claimant, and while in Camp Hampton [?] the said Lemuel Babb received a fall from a horse which greatly disabled him…”

 

General Affidavit, Abner Lamb, 19 April 1894
50 years old; post-office address Hickory, Va. … “ …member of the sd company … I saw the sd Babb thrown from a horse….  And the sd Babb also received ingers [sic] at the explosion of the crater in front of Petersburg, Va.”

 

Deposition, Warren Jordan, 24 November 1894
40 years old; farmer; post-office address, Indian Creek, Va. … “I know Lemuel Babb the clt.  I first met him in the spring of 1867 or 1868.  He lived in my neighborhood about 2 years and afterwards while he was living at Deep Creek, Va.  we worked together 4 or 5 months for Mr. Wallace now dead.  I don’t remember the year in which I worked with him ….”

 

Deposition, Lemuel Babb, 8 July 1895
56 years old; post-office address Deep Creek, Norfolk Co., Va.; farmer … “I was born and raise [sic] in Nansemond Co., Va. between Holy Neck and Sumpter.  I was free born.  I came to Portsmouth, Va. about a year before I enlisted and waited on Lt. Mayhan of the 11th Pa. Cav.  Judge Advocate.  Jordan Jones and Robt. Rawls knew me well before enlistment … I enlisted in Portsmouth …”

 

Deposition, Henry White, 8 July 1895
48 years old; post-office address, King St near Pine St, Portsmouth, Va.; laborer … ”I served in Co A, 1st US C Cav as Sgt, 1st Sgt and Pvt.  I enlisted Dec 22, 1863 and was discharged Feb 4, 1866, as near as I can recollect the dates….”

“I know the clmt Lemuel Babb, he served as Pvt in the same Co and Regt for a part of the period of my service….”

 

Deposition, Jordan Jones, 10 July 1895
58 years old; grocer; post-office address, High St., near Godwin, Portsmouth, Va. … “I have known the clmt Lemuel Babb from boyhood.  He served with me in Co. A, 1st USC Cav.”

 

Deposition, John Wright, 11 July 1895
51 years old, post-office address, 822 Griffin St, Portsmouth, Va. …”I am acquainted with the clmt Lemuel Babb. I first met him in the Army …”

 

Deposition, Lemuel Babb, 3 November 1902
60 years old, Deep Creek, Va., residence, 1½ miles east of post office; farmer … “I was free born in Nansemond Co, Va. … I don’t know my father’s name.  My mother was named Edna Babb and I have never been known or called by any other name.

“I was discharged by myself at Richmond, Va.  I recall that it was in 1865 or 1866.  I know my company was discharged before I was…

“I was sent from my Company to Norfolk, Va. and was there in jail for 3 months.  Then I was made stable boss at the “Hard Labor Prison” Norfolk, Va.  This imprisonment took place shortly before my company moved to Texas and I never did my duty with my company afterward….

“I have lived in Norfolk Co., Va. ever since my discharge from the Army.  I have no brothers or sisters.  Hansom Lee and Tom Dundall, P.O. Bowers Hill, knew me before the war.”

 

Soldier’s Application for Increase or Additional Pension, Lemuel Babb, 25 July 1904
“He was born on or about March 4th 1842”

 

Soldier’s Application for Increase or Additional Pension, Lemuel Babb, 22 May 1905
“He was born on the 14 day of March 1842.”

 

Sworn Statement, March Corprew & George Hurlsen, 3 January 1914
[Corprew] 77 years old; Berkley, Va., R.F.D No. 3
and [Hurlsen] 67 years old; Portsmouth, R.F.D. No. 3
“have known the soldier Lemuel Babb for more than fifty years” and Alef Babb his widow was “never married until they were married to each other …”

 

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Adolph Babb, 11 April 1914
67 years old; Deep Creek, Norfolk Co., Va. … “[S]he was married under the name of Adolph Corprew to said soldier at Hickory Grounds, on the 5th day of Jany 1873 by Jno. D. Berryman, that there was no legal barrier to the marriage; that she had no (sic) been previously married; that the soldier had not been previously married.”

 

Letter from J.M. Johnson, Notary Public, Norfolk Co., Virginia, to Bureau of Pensions, 24 August 1914
“Personally appeared before me in my County and State aforesaid this the 24 day of Aug 1914 W.H. Creekmore Register of Births & Deaths for Deep Creek Magisterial District and states on oath that Lemuel Babb died on the 23rd day of March 1914.  Sworn to before me in my county & State.  This is the 24 day Aug 1914.”

 

Sworn Statement, March Corprew & Geo. Harrlson, 20 October 1914
Both knew Lemuel Babb and Adlph Babb his widow since they were very young and that they were never married before they were married to each other and that they have lived as man and wife until the death of the soldier (Lemuel Babb)”

 

Sworn Statement, Geo. H. Wilson, 10 November 1914
“I am sixty-eight (68) years of age and I think I have known Adolph Babb for forty-eight years. She was about 20 years of age. And that I have known the late soldier Lemuel Babb for forty-eight (48) yeas when he came out of the late war in 1866.”

 

Sworn Statement, March Corprew, 10 November 1914
Has known the widow Adolph Babb all of his life and that he is 77 years old “having been born on 2nd day Jany 1837” and that he knew the late soldier Lemuel Babb for about 52 years.

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This North Carolina mother sent two sons (John Sawyer and Frederick Sawyer) and two stepsons (Anderson Roberts and Solomon Roberts) to Union Service.  Her former owner contributed to her support until Emancipation and then served as her attorney in this claim. She had been her attorney’s nursemaid in his infancy.
Ultimately, it took an Act of Congress — a private bill passed in 1885 — for Nelly Roberts to receive a mother’s pension.

