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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This Virginia native lived in New York’s Hudson River Valley after his service. Having a sustained a devastating wound to his left foot, the veteran could barely work. His widow, described as “honest and industrious,” was feeble and destitute. Her former employers provided testimony in support of her pension application.

Invalid — 484,658 / 671,469
Widow — 854,921 / 645,258, Amanda A. Carte
r

Sworn Statement, Noah Carter, 19 January 1888
residence and post-office address, 204 Anne Street, Newburgh, NY; “[H]e has followed the business of taking care of horses ever since his discharge until about 12 years ago … [wounded] while retreating with his company and regiment … has continuously doctored said foot by application of liniments and bandages the said foot at times swelling to such a degree as to prevent his putting on a shoe …”

Questionnaire (Form 3-493), Noah Carter, 5 May 1899
[residence] 240 Washington St., Newburgh, New York
[previous residence] “have lived in Newburgh from the time I was discharged about 23 years”
[nearest post office to both addresses] “City of Newburgh, Orange County, NY”
[occupation since] “when able took care of horses”
[known by another name] no
[military service under another name] no

Sworn Statement Noah Carter, 30 August 1890
residence, 277 Washington St., Newburgh, NY; “that the surgeon of his regiment who treated him is dead, that he can therefore furnish no proof …”

Application for Original Invalid Pension, Noah Carter, 24 May 1893
58 years; residence, Newburgh, Orange Co., NY; ” … was wounded by a minie ball in the left foot … never treated in hospital … [his] attorney Seward [?] Round, Newburgh, Orange County, New York … also personally appeared, Joseph P. Thompson, residing at Newburgh, NY and Samuel H. Blair, residing at Newburgh, NY “

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), Noah Carter, 29 April 28 1898
[married] Aminda Hasbrouck
[when, where, by whom] Bishop Joseph P. Thompson in Newburgh, NY, on the 27th of October 1907 — Leslie]
[record] marriage ceritficates and one of the witnesses, Amie Bed[?]”
[previous marriage] “yes name James Johnson died in 1872″
[children living] none

Sworn Statement, Lewis Martin, 4 August 1902
“That he was a member of Company L … and served with Noah Carter and knew him well. When the regiment was near Richmond, Virginia on the march between Petersburgh and Richmond said Noah Carter was with his regiment marching and fighting and in the line of his duty was shot in the left foot … about the first of April 1865”

Additional Evidence, Amanda Ann Carter, 14 August 1906
post-office address, 241 Washington Street, Newburgh, NY; “Also personally appeared Robert Bailey [and] Charles Frint, of Newburgh, Orange County, NY”

Sworn Statement, Charles T. Alsdorf and Josephine Johnson, 14 November 1906
residence and post-office address, Newburgh, NY; “well acquainted with [Amanda] and knew [Noah] …”

Sworn Statement, Lewis Day Williams, 17 November 1906
Rev. Lewis Day Williams … he is the custodian of the marriage records of AME Zion Church of Newburgh, NY and that there is no record of the marriage of Noah Carter and Amanda Ann Carter …”

Sworn Statement, A.P. Templeton,, 17 November 1906
She is the Registrar of Vital Statistics of the city of Newburgh, and as such is the custodian of the marriage records; … is unable to find any such record”

Sworn Statement,, Geo. E. Trimble, 2 January 1907
“He is well acquainted with the widow of Noah Carter, and knew her husband well, and he has known them well for 30 years and more”
[Note: He’s quite eloquent about the couple’s marriage and poverty — Leslie]

Sworn Statement, Simon P. Alsdorf, 3 January 1907
residence, 91 Liberty, Newburgh, NY; occupation, musician
“[H]as known [the couple] all his life … known them both well for at least 20 years past … They have not owned any property during that time … Amanda Carter is poor and in want, she has no land or interest in land, and is destitute, and in need. They were always [illegible] poor people and she is very poor now.”

Sworn Statement, Mary W. Cameron, 3 January 1907
residence, 117 Chamber St., Newburgh, NY; “she has known [Amanda A. Carter, the claimant] 25 years or more …
“For some 15 years she worked for me and in my family and father’s family … we have had to help her for years of late. She was always honest and industrious till she became too old to work”

Sworn Statement, Arthur P. Davis, 4 January 1907
“have known [Amanda] for at least ten years and knew [Noah Carter] for 20 years and more … They traded with me off and on and now and then for groceries. I am a grocer and my address is 34 William Street … She is in serious want and her pension is very much needed.”

Transcript from “Records of Death” kept in Board of Health, Newburgh, Orange County, NY, Noah Carter, 19 August 1907
[death date] 9 August 1906
[name] Noah Carter
[age] 73 years old
[status] married
[occupation] hostler
[birthplace] Virginia
[father’s name and birthplace] not given
[mother’s name and birthplace] not given
[place of death] 241 Washington Street, Newburgh, NY
[direct cause of death] senility
[contributory cause of death] gastritis
[medical attendant] John Deyer, MD
[burial] Woodlawn Cemetery

Sworn Statement, Henry Hermans [sp?], 19 August 1907
residence, 162 W. Parmenter St., Newburgh, NY; “acquainted with [Amanda Carter] about 29 years … I well remember the death of Noah Carter which occurred about a year ago and since then [deponent has] lived about 350 feet of said Amanda A. Carter …”

Sworn Statement, Louisa Smith, 9 September 1907
“I know Noah Carter had another wife before he married Amanda Ann … Her name was Jane …. I laid her out when she died, I remember it well …”

Sworn Statement, Coleman Major, 9 September 1907
residence, Newburgh, NY; “Noah Carter was a tenant in my house in 1874 and his wife died there and was buried from my home.”

Sworn Statement, Amanda Carter, 19 October 1907
residence, 241 Washington St., Newburgh, NY; “[soldier] was married once before he was married to me and only once. He married Jane Johnson and she died in the year 1874 …
“[deponent] was also previously married to one John Roberts and he died in the year 1876 in Middletown … she has no income and no means of support since August 15, 1906. She is supported by her sister Prudence Brown by days work and washing and scrubbing …”
“Two witnesses, Alice Rose and Prudence Brown”

Sworn Statement, William Hasbrouck and William Darby, 27 October 1907
residence and post-office address, Middletown, NY; “… acquainted with [Amanda] and knew John Robert, her first husband well … [Robert] died in Middletown, NY on [illegible]. We helped lay him out after he died and we were present at his funeral and know he died.”

Sworn Statement, William Hasbrouck, 8 February 1908
57 years old; residence, Middletown, NY; “… John Roberts died in Middletown, NY on the 25th day of August 1876 …”

Sworn Statement, William Darby, 10 February 1908
64 years old; residence, Middletown, NY; “… John Roberts died in Middletown, NY on the 25th day of August 1876 …”

Sworn Statement, Henry Hammonds, 11 February 1908
residence, 167 W. Parmenter St., Newburgh, NY; “is well acquainted with Amanda A. Carter [who] resides at 241 Washington St., Newburgh, NY, she was married before her marriage to Noah Carter to a man named John Roberts [who died] at Middletown, NY August 26, 1876 … I know he died from the following facts: [Hammonds] knew from personal friends who were in Middletown, NY & from the undertaker and from the papers published in Orange County

Sworn Statement, Amanda Carter, 23 March 1909
residence, 241 Washington St., Newburg, NY; “My former husband John Roberts never served in the military …”

Application for New Certificate, Arminda A. Carter, 6 September 1910
78 years old; post-office address, 68 Fulton St., Middletown, NY; ” On or about the 4th day of May 1910, at or near Village of Tarrytown, State of New York, and to the best of said deponent’s knowledge and the belief that said Certificate has been lost, mislaid, or destroyed and said deponent has made diligent search and inquiry to find said Pension Certificate but without sucksess [sic] and deponent is of the opinion it is beond [sic] recovery, lost or destroyed and she now makes this Application to Hon. Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC for the issuing of a new Pension cerificate.
“Also personally appeared, Prudence E. McClary

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White officers typically served as enlisted men or junior officers in Northern regiments before becoming commanding officers in African American regiments. This officer’s earlier service was as Regimental Quartermaster with the Sixth Massachusetts Infantry . After the war ended he married a woman from Norfolk, Virginia and returned to his hometown  Lowell, Massachusetts.

 

Inavlid — 1,313,825 / 1,105,836
Widow — 921,814 / 692,335, Mary Coburn 

 

Certificate of Marriage, Charles H. Coburn and Mary Victoria McClean, 20 June 1866
Coburn was born in Lowell, Massachusetts; McClean was born in Norfolk, Virginia. Officiated by Reverend J.S.B. Hodges on June 20, 1866 in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. Witnesses were: “Mother & sisters of bride, James Parker etc. 
Recorded in the Parish Register of Grace Church, Newark, NJ, Page 464, 465 of Vol. i.”