 

Mother — 228,253 / 212, 899, Nelly Roberts 

 

Declaration for an Original Pension for a Mother,  Nelly Roberts, 29 September 1876
about 63 years old; “… her second husband Thos. Roberts died in 1869 aged about 66 years… she hereby appoints William E. Bond of Edenton, Chowan Co., N.C.  her attorney to prosecute the above claim; that her residence is … Oaklawn street, in the town Edenton … Also personally appeared Chas. G. Manning … residing in King street, in Edenton, N.C. and James H. Manning … residing in Main street, in Edenton, N.C.”

 

Sworn Statement, Nelson Underhill, 2 October 1876
“I, Nelson Underhill, do hereby testify that I enlisted in the U.S. Service in Co. D 2nd Reg US Cold Cavalry that I knew Fred Sawyer well, knew him to be the son of Nelly Roberts … that Fred Sawyer was a carpenter … that [Nelly Roberts] is about 63 or 65 years old, very poor & infirm; has no property worth mentioning except a small house & lot … ”

 

Sworn Statement, John Sawyer, 8 January 1877
“I, John Sawyer, 2nd Sergeant, of Company E (Capt. William A. Cutler) 37th Reg US Cold Infantry, do hereby testify that I enlisted in the U.S. Service in March 1864 & my brother Fred Sawyer (or Bond) (he was known by both names) enlisted in Co G 1st US Cold Cavalry, & that he died in the service of sickness contracted in the line of his duty during the month of July 1864.
“I further testify that both myself & my brother Fred Sawyer (or Bond) formerly belonged to Mr. Wm. E. Bond now living in Edenton, N.C. & that we were the sons of Nelly Roberts (still living) by her first husband, Edmund Sawyer. I further testify that my brother Fred Sawyer (or Bond) was a young man, just grown, a house carpenter by occupation & had never been married. I am perfectly sure of his enlistment & death in the 1st Reg C Cavalry — am not certain as to the company but think he served in Co G. I know he was never married …”

 

Sworn Statement, Major Warren, 13 January 1877
“I, Major Warren, do hereby testify that during the war of the rebellion, I enlisted in Co A (Capt. Dye) 1st Reg Cold Cavalry; that I knew Fred Sawyer (or Bond) well both before & during his service knew him to be the son of Nelly Roberts, then & still living in Edenton, N.C….”

 

Sworn Statement, Israel Sutton, 13 January 1877
“I, Israel Sutton, do hereby testify that I enlisted during the war of the rebellion, became Sergeant in Co. I, 1st Reg US C Cavalry (Col. J. Garrard); that I knew Fred Sawyer (or Bond) … I further testify that I am not related to Nelly Roberts, the mother of Fred Sawyer – do not even know her, & that I have no interest, direct or contingent, in her claim …”

 

Sworn Statement, Ransome Gregory, 13 January 1877
“I, Ransome Gregory … am not related to Nelly Roberts … ”

 

Sworn Statement, Nelly Roberts, 15 February 1877
“I, Nelly Roberts, formerly Nelly Sawyer, mother of Frederick Sawyer (or Bond) … do hereby certify that my first husband, Edmund Sawyer, the father of my son, Fred, died in 1846; that I was married to Thomas Roberts in 1848; that my husband Thos. Roberts died in 1869; & that I have since been & now am a widow….”

 

Sworn Statement, Charles G. Manning & Henry A. Bond, 15 February 1877
“We, Charles G. Manning & Henry A. Bond, do hereby testify that we have known Nelly Roberts; that she was the wife of Edmund Sawyer the father of Frederick Sawyer; that after the death of said Edmund Sawyer, been since she was married to Thos. Roberts, & that she has been since the death of her second husband & still is a widow.”

 

Sworn Statement, Glascow Roberts & Mustapha McDonald, 15 February 1877
“We, Glascow Roberts & Mustapha McDonald … have known Nelly Roberts many years; that she was the wife of Edmund Sawyer up to his death, which took place in 1846; that in 1848 she was married to Thos. Roberts, who died in 1869 … ”

 

Sworn Statement, Nelly Roberts, 26 February 1878
“I, Nelly Roberts, the mother of Frederick (or Fred) Sawyer) decd do hereby testify that during the time my said son was in the military service of the United States, & up to his death, except two small sums of money sent to me by him, as opportunity offered, I was supported by my owner, Wm. E. Bond, who supplied my necessary wants till emancipation went into effect. I lived with my former owner till the 14th of January 1866. The two sums of money above referenced, sent to me by my son during the time of his service, amounted to six dollars to the best of my recollection.”

 

Letter from William E. Bond, Edenton, North Carolina to Hon. J.A. Bunting [?], Commissioner of Pensions, 27 February 1878
“She raised four sons for the Union services, two sons John & Frederick Sawyer, and two stepsons (sons of her last husband Thos. Roberts by a former wife), Anderson & Solomon Roberts, both of whom were raised by the claimant from early childhood. All four went into the U.S. Service. Fred died therein. Anderson was reported to have been killed in the bloody conflict which took place on the explosion of the mine near Richmond. Nothing has since been heard of Solomon. As he was in the same company and kept with Anderson it is very probable that he fell in the same conflict … the sheriff is threatening to sell some of her little property for taxes …”

 

Declaration for an Original Pension for a Mother, Nelly Roberts, 25 June 1880
69 years old; residence, Edenton, Chowan Co., N.C.; post-office address, Edenton, Chowan Co., N.C.
“that her husband … Edward Sawyer died in 1846, aged about 33 years; after his death she married in 1848 Thomas Roberts who died in 1869 and she has remained a widow ever since … she hereby appoints William E. Bond her attorney …
“Also personally appeared Thos. M. Small, residing in Edenton, N.C. and J.R. McCurdy, residing in Edenton, N.C.

 

Sworn Statement, William E. Bond, 17 January 1884
“I have known Nelly Roberts for many years and her son Fred Sawyer or Bond all his life; that I also knew her late husband and Thomas Roberts for many years; that Thomas  Roberts belonged to Thomas D. Warren, who has been dead for several years
“1 — As to Thomas Roberts, that about the year 1859 or 1860 he became very sickly and infirm; that he had no income except by his labor as a carpenter; that from that time Nelly Roberts was dependent for her support upon her son Fred Sawyer with what she received from me as a compensation for her labor.
“2 — As to Fred Sawyer (or Bond) that he contributed as far as he was able to his mother’s support providing as far as he can for her the necessaries of life; that I know on many occasions of him giving her clothing and food; that I knew of his sending money three or four times during the years 1862 & 1863; and during the time he was in the United States service; that I forwarded one of his letters (containing money, mailed from Norfolk, Va.) to file as part of the proof in her claim; and that he left no wife or child
“3 — As to Nelly Roberts, that she furnished four soldiers to the Union service, two sons and two stepsons (raised by her from infancy); that one of her sons, Fred Sawyer, and both stepsons (Anderson & Solomon Roberts) lost their lives in the service; that since her son’s death she has been dependent upon her own labor for her support; and that she is now very old, very poor, and very infirm.
“I further certify that in a pensioner affidavit I stated ‘that during her son’s absence in the U.S. Service, the said Nelly Roberts was supported by her husband and myself,’ by which I meant that her husband did all he could for her in his sickly condition, and that I contributed more to her support than a reasonable compensation for her service would have demanded because she was my nurse in my infancy (over sixty years ago) and endeared to me; that I am not related to her as an old and faithful servant, and have no interest or connection with her claim except as an act of justice and humanity …”

 

Note: Frederick Sawyer’s Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) shows that he enlisted January 1864 and died July 1864.
— 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 0012 – 1st United States Colored Cavalry: Sample, Abraham (Abram) – Smith, Ives (online at  https://archive.org/details/compiledmili0012akesunit/mode/2up).

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The applicant claimed that her father joined the 1st U.S.C.C. in Vicksburg, Mississippi in June 1863 but that’s impossible. The regiment wasn’t organized until December 1863 at Fortress Monroe. There isn’t a Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) for this soldier in this regiment.*

 

Minor — 946,456 / —–, Lizzie Blackman
Declaration for Pension of Children under Sixteen Years of Age, Lizzie Blackman, 22 July 1910
residence, Kings Point, Warren County, Mississippi; post-office address, General Delivery Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi, c/o Henry Abraham  … “Sonny Blackman [enlisted at Vicksburg in June 1863] as a Private in Comp D, Cold Cav 1st Reg was killed at Champion Hill in service, 1865 … That the mother of said child was married under the name of Lottie Hill … that [her husband] died 1867 …

“Also personally appeared Chas. Grimes, residing at Vicksburg, Miss and residing at Vicksburg, and Newell [?] H. Cook, residing at Vicksburg …”

 

Letter from Lizzie Blackman, Vicksburg, Mississippi to Department of Interior, Bureau of Pensions, 7 September 1915
“Dear Gentlemen, I received of Mr. Wm. Fletcher & Co., arranged a letter stating that said Blackman of Co. D, 1st U.S.C. Cav could not be found and my witnesses say that were right and they know these witnesses was in the service with him and he was wounded at Champion Hill in actual battle and was sent to Vicksburg Mississippi Marine Hospital and did die from said effects. Please look him up for me. Lizzie Blackman. Very truly yours. I am getting old dear gentlemen please let me hear from you at an early date.”

[This letter was written in pencil and it’s quite faded. Almost every word is misspelled; I corrected them for readability — Leslie]
*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. (online at http://www.archive.org/details/compiledmili0001akesunit).  

 

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Although this application has almost no personal information about the soldier, the affiants and deponents give valuable “time and place” information about themselves.

 

Invalid — 996,413 / —–

 

Claimant’s Affidavit, John Baxter, 18 September 1891
67 years old; residence and post-office address, Great Bridge, Norfolk Co., Va. … “I received the wound on my head at a place called Bermuda Hundred on James River, Va. engaged in a fight and wound on my forehead which I received in a fight near Petersburg, Va. My officers’ names were Col. Gurod, Maj. Brown, & Capt. Collins.”

 

Proof of Incurrence of Disability, Reuben Wilson, 1 February 1891
45 years old; residence, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va. … “states he was present when the said John Baxter got shot in the right side of the head and right arm …”

 

Proof of Incurrence of Disability, Abner Lamb, 1 February 1891
45 years old; residence, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va. … “states that he was present under the same command in Company A, 1st USC Cavalry commanded by Capt. Charles Dye …”

 

Proof of Incurrence of Disability, Wilson A. Parsons, 13 February 1892
49 years old; residence, Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, Princess Anne Court House,  Va.  … “While engaged in battle he received a wound in right side of head rendering him unfit for duty. He was sent to hospital at Fort Monroe where he remained some time then re-joined his command and served balance of war although he continued to suffer from effects of said wound … deponent further states, that he is well acquainted with the claimant, having known him for 30 years …”

 

Proof of Incurrence of Disability, Edward P. Parsons, 13 February 1892
50 years old; residence, 11 Wise St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va. Princess Anne Co., Va.; post-office address, … “He is well acquainted with the claimant having known him for about 30 years …”

 