 

Questionnaire, Charles H. Coburn, 18 March 1905
[wife]  Mary Victoria Coburn; Mary Victoria McClean
[where, when, by whom] June 20, 1866 at Scotch Plains, NJ by John S.B. Hodges, DD, Newark, NJ
[record] at Scotch Plains, NJ
[previous marriage] no
[living children] Three — Victoria McLean Coburn, May 7, 1869; Frederic William Coburn, January 30, 1873; Helen Coburn, June 5, 1877

 

Questionnaire (3-447],  Charles H. Coburn, 24 March 1905
[birthdate] March 12, 1839
[birthplace] Lowell, Massachusetts
[date enlisted] August 20, 1862
[place enlisted] Lowell, Mass.
[residence before enlistment] Lowell, Mass
[post-office box before enlistment] Lowell, Mass
[occupation at enlistement] merchant
[when discharged] June 5, 1863
[where discharged] Lowell
[residence after discharge] Lowell, Massachusetts
[present occupation] merchant
[physicial description] 5 feeet, 6 3/4 inches; weight, 150 pounds; blue eyes; brown hair; light complexion; no scars

 

Declaration for Widow’s Pension, Mary V. Coburn, 10 June 1909
“she is the widow of Charles H. Coburn, who was enrolled, on or about 16 day of September, 1862 as a 1st Lieut. Regt. Com, in 1st RRegt. U.S. Colored  Vol Cavalry , and honorably discharged June 3rd, 1863, having served ninety days or moe duirng the late civil war …
“Also personally appeared Hellen C. Stevens, residing in 187 Nesmith S., Lowell, Massachusetts, and Ethel M. Morse,  residing in 187 Nesmith St., Lowell, Massachusetts [acquainted with her] 32 years and 2 years, respectively …”

 

General Affidavit, Frederic McClean, 19 July 1909
36 years old; residence, Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts; post-office address, Lowell, Massachusetts
“[the couple] was married but once …”

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Record of Death, Charles H. Coburn, 29 October 1909 [date stamped by Pension Office]
[death date] June 3, 1909
[age] 70 years, 2 months, 19 days
[death place] 187 Nesmith Street, Lowell, Massachusetts
[occupations] Vice President & Treasurer, C.B. Coburn, Co.
[birthplace] Lowell, Mass
[parents’ names] Charles B. Coburn; Elizabeth West
[parents’ birthplaces] Chelmsford, Massachusetts; Salem, Massachusetts
[cause of death] arterio sclerosis 

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Certificate of Record of Death, 11 June 1909
[Note] The information recorded here is also  in the “Record of Death.” However, this document states that this individual was buried in Lowell Cemetery, Lowell, Massachusetts and the previous document.

 

General Affidavit, Lizzie McClean, 19 July 1909
60 years old; residence, Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts; post-office address, Lowell, Massachusetts
“depose and say that the claimant was never married but once and then to soldier, also that the soldier was never married but once and then to the claimant Mary V. Courn nee McLean….”

 

General Affidavit, Walter Coburn and Agness C. Bartlett, 20 August 1909
[Coburn] 64 years; residence, Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts; post-office address, Lowell, Massachusetts
[Bartlett] 47 years; residence, Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts; post-office address, 313 Nesmith St., Lowell, Massachusetts
“I Walter Coburn depose and say that I am the brother of the soldier, relative to the claimant and the soldier living together from the date of their marriage to about 1890 will say that they always lived together from the date of their marriage up to the date of his death and very happily. …
“I Agness C. Bartlett depose and say relative to the claimant and soldier living together from the date of their marriage to about 1890 … up to the date of the soldier’s death and very happily …”

 

General Affidavit, Mary H.C. Rogers and Elizabeth Coburn, 20 August 1909
[Rogers] 69 years old; residence, Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts; post-office address, Lowell, Massachusetts
[Coburn] 59 years old; residence, Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts; post-office address, Lowell, Massachusetts
“[the couple] well known to us before their marriage and we know that neither was married befoe and that the widow has not married since.”

 

General Affidavit, George H. Heath, 30 September 1909
35 years old; residence, Lowell, Massachusetts; post-office address, 79 Branch Ave., Lowell, Mass
“That is a clerical error on my part that June third was the correct date of  his death and it was my mistake and I hereby make oath to that effect.”

 

General Affidavit, Mary V. Coburn, 26 October 1909
72 years old; residence, Lowell, Middlesex County, Massachusetts; post-office address, 745 Hillside Ave., Plainfield, NJ 
“[Coburn] He died on the morning of June 3, 1909, at 6 o’clock a.m. which is correct. The undertaker was particularly told the day and time of day that the soldier died”

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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**The thirty or so witnesses provided “time and place” details about themselves and for many others known to them. Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated October 1917-1921. Last week’s post included research notes for documents dated 1890-July 1917.

The Colding family from Suffolk, Nansemond County, Virginia applied for and received pension benefits for about thirty years. The soldier’s pension index card (not shown here) stated that he applied for benefits as an Invalid in 1890, his minor children received financial support, and his widow received a pension until her death in 1921.

Invalid — 765,634 / 598,507
Widow — 563,334 / 832,979, Burry Colding
Minor — 754,537 / 617,871
, Burry Colding, Gdn.

Deposition, Willie Colden, 9 October 1917
52 years old; occupation, huckster; post-office address, 330 Main St., Suffolk, Va.
“I was born here and have resided here ever since.
“Charles Colding was my father. He was a Civil War pensioner. My mother was Mary Colden. She died about 1884.
“Father then got married to Burry Kelly. They lived together before their marriage and had two children. Father died in October 1892 but I forget the day of the month.
“I have resided within two or three blocks of her, this claimant, ever since father ndied.
“She had a beaux named James Peoples about 8 years ago but he is dead.”

Deposition, Luther Colden, 9 October 1917
45 years old; occupation, barber; post-office address, 719 Washington St., Suffolk, Va.
“I was born here in Suffolk and have resided here ever since. Charles Colden was my father. … He died about 1892. My mother Mary Colden died about 1884…. I have resided here in town ever since father died and have seen her every some every year.

Deposition, Robert H. Crump, 10 October 1917
54 years old; occupation, carpenter; post-office address, 212 Church St., Suffolk, Va.
“I have resided in Suffolk between 28 and 29 years last past. I have for a wife Zusie Colden. She was a daughter of Charles Colden by his wife Mary according to my understanding.
“I was acquainted with Charles Colden in his lifetime.
“This claimant lived next door for me for four or five years while she was a chamber maid on a boat and has lived within two or three blocks of me ever since her husband died…. She works some at my house and visits my wife and my wife visits her.”

Deposition, Mary Bryant, 10 October 1917
40 years old; occupation; housekeeper; post-office address, 204 Pine Street, Suffolk, Va.
“I am the wife of George E. Bryant who by occupation is a barber. I was born in this town and have resided here ever since.
“I have known Burry Colding from my earliest recollection.
“I knew her husband Charles Colding and remember about the occasion of his death.
“I have resided within three or four blocks of this claimant since her husband’s death.”

Deposition, Zusie Crump, 10 October 1917
“42 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 212 Church St., Suffolk, Va.
“I am the wife of R.H. Crump, Jr. who by occupation is a carpenter.”

Deposition, Joseph Johnson, 10 October 1917
60 years old; occupation, painter; post-office address, 100 Mahan Street, Suffolk, Va.
“I have been rooming at the place where I now stay for 18 years. The Hales run the place until Burry Colding moved there. When the Hales were there I paid $1 and $2 for month rent… There are six rooms in the house.
“Her son Willie made his home there up to five or six months ago. he is now away at work. …”
“I occupy a room upstairs, the room I had before Burry came through. Burry had a room upstairs awhile, the front room. I had the back room. There is a hall room and upstairs also. There is no communicating room between the front and back rooms. A person would have to come out in the hall to get from one room to the other. A person would have to come out in the hall to get from one room to the other. I take no meals with Burry. I am never there — only nights and mornings. I spend my spare time at the barber shop and where I take my meals at Sarah Williams house. … I rent the room and and furnish it just as I did before she came here. She does not even sweep my room or clean it up. I carry the key to my room and she has nothing to do with it.”

Deposition, Kate Kelly, 10 October 1917
50 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 107 Mahan Street, Suffolk, Va.
“I am an unmarried woman. I am an aunt of Burry Colding. I am a half sister of her late mother Mary Colden. I have resided in this town over 30 years. I have not resided over four blocks from Burry Colding at any time since her husband Charles Colding died. She has not remarried since he died. …
Joseph Johnson rented a room from her… They do not go out together. Never have I ever seen them together. I do not know what rent he pays but think $2 per month unfurnished. Her rent has been raised and Johnson may have to pay more now. ..”
“This claimant has made her living by washing and ironing, on a boat as a chamber maid, and hired out as a cook.”

Deposition, Henry Holmes, 10 October 1917
65 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 220 Mahan, [illegible] Church St., Suffolk, Va.
“I have resided here in Suffolk, Va. for forty years. I am not related to Burry Colding. I have known her ever since before her husband Charles Colding died. I have not resided over 300 yards from her at anytime since her husband’s death.