General Affidavit, Nundas [?] Parsons & Willson Parsons, 16 May 1892
[N. Parsons] 54 years old; residence and post-office address, Norfolk, Princess Anne Co., Va. [sic]
[W. Parsons] 52 years old; residence and post-office address, Princess Anne Co., Va.
“They state they have been in the presents [sic] of John Baxter as often as twice and three times a month and have noticed his condition and know he are [sic] suffering with his head and rheumatism … they have lived within three miles of the said John Baxter since discharge and have worked with him often times and seen his condition and knows he is fully disabled from proforming [sic] manual labor … he is fully disabled to care for himself …”

 

Proof of Incurrence of Disability, John Webster, 22 June 1892
50 years old; residence, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va. … “being a member of the same command … and have worked with [Baxter] him since discharge up to the present time … deponent further states that he is well acquainted with the claimant, having known him for about 30 years … ”

 

Proof of Incurrence of Disability, John Godfrey, 22 June 1892
67 years old; residence, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va. … “being a member of the same command … and have seen him since discharge and worked with him. … is well acquainted with [Baxter] having known him for about 30 years … ”

 

General Affidavit, John Godfrey & Reuben Bright, 30 November 1892
[Godfrey] 63 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Bright] 43 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va.
“States that they were members of the same regiment with John Baxter, Private of Company G, 1st USC Cavalry and knows the said John Baxter received a wound from the 29th day of September 1864 in the forehead at Deep Bottom, Va. …. [Baxter] lives by the charity of friends. This facto is personally known to them by living near neighbors of him ever since discharged and worked with him when he could work often times.”

 

General Affidavit, John Winston & Abner Lamb, 10 December 1892
[Winston] 51 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Lamb] 47 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va.
“States that they were members of the same regiment with John Baxter … and knows he received a wound in the forehead … and he also contracted rheumatism in the service … he is in a suffering condition … they have lived near neighbors of him ever since discharge and worked with him often when he could work and see him daily and know he is fully disabled …”

 

Letter from John Baxter, Hickory, Norfolk, Co., Va. to L.C. Wood, Attorney, 26 March 1894
“If it was not for the help of others I would have to be sent to the poorhouse because I cannot do manual labor for a support….”

 

General Affidavit, Calvin Smith & Isaiah P. Cuffee, 10 December 1892
[Smith] 38 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Cuffee] 38 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va.
“They have been acquainted with [Baxter] from discharge up to the present time and know he is totally disabled to earn a support by manual labor and he only lives by the charity of others for support. This fact derives from personal knowledge living near neighbors and see him daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and know his condition from discharge until the present …”

 

General Affidavit, Lewis Sivils & Edward Cuffee, 20 July 1895
[Sivils] 63 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Cuffee] 53 years old; residence and post-office address, Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va.
“Each one states for himself — say they have been living near neighbors of [Baxter] for several years … he can scarcely walk about the house … he is almost fully helpless …”

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The soldier, born enslaved in Mathews County, Virginia, was brought to Norfolk as a child and hired out to cart bricks. In adulthood, he loaded and unloaded grain at the wharves. The widow’s application contained several inconsistencies so the attorney (a female) and the notary (a Howard University student) were deposed. The attorney noted the difficulty in finding witnesses outside of Washington, DC who could read and write.

 

Invalid — 724,166 / —–
Widow — 506,855 / 407,149, Catharine Billups

 

Deposition, Catharine Billups, 15 January 1895
49 years old; occupation, housekeeper; residence and post-office address, 142 St. Paul st., Norfolk, Va.
“I have two applications for pension on file, one under the new law and one under the old law, in which I claim pension as the widow and as the dependent widow of Henry Billups, late of Co. G, 1st USCC
“Q. Where were you born and reared?
A.  I was born and reared the slave of Wilson Land of Princess Anne Co., Va. but I lived here in Norfolk eight years before the late war commenced. My maiden name was Catharine Webb. My mother (dead) was Katy Webb and my father was Jack Webb (dead).
Q.  Where was your late husband born and reared?
A.  He was born and reared in Mathews Co., Va. and he was owned by a man named Brooks whose first name I have forgotten. I know these facts from hearing my said husband relate them. I have never been in Matthews [sic] County, Va.
Q. When and where did you first meet the said Henry Billups?
A.  I met him here in Norfolk, Va. a year or two before the late war commenced. He was hired by his owner to a Mr. Noe who made brick at Norfolk. Mr. Noe died long ago. I was living at the time I made my husband’s acquaintance with Mr. Peter Whitehurst of this city, who died several years ago.
Q. When and where did you marry the said Henry Billups?
A.  I married him here in Norfolk on Chapel st. the same year that the war broke out. I was hired to a Mrs. Jones, a northern woman living on Chapel st between Cove and Holt sts. I don’t know what became of Mrs. Jones nor do I remember the number on Chapel st. where she lived. No, fighting had not commenced when we were married but soldiers were being recruited to go to war at the time we were married. We were married in the summertime, don’t remember the month or year. No, we did not have a license as license was not granted to colored people at that time. We had a minister or other person authorized to solemnize the right of matrimony to join us in marriage. We just got the permission of masters to our union and then we had a little supper to which we invited some of our friends. My aunt Charity Land gave us the wedding supper but she is dead.
Q. Give me the names and addresses of persons who were present at your wedding supper.
A.  I only remember of but one person now living who attended that supper and that is Mary Huggins who is now living in the state or city of N.Y. I do not know her address.
Q.  Where did you live from the date of your marriage until Henry Billups enlisted?
A.  We moved into the kitchen on Main st this city of a Mrs. Lizzie Jones and we lived there until Henry Billups enlisted and I continued to live there until after his discharge and return from the army. I had two children born there.
Q.  Had you been previously married or had you lived with any man as his wife prior to your marriage to Henry Billups?
A.  Neither …
Q.  How long did Henry Billups live with you after he came out of the army?
A.  He lived with me until he entered the Hampton Soldiers Home and after entering that Home he frequently visited me and my our [sic] daughter now Mrs. Mary Williams visited him at the home. I don’t remember the date we first visited him at the Home. We were living on National Lane, this city, when he went to the Home. Toler Bagnall can tell you more about the date of his going to the Home than I can and that we lived together as husband and wife from Billups came out of the army until he went to the Home. He also knows that my husband visited me after he went to the Home. The winter before he died my husband left the Home on his liberty pass and came to see me and the weather was cold and snow fell and the asthma from which he suffered became worse and he got money from me to pay his way back to the Home. This was within six months of his death.
Q.  Describe your late husband.
A.  He was about 5 ft 5 or 6 inches tall, dark complexion, black hair & eyes, and was about 48 years old when he died in May 1890. He was a year or two older than I. … I had 10 children by said soldier, all of whom are dead except my daughter Mary E. Williams.”