Deposition, Florence Johnson, 11 October 1917
over 50 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 115 Mahan Street, Suffolk, Va.
“I was born here and reside here now. Never resided any please else but did work away from here.
William Johnson is my husband. He is a mill hand. I am not related to Burry Colding. I have known her ever since she was a child.”
“I reside the third door from this claimant and have so resided for 3 or 4 years. I visit her and she visits me. She is a hard workig woman. I never see any man hugging her.”

Deposition, William Puryear, 11 October 1917
48 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 117 Pine Street, Suffolk, Va.
“I have known Burry Colding ever since I came to Suffolk in 1888…. She was the maid on the steamer “Virginia Dare” that runs from here to Norfolk, Va. I guess she was on the boat about five years in the 90s but I can’t fix the time. I was on steamer 22 [?] years. She had a good reputation for value on the steamer. … I used to know James Peoples before he died. I did not know he kept company with Burry Colding…. I know Joseph Johnson. I think he had a room at Burry Colding’s house. I was there once last year.”

Deposition, Neverson Phillips, 11 October 1917
55 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 102 Mahan St., Suffolk, Va.
“I have resided in this town over forty years. I came here when a boy.
“I have known Burry Colding over 30 years. When I first got acquainted with her her name was Burry Kelly.
“I remember about her getting married to Charles Colding. She then lived right across the street from me. She lives next door to me now. I have resided within two blocks of her. Since her husband died, the most of the time nearer than that. “
“She now has a roomer named Johnson. He had been stepping out my sister in same house before Burry rented it. My family owns the property Burry Colding lives in. She may have been there about four or five years. She pays my son the rent. Johnson pays his rent.”

Deposition, Lula Colden Rountree, 11 October 1917
about 36 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 806 Milner Dr., Suffolk, Va.
“I am the wife of George Rountree who by occupation is stevedore.
“I am daughter of the late Charles Colding and the late Mary Colding. Father used to spell his name Colding but most all his children spell their surname C – O – L – D – E- N. I was two years old when mother died.
“I was 10 or 11 years old when father did. A pension was also claimed for me but it never was worked up. A pension was also worked up for Sister Ada but she never got it. She died.
“Burry Colding is my stepmother. I have resided close to her, only a few blocks from here, ever since father died. He has been dead for five or six years.”

Letter from [illegible], 15 November 1917
“I am writing in interest of one Lula Colding. She claims that her father was a Sergt. in Co. A. 1 Reg. U.S.C. Cav. That her father dies in 1892 when she was but ELEVEN years old and understands that she is or was entitled to a pension of $2.00 per month until she was Sixteen.
“If this is a fact will you kindly mail me the necessary application blank with instructions. Or, you can mail direct to her uncle Luther Colding, Suffolk, Va.”
[Note: This letter was typed on stationery “J. Walter Hosier, All Kinds of Insurance, Suffolk, Virginia”].

Letter from Mary Colding, 119 Church Street, Suffolk, Va. to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 29 October 1921
“My mother, Burry Colding, died on Oct. 23rd 1921 andd I am to ask you to send me the necessary papers in order to obtain what pension may be due her, to apply on her funeral.
“This account of funeral and other expenses incident to her lalst illness and death has been assumed by me, and I am to pay.”
[Note: This letter was typed on stationery “J. Walter Hosier, All Kinds of Insurance, Suffolk, Virginia”].

Letter from Mary Colding, 119 Church Street, Suffolk, Va. to Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, DC, 29 October 1921
“I have a brother, William Colding, now about 27 years old. He was paralized [sic] about five years ago and is totally unable to do anything whatever, and now Mother is dead, and I am unable to take care of him.
“Is there any assistance that can be rendered him, on account of my Father’s service in the Civil War. If so, would thank you to give me the necessary information and kindly send the necessary papers to fill out.”
[Note: This letter was typed on stationery “J. Walter Hosier, All Kinds of Insurance, Suffolk, Virginia”].

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*The thirty or so witnesses provided “time and place” details about themselves and for many others known to them. Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated 1890-July 1917. Next week’s post will include research notes for documents dated October 1817-1921.

The Colding family from Suffolk, Nansemond County, Virginia applied for and received pension benefits for about thirty years. The soldier’s pension index card (not shown here) stated that he applied for benefits as an Invalid in 1890, his minor children received financial support, and his widow received a pension until her death in 1921.

Invalid — 765,634 / 598,507
Widow — 563,334 / 832,979, Burry Colding
Minor — 754,537 / 617,871
, Burry Colding, Gdn

Statement, Dr. John T. Kilby [date illegible]
residence, Suffolk, Nansemond Co., Va. “I knew Charles Colding before the war & learned from himself and others that he enlisted & was a Sergeant in the Army of the U.S. during that late war between the states. … I am a graduate of University of Virginia, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia [illegible] 1848 & 49 & attendant lecturer for two years in the hospitals & schools of France & have been in active practice for forty years.”

Statement, Ed D. Phillips, MD [date illegible]
residence, Suffolk, Nansemond Co., Va. “I have been practicing medicine ever since my graduation 40 years and five days ago this the 29th March 1890…. his disability may very justly be estimated at one half.”

Marriage License, Charles Colding and Burry Kelly, 14 October 1892
Nansemond County, Va.; Colding was a 51-year-old widow when he married 21-year-old Burry. Both born in Nansemond County; both live in Suffolk. The groom’s parents were William Colden and his wife Mary. The bride’s mother was Mary Kelly; her father wasn’t named. The officiant was W.W. Gaines.

General Affidavit, Burry Colding, 14 December 1892
residence, Suffolk, Va.; “I commenced to live with soldier about Jany 1st, 1889, after the death of his first wife…. I had two children by him, Mary born Oct 14, 1889, and William born Oct 28, 1891. … Although we were not married by any legal ceremony prior to Oct 14, 1892, under the laws of Virginia, our cohabitation in the open manner of man and wife, recognized as such …”

General Affidavit, Sarah Lawrence and Kate Kelly, 14 December 1892
“We were present at the birth of Mary Colding … who was born Oct 14th 1889 … and also at the birth of William Colding … who was born October 28th, 1891.
“The said Sarah Lawrence was present in the professional capacity of midwife in eah occasion and Kate Kelly on account of her relation to the said Burry Kelly.”

General Affidavit, Thomas Holl and H. Holman, 14 December 1892
residence, Suffolk, Va.
“Affiants state they personally knew the soldier Charles Colding, from 15 years or more, they were also acquainted with his first wife, Mary Colding, who died in April 1884, which fact is known to affiants by reason of having attended her funeral. Affiants further declare that shortly after the Church Street Colored Cemetery in Suffolk, Va. on the 14 of April 1884.
“She died on Main Street in Suffolk, April 13, 1884 … we were intimate personal friends of the family …”

General Affidavit, S.S. Brosier and Wm. I. Reid, 17 December 1892
“We were present at the burial of Mary Colding, the first wife of Charles Colding who was buried in the Church St. Colored Cemetery in Suffolk, Va. on the 14 of April 1884.”

General Affidavit, Burry Colding, 18 January 1893
“I am unable to furnish a certified copy from the public or church record showing dates of births of the children because the church does not keep any record. There is no public record to be had.
“I am also unable to obtain the testimony of the physician in attendance at their births because there was no physician in attendance.”

General Affidavit, Thomas Holland and Oscar Powell, 18 January 1893
“We were well acquainted with soldier and claimant prior to January 1889…”

General Affidavit, Burry Colding, 30 January 1893
“I am unable to furnish a certified copy from the public records of the marriage of Charles Colding to his first wife Mary as I have been informed it took place about 1859 and in 1866 all the public records in the County Clerk’s Office were destroyed by a fire and I can find no one who can testify as to the time the marriage took place.”

General Affidavit, Josiah Crocker and William W. Newby, 6 February 1893
“That we have known Charles Colding for about twenty years and that his wife’s name was Mary … recognized each other as husband and wife up until up to within about two years of her death which occurred about seven or eight years ago and that he always recognized … Ada and Lula as his own children. We do not know the cause of their separation nor can we tell when they were married or became husband and wife.”

General Affidavit, Burry Colding, 13 March 1893
“I have made every effort to obtain some kind of proof of marriage of soldier to his first wife and proof of birth of her two children Ada and Lula … I have failed to find any such proof….”

General Affidavit, Burry Colding, 9 August 1893
“I am the widow of Charles Colding and we lived together and man and wife for four years, although no ceremony of marriage was performed … During that time two children were born and as we were told these children would not be considered legitimate by the laws of Virginia, and my husband being in bad health said that it would be best for us to have a ceremony performed and sent for Rev. W.W. Gaines of Suffolk, Va. who married us on the 14th day of October 1892. My husband died in about a week after the ceremony.”

General Affidavit, R.H. Hines, 16 April 1902 [stamped by Pension Office]
post-office address, Suffolk, Va. “I am well acquainted with Burry Colding … I live near the widow and have well know her, and her late husband for more than eighteen years.”

General Affidavit, Jas. S. Pleasants, 18 April 1902 [stamped by Pension Office]
post-office address, Suffolk, Va. “I have known Burry Colding all her life and also knew her husband Charles Colding. There is two children of Charles Colding now living with their mother, Mary and William, both of them beind under sixteen years old … I live close to her and have lived close to her for nearly all her life, therefore, am in position to know these facts.”