 

Deposition, Caleb Garrison, 16 January 1895
61 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 22 Lodge st., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Catharine Billups since July 1867. I have known her well and have associated with her intimately since said date. In July 1867 her husband Henry Billups rented a part of the house No. 11 Allentown Lane, Norfolk in which I lived and which I controlled and they lived — I mean this clt and her said husband Henry Billups — lived in said house with me until 1871 when they moved into another house. During the time said parties lived in my house Henry Billups, the husband, paid the rent and provided for the clt and their children as a father and husband should do and he recognized this claimant as his wife and she was so recognized by all who knew them. After leaving my house in 1871 we visited back and forth as long as Henry Billups was in the city, and since he left the city to go to the Hampton Soldiers Home. The clt and my family have been on terms of intimacy.”

 

Deposition, Mary E. Williams, 16 January 1895
24 years old; occupation, laundress; residence and post-office address, 22 Salter st., Norfolk, Va.
“I am a daughter of the claimant … I lived with my parents up to the time my said father went to the Soldiers Home near Hampton, Va. and I continued to live with my mother, the claimant, until I was married three years ago, and then my mother lived with me several years after I married. My parents, the clt and Henry Billups, the soldier, lived together as husband and wife, and were so recognized by all who knew them, from my earliest recollection until my father became unable to work when he entered the Hampton Soldiers Home, and after his entrance to said Home, he visited my mother, the clt, and I at intervals until a short time before his death, and I visited him at the Home on several occasions, therefore I know from personal knowledge that the soldier Henry Billups who died at the Soldiers Home in May 1890 was the husband of my mother, this claimant. I have seen the certificate of discharge from service of my father, the said Henry Billups and I remember that he served in the 1st USCC, Co G. I have also heard him say that he served in said company and regiment.”

 

Deposition, Mary Wallace, 16 January 1895
53 years old; occupation, laundress; residence and post-office address, 17 Chapel Lane, Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Catharine Billups for the past 30 years and for the past 20 years she has been in my employ at intervals every year as a laundress, therefore I have known her well, in fact, we are cousins.
“I also knew her late husband Henry Billups from the time of his return from the army in the spring of 1866 until he died ….”

 

Deposition, Phillip Bagnall, 19 January 1895
51 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 279 Cumberland st., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Catharine Billups since in 1866 — the spring of 1866. I also knew her late husband Henry Billups who served with me in Co. G 1st USCC during the late war. I was a Sergeant in said company. I knew said soldier for nearly twenty years before we enlisted. He was born and reared in Matthews [sic] Co., Va. but was brought to Norfolk when a boy and was hired out in Norfolk where he and I worked together at carting brick. I knew from what the said Henry Billups told me that he had married this claimant but I do not remember to have seen her until he and I enlisted and were in camp near Norfolk & Fort Monroe, Va. when she used to visit him in our camp and on such occasions he recognized her as his wife and treated her as such. I did not however become acquainted with her until the said soldier and I were discharged from service and returned to Norfolk then the soldier Henry Billups and this claimant went to housekeeping and I visited them quite often. … I visited him several times [at the Soldiers Home]. …”

 

Deposition, W.P. Sands, 30 January 1895
52 years old; occupation, Adjutant Southern Branch National Military Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers near Hampton, Va.; post-office address, as above
“I am the custodian of the records of the Home above named. In the matter of Henry Billups the following appears on record viz:
Henry Billups, age 47. height 5 ft 6 in. complexion, dark. a resident of Norfolk in the state of Virginia. born in Matthews [sic] Co., Va. in service of the U.S. once viz: Enlisted Nov 1863 at Norfolk, Va. in Co. “G” 1st US Col Cav. Discharged at Brazos Santiago, Texas, Feby 4th 1866. Condition, married or single, not stated. Died in hospital 25th May 1890. Admitted to Home March 4th 1884.”

 

Deposition, John Binford, 31 January 1895
57 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 7 Byrd st., Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Can you read and write?
A.  No, sir, neither.
Q. Do you know one Catharine Billups widow of Henry Billups late of Co. G, 1st USC Cavy?
A. No, sir, I do not.
Q. Do you know one Henry Harrison who appears to have lived at No. 82 Henry st. this city?
A.  No, sir.
Q.  Where did you reside in May 1892?
A.  I lived at 31 Scott st., this city.
Q.  Have you ever signed and executed any papers for use in the pension case of Catharine Billups?
A.  I have not.
Q.  Were you in and about the temporary office in Church st this city in May 1892 of Mrs. Belva A. Lockwood?
A.  I have been at her office at that place two or three times. I have been there when R. Bagnall, N.P. was there. I went there to be a witness for a Mrs. Pines and that is the only case in which I testified at Mrs. Lockwood’s office. I have heard you read the application for pension of Catharine Billups dated and executed before R. Bagnall, Jr. N.P. May 11th 1892, in which my name appears as if written by myself as an attesting witness to the signature by mark of the applicant Catharine Billups, and as witness to her identity to said application and I pronounce both of said signatures to be and they are forgeries. I did not sign and swear to that application nor did I authorize Mrs. B.A. Lockwood or any other person to write or sign my name thereto.”