General Affidavit, Charlie Phillips and Josiah Crocker, 23 June 1903 [stamped by Pension Office]
post-office address, Suffolk, Va.
“We are well acquainted with the applicant, Burry Colding and were also well acquainted with her late husband, Charles Colding.
“Charles Colding only left two children, William and Mary, and we positively swear that these two children were under sixteen years old, Dec. 20th, 1901”

Statement, Luther Colding and John Cohoon, 16 October 1916
residence, Suffolk, Va.
“They have lived all these years in Suffolk, Va. and very close to the applicant …”

Statement, Mary Bryant, 10 March 1917
41 years old; post-office address, Suffolk, Va.
“I have known Burry Colding all my life, and knew her before her marriage to Charles Colding. I have always lived her in Suffolk, Virginia in same part of the town as Burry Colding…”

Deposition, Hannah Johnson, 20 July 1917
about 51 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-offcie address, 815 Newlies [sp?] St., Suffolk, Va.
“I am the widow of Henry Johnson and am drawing a pension of $12 per month.
“I have known Burry Colding … since before the death of her husband. She was a chamber made [sic] on the boat between here and Norfolk, several years. I do not know how she has made her living since Colding died. I have seen her all along since her husband died 25 years ago in passing around. … I do not go about her. I don’t visit much.

Deposition, Burry Colding, 20 July 1917
“I do not know my age. I am beyond 40 though.”; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 100 Mahan St., Suffolk, Va.
“I do not remember the regiment in the army in which my late husband served but his company was H. When he died I had two children to draw pension William and Mary Virginia. I drew the pension as their guardian. I had to give bond to the court. Walter Hozier my attorney made settlement with the court for me.
“My maiden name was Burry Kelly. My father’s name was Peter Kelly and my mother’s name was Mary Kelly. I was born at Seppes [?] Chapel about 10 miles from here in this county. My parents brought me here when I was 8 or 10 years old and I have been here every since. I do not know what year I was married. I cannot say how old I was when I was married. I know I was wrong. My children were born before I was married. … I married him (the soldier) only a short time before he died but can’t give the date. I was living with my mother when I got married. Father and mother had separated. …. I never heard my late husband was ever married but once before he got married to me and I never knew the wife’s name that I remember. I understood that she died.”
“My youngest child was not twelve months old when his father died. He is 24 or 25 years old now.
“My husband died right across the street from where I now live. The house he died in has been torn down and a new one erected.”
“While the children were small I staid [sic] around home and washed and ironed and took care of them. I staid [sic] where my husband died only a short time. I then moved to Church Street. I have only lived in four places since my husband died and they were within a ston’es throw of each other. After my children got a little larger I got to be a chamber maid on the boat which used to run from here to Norfolk.
“I worked on there for 7 years. My rheumatism had gotten bad and I had to quit…. Here lately I have been doing some washing and ironing. All the officers on the boat are dead.
Willis Price, Pine Street was a deck hand. He is the only deckhand I know of in Suffolk who worked on the boat. Different boats were used. It was called the Old Dominion Line. We made a round trip every time.
“I worked for Mr. ‘Nat’ Withers as cook for 4 yaers.
“I worked for Mrs. Hershey Woodard about one year before I went on the boat.
“I worked for a few weeks and a few months for some other people….
“I have been in this house for about 4 years. My son made his home here up to 3 or 4 months ago. He has gone to Hopewell to work. I lived at 110 Church Street before I lived here.
Beda Butler and her daughter Margaret lived with me there. Margaret got married and I do not know she married. I do not know where in Norfolk they live. They went to Norfolk near 7 years ago. … Mr. Hozier is my attorney. I have not paid him anything or promised him anything.
“When he got my children money he took out his fees. I do not known how much ….”
[Note: Two witnesses were Tempie Kelly and Leon S. Colden — Leslie]

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Adam S. Cobb, Company E

The Clerk of the Court said that the mother’s paperwork was destroyed in a North Carolina county courthouse fire in March 1876. However, she eventually received a pension. The soldier’s father then filed an application but his claim was denied “on the ground that the soldier was not the legitimate son of the claimant, being the offspring of a slave marriage.”