 

Deposition, Catharine Billups, 1 February 1895 
49 years old; occupation, laundress; residence and post-office address, 141 St. Paul st., Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Who prepared your application for pension under the old general laws?
A. Mrs. B.A. Lockwood of Washington, DC fixed it up for me when she was in Norfolk something more than two years ago. She wrote out said application at her office on Church st near Queen in this city. but I don’t remember the day, month, or year when it was done
Q. Did you sign said application by mark or otherwise?
A. Yes, sir. I was in Mrs. Lockwood‘s office at the time and she called my attention to it. That is, that I had put in for pension under the new law and that I could get more money under the old law so we were told to go to her for same purpose in connection with my claim for pension and when I went to her office she asked me to sign my name to an application for pension under the old law.”

 

Deposition, Henry Harrison, 2 February 1895
about 39 years old; occupation, porter; residence and post-office address, 110 St. Paul st., Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Do you know John Binford who resided until recently at No.31Scott st, this city,
A. No, sir. ….
“Q. Do you know R. Bagnall, Jr. NP?
A. I am not personally acquainted with him and have never been in his office. He has recently been pointed out to me but I have never spoken to him.”

 

Deposition, Robert Bagnall, Jr., 10 April 1895
38 years old; occupation, student; residence and post-office address, Howard University
“I was the notary in the case of Catharine Billups. Belva Lockwood was the attorney. I think the two witnesses whose names appear as attesting and identifying Henry Harrison and John Binford. I was personally acquainted with Henry Harrison, wrote his own name for I saw him write it. I think he was living on Henry St. not positive I know he is at present living on East North st, Huntersville, Norfolk, Va. I think the number 66. I built the house he is living in. I was the Secretary of the Association that built it and superintended the construction. Harrison is short and stout about 5 ft 3, bacon color, also known by the name Henry Jones. He served in the army under the name Henry Harrison. I think he was in Co. B, 36 USCT, I also knew John Binford. He was a soldier. Can’t give service. He was a pensioner and was dropped & he was employed. I think by Mrs. Lockwood as a runner. He was very obnoxious in his manner. No, sir, he could not write. Mrs. Lockwood wrote his name in both cases. I asked her as to the legality of an attesting witness signing by mark. She told me that it was alright so it was done in my presence as the notary Burford was present and said Catharine makes her mark but as he could not write I questioned it. Mrs. Lockwood being an old and experienced pension attorney I yielded thinking I may have been in error. I know that both of these men have been witnesses in several cases and Mrs. Lockwood always wrote his name. I know both of them claimed that they knew the claimant before I swore them. I have no doubt but what Burford has an idea that if he can thread the case in court he would be employed at $1.50 per day as witness he has done this before and several others. Binford is a name that is considered among the lowest and most unreliable of his race, Henry Harrison is a honest laboring man and general reputation good. I am not surprised that Burford says now he did not know said claimant that is the character of the man I was not interested.”

 

Deposition, Belva A. Lockwood, 12 April 1895
60 years old; occupation, attorney; residence and post-office address, 619 F st, N.W., Washington, DC,
“I recall John Binford but not Henry Harrison. I wish to say with reference to it that the declaration is in my own handwriting as indicated was made up by me as indicated in my own office in Norfolk, Va. with the claimant before me and perhaps a dozen other witnesses of none of whom could write except Henry Harrison. John Binford was present. Said Catharine Billups marked her x mark and I wrote his name opposite as witness to the cross mark X of Catharine Billups in presence of notary but in the hurry seems to have neglected to make the cross mark X to his own signature. Which I have duly made of the opposite side. In that locality which is almost entirely colored there is only about two persons in one hundred able to write their names and I found it very difficult to do business at all as the name is boldly written in my own hand without any attempt dissimulation [?]. It is evident that it is not an attempt at forgery but a clerical error; When the fee agreements were signed later in the day I secured two white witnesses. The requirement of the blank calling for two witnesses who can write their names is not I understand a requirement of law nor even an unusual custom but simply a construction of claim agents to their clients to prevent unauthorized papers.

“I also get persons who can write for witnesses to cross mark X when I can but sometimes at places outside of Washington it’s almost impossible. I recollect having some talk with Notary R. Bagnall, Jr. about these signatures and the difficulty in finding persons who could write to identify claimants. I do not believe that either of one of those persons whose signatures appear upon the declaration would deny anything if brought face to face with me. I am the attorney. My statement has been real and is correctly recorded. If they deny it is from undue pressure.”

 

Deposition, Henry Harrison Jones, 26 April 1895
51 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 34 East North st., Norfolk, Va., Huntersville mail.

Q. Were you in the army in the late war?
A.  Yes, sir, I was in Co. C., 37th USCT
Q. By what name were you enrolled in said company?
A.  I was enrolled under the name Henry Harrison. I am pensioned under that name by Ctf 668,604.
Q. Do you know John Binford of Norfolk and formerly of the 36th USCT?
A.  Yes. …
“Q. Have you ever signed and executed any pension papers with the said Jno. Binford?
A.  Yes, sir. In May 1895 when Mrs. Lockwood had her office on  Church st near Queen in Norfolk. …”

 

Deposition, Catharine Billups, 19 June 1895
49 years old; occupation, housekeeper; residence, 249 Cumberland st, Norfolk, Va.; post-office address, 22 Salter st. Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Where were you living when your said husband left the service in March 1866?
A. He was discharged from service at Brazos Santiago, Texas on the 4th day of February 1866 and the regiment was brought to City Point, Va. and were discharged then or about March 15, 1866 and I think it was on or about the 15th day of March 1866 that my husband reached Norfolk where I was living on Main st and I forget the number with Mrs. Jones. after my husband got back from the army in March 1866 we lived in a kitchen in the backyard of the premises occupied by Mrs. Jones.

“I suppose we lived there about six months after my husband’s return from the army and then we moved to a house in Allentown Cove st, in the city and we lived there six or seven years. I had smallpox while living there. From Allentown, we moved on Chapel st., near Holt st. and we lived there two or three years. After that we moved about from place to place and did not stay long at any place.

“Q. When your husband returned from the army at what did he become employed?
A.  He worked on the wharves about the city at unloading grain from vessels and at loading it on the piers. That was his regular work even after he came out of the army.

“Q. Who worked with him at loading & unloading grain?
A. I used to hear my husband speak of a man named Bush as one of his fellow workmen but I don’t remember his first name. Henry Pearce is another man that worked with him. Pearce living on Bute st near the Old Baptist Church. These are all I remember.

“Q. What was your husband’s physical condition on his return from the army in March 1866?
A. He was in good health so far as I could see and I heard no complaint from him for all of ten years after leaving the service and then he began to have a hacking cough and complained of pain or a misery in his breast and he kept getting worse & worse until he finally gave up and went to the Soldiers Home, Va.

“I do not remember where we were living when my husband first began to cough but I knew it was some two or three years after we moved from Allentown. Yes, sir, my husband had varioloid and these some time thereafter he began to have a cough. After recovering from varioloid he took down with chills and fever then the cough and misery in his breast set in and he kept going down rapidly until he had to go to the Soldiers Home for treatment and he died there from disease of his lungs. The Dr. at the Home called it consumption.

“I was all right during the further investigation of my claim. I understand the questions asked me and my answers thereto have been correctly repeated here.”

 

Deposition, Phillip Bagnall, 20 June 1895 
51 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 279 Cumberland st., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Catharine Billups since about the beginning of the late war. I just know her as the wife of Henry Billups. They were living together as husband and wife when I became acquainted with her but I had known the said Henry Billups for several years prior to the marriage. He was formerly from Matthews [sic] Co., Va.”

 

Deposition, John Boush, 19 June 1895 
53 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 42 Howard st., Norfolk, Va.
“I do not know the claimant … but I knew a Henry Billups with whom I served in Co “G” 1st USCC during the late war. I became acquainted with him in service. I knew him also as an associate here in Norfolk from the date of our discharge from service until he went to the Soldiers Home near Hampton, Va. to live and I saw him once after he went there.
“Q. Did you know him to suffer from any disability?
A.  He worked at loading & unloading grain from the time he came out of the service until he got sick and had to go to the Soldiers Home. It was several years after his discharge from service before I knew anything to be the matter with him. He then took a severe cold which resulted in a bad cough. Some of the men who worked with him in hauling grain told him that the dust from the oats & corn which he was handling caused him to have that cough. Richard Grant (dead), Oscar Miller (dead) & Owen Sykes were his fellow workmen.”

 

General Affidavit, Frank Foster, 16 March 1898
post-office address, Norfolk Co., Va.
“that he and Henry Billups belonged to the same owner before the war and were raised together; that he was intimately acquainted with him; that he served in the 37th USCT; that Billups was discharged a short time before affiant and came back to Norfolk; that affiant came to Norfolk as soon as he was discharged; that Billups lived in Norfolk from discharge until short while before death; that he saw Billups often during that time; that when Billups was discharged from service he was suffering from what affiant believes to have been a.sthma; that symptoms of disease were shown by difficulty in breathing; that during his attacks of this disease he was compelled to quit work; that he suffered from this disease continually from his discharge to time of death; that at times he was completely disabled from performing manual labor on account of it so much that he was compelled to give up all work and become an inmate of the Soldiers Home where he died; that affiant often visited at Billups’ house and saw him laid up in bed from the effects of this disease; that Billups often told him that this disease came on him while in service and that he began to suffer from it before he was discharged; that he makes these statements from his intimate acquaintance with the soldier and with his physical condition; that he has no interest in this case.”

 

General Affidavit, Phillip Bagnall & Jasper Cornick, 19 May 1898 
[Bagnall] 2 North St. (Huntersville)
[Cornick] 62 Chapel St., extended
“that they served in the same company and regiment with Henry Billups; that they were well acquainted with said Billups; that they knew Billups before he enlisted … ”

 

General Affidavit, Phillip Bagnall & Willis Quickmore, 20 May 1898
[Bagnall] residence, 2 North St., Norfolk, Va.
[Quickmore] residence, 42 Fifth St., Norfolk, Va.
“that they were both well acquainted with Henry Billups and served with him in the same company and regiment; that they knew said Henry Billups before he was enlisted in the same service …”

 

General Affidavit, Willis Quickmore, 13 August 1898
66 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Va. … “that he served in the same company as Henry Billups; that he also knew him intimately about seven years before Billups enlisted in the army … that affiant lived in Norfolk, Va. with said Billups from the time they were discharged until Billups went to the Soldiers Home; that during that time he visited at Billups’ house, worked with him, and saw him about three times a week …”

 

Deposition, Catharine Billups, 13 February 1901
about 55 years old; occupation, laundress, post-office address, 127 Liberty st., Norfolk, Va.
“I am the widow … I never knew him by any name other than Henry Billups, and I knew him long before the war. His owner’s name was Brooks. My owner’s name was Land and we were married by the consent of our owners here in Norfolk, Va. several days before the war and we lived together until he enlisted. We resided in Norfolk, Va.

“I never knew any of his relatives except a sister, Maria Smith, Liberty St., Norfolk, Va.
“I know he enlisted in the 1st Cav for I visited him in camp at Old Point and at Portsmouth. He enlisted in Norfolk, Va. and was discharged in Texas. I don’t know how long he served. I don’t know what he did with his discharge. He was paid some money soon after the war. I don’t know whether it was bounty or what it was. I don’t know when he was born. A man by the name of Bagnall and another by the name of Wilson served with him. He was not a pensioner. He died at the Hampton, Va. Home 10 or 11 years ago.
“He had been a resident of the Home 2 or 3 years. He and I lived together in Norfolk, Va from the time he came home from the army until he became a resident of the Hampton Home.

“I had two children by the soldier — Mary Williams and Cass Billups. Mary was married shortly after the soldier died. My son Cass has been away from town most of the time since the soldier died. My children were over 16 when the soldier died.
“I have supported myself by doing laundry work since the soldier died.
“I resided on Bank st., between Queen & Bute when soldier died and for a year afterward. Then on Liberty st for 2 or 3 years. Then in Queen st between St. Paul and Cumberland for two years and since then at 127 Liberty st.
“I have never kept any boarders or lodgers. I have never rented any of my rooms.
“I have lived with my daughter and with my cousin Mary Wallace, 100 James St., ever since soldier died.
“I have not married since the death of my said husband.
Lazarus Tate and Philip Bagnall were witnesses in my pension claim.
“I never had a former husband and my said husband never had a former wife. J.W. Morris, Washington, DC was my atty.
“A Wm. Gant, dead, did my writing for me and I paid to nim $10 for his service. ______ Warren, Bank st. executes my vouchers. I go to his office on the 4th and take two witnesses.
I have not been known by any names other than Catharine Billups since my said husband died.”

 

Letter from Catharine Billups [on letterhead of Hubard and Hubard, Attorneys-at-Law, 145 Bank Street, Norfolk, Virginia] to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 25 September 1916
“… I am 72 years of age having been born 1844 at Princess Anne Co., Va. …  [residence] 423 Liberty St., Norfolk, Va.”

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Henry Brock, Company E

This soldier was charged with “riotous conduct” and sentenced to 30 days with ball and chain. His pension application has very little personal information beyond his birthplace — Onslow County, North Carolina. Documents related to his court-martial are included in his Compiled Military Service Record  (CMSR)
— 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 0011 – 1st United States Colored Cavalry: Bomer, James – Cartwright, John (online at http://www.archive.org/details/compiledmili0002akesunit).  Brock’s CMSR can be viewed at n581-n605.

 

Invalid — 1,110,037 / —–

 

Court-Martial Proceedings, Henry Brock, 28 March 1865
Special Order No. 20
A Garrison Court Martial is hereby appointed to meet at the quarters of Captain C.N. Emerson 1st U.S.C. Cavy at ten a.m. on the 29th day of March 1865 or as soon thereafter as practicable for the trial of Private Willis Harris, Co. E. 1st U.S.C. Cavy and such other prisoners as may be brought before it.
Detail for the Court:
Capt. C.N. Emerson , 1st U.S.C. Cavy
Capt. Thos. Cunningham, 38th New Jersey Vols.
1st Lieut. [illegible] 38th New Jersey Vols. ….”

“Private Henry Brock, Comp. E, 1st U.S.C. Cavy, case against on the following charge and specification:
Charge – Riotous Conduct
Specification: In this that said Priv. Henry Brock … when by Lieut. G.B. Bergen, A Prov Marshal of the Post to go to his quarter and not to loaf around the Post Hospital, refuse to do so and say “I have come in the army to die and I will just as soon die here as to leave” or words to that effect, and did not leave until arrested by the guard and put in the guardhouse.
“All this at Fort Powhatan, Va. on or about the 24th day of March 1865
“To which charge & specification the prisoner pleaded — Not Guilty:

“Private John McCleary, Comp. E, 1st U.S.C. Cavy, a witness for the prosecution being duly sworn answers:
Q by J. Adv: Was the prisoner with you at the hospital on the evening you were put in the guardhouse?
Answer: Yes Sir.
Q by J. Adv: Was the prisoner there when the Provost Marshal came and ordered you away?
Answer: Yes Sir.
Q by J. Adv: Did you hear the prisoner say anything to the Provost Marshall?
Answer: The prisoner said he would just as well die there as anywhere else.
Q by J. Adv: Did he go away when the Provost Marshal ordered him away?
Answer: No Sir.
Q by J. Adv: Did the PRovost Marshal order him away?
Answer: Yes Sir he ordered us all away
Q by Prisoner: Did you hear him tell those words to the Provost Marshal?
Answer: Yes, sir. …

“After mature deliberation the Court do find the prisoner Private Henry Brock, Comp. E, 1st U.S.C. Cavy as follows:
— of the Specification — Guilty except the words ‘put in the guardhouse”
— of the Charge — Guilty
and do therefore sentence him [Brock] to forfeit to the U.S> one month pay and to be confined at hard labor with ball and chain for the period of thirty (30) days.”


Declaration for Invalid Pension, Henry Brock, 6 May 1892
45 years old; residence, Norfolk, Norfolk County, Va.; post-office address, 11 Talbot St., Norfolk, Va. … Also personally appeared A.J. Brown, residing at Norfolk, and G.L. Pryor, residing at Norfolk …”

 


Military Record, Henry Brock, 9 June 1892 [U.S. Pension Bureau stamp]

birthplace: Onslow, North Carolina … occupation, farmer

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