Mother — 384,713 / 281,984, Jemima Cobb now Hill
Father — 605,045 / —–, Isaac Murphy

General Affidavit, Mrs. Jemima Cobb, December 1888
residence, Green Co., N.C. … “Lived on Rev. Thomas Moore‘s farm in Greene County, North Carolina — post-office, Snow Hill, year 1865 and have lived on different farms in Greene County ever since except one year spent in the adjoining county of Lenoir. Ages of family [in 1865]; James, 11; Martin, 13; Maria, 15; Grace, 21; Charlotte, 25; Charity, 27; Jacob, 29. All of these are dead but five — and 10 more children died previous to the year 1865. No person is legally bound to take care of me since the death of my son Adam, after the surrender. As I am old and my memory is deficient, the facts about my children’s ages are not exact, but are approximated as nearly as possible.”

War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, 21 January 1889|
“… Adam Cobb … died of tuberculosis … Co. Descriptive Book shows Nov. 10, 1865, date, and Brazos Santiago, Tex., place of death. The following is his personal description as shown by Co. Descriptive Book: Born, Norfolk, Va.; Age at enrollment, 21 years; Occupation, waiter; Eyes, hair & complexion, black; Height, 5 feet, 10 inches …”

General Affidavit, Jno. [illegible], 28 July 1890
about 41 years; residence, Snow Hill, Greene Co., N.C.; post-office, Snow Hill, Green Co., N.C. … “has been well and personally acquainted with Adam Cobb for five years prior to 1861 … and that said Adam Cobb lived in his neighborhood with Mrs. Cynthia Cobb as a slave before he left home and entered the Union Army … I was clerk of the Superior Court of Greene County and aided Jemima Cobb in filing papers to collect, the amount due Adam her son at his death, that during the preparation of the papers in her claim, she Jemima Cobb left with me as clerk of the Superior Court all of her papers furnishing dates and information concerning her son Adam, for safe-keeping, which papers of all description were subsequently destroyed in the Clerk’s office by fire which burned the courthouse in the year 1876 during the month of March …”
[Note: An entry at the Greene County, North Carolina USGenWeb site mentions the 1876 courthouse fire.– Leslie]

Sworn Statement, Isaac Murphy, 11 August 1894
74 years old; residence, Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C.;   “… father of Adam Cobb who was born & raised at near Snow Hill, Green [sic] Co., N.C. & belonged to Samuel Cobb & Miss Sinthy Cobb of Green Co., N.C. … “

Sworn Statement, Needham Borrow, 18 March 1895
45 years old; residence, Vanceboro, N.C. … “I have known claimant for thirty years more or less and he is at the present not able to do manual labor. He is about seventy five years old and is dependent upon people … soldier’s mother died about three years ago. I live within 1/2 mile of claimant and see him often …”

Sworn Statement, James J. Murphy, 18 March 1895
63 years old; residence, near Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C.; occupation, farmer … “I have known claimant since boyhood up to the present date. I also know his wife Mima Cobb. They both was slaves. She belong [sic] to the Cobbs of Green Co., N.C. & Isaac Murphy claimant belong [sic] to the Murphys of Green [sic] Co. Also I belong [sic] to Murphys of Green Co., N.C. Claimant was married to Mima Cobb long before late war under slave custom. I was present and by said union & cohabitation one child viz Adam Cobb was born. And when the late war of 1861-5. Adam Cobb enlisted as a soldier & I have not seen him since I heard he died in the war and Mima Cobb died at Snow Hill, Green [sic] Co., N.C. I don’t know direct date but I think she died about three years ago. I know this by reason of & rec’d a letter from my mother of Snow Hill saying that Mima Cobb was dead. I am living a neighbor to claimant. He is not able to support himself. He is about seventy-five years of age. He is dependent on hands of charity & people who are not legal bound to his support.”

Sworn Statement, Isaac Murphy, 25 March 1895
75 years old; near residence, Vanceboro, N.C.; occupation, nothing … “… The soldier’s mother died on or about the 8th day of July 1890 at Snow Hill, N.C. Edward Haper & Charity Payton was at her funeral or burial …”

Sworn Statement, Isaac Murphy, 27 November 1897 
78 years old; residence, near Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C. …”I cannot remember the date of my marriage to the soldier’s mother. I know it was long before the war of 1861-5 and I do not remember the date of the soldier’s birth. … my occupation is that of a farmer … My old clothes & horse and old cart and old buggie is worth about fifty dollars ($50.00) … I live near to Vanceboro, N.C. then [sic] I go to Washington, N.C. is why I ask for my mail to go there to Vanceboro, N.C. …”

Sworn Statement, Junier [?] Murphy, 27 November 1897 
68 years old; resident, Washington, N.C. … “I have known old man Isaac Murphy all my life. He is about 75 or 78 years of age. He was a man when I was a boy. I knew his son Adam Cobb who was a young man when he enlisted in the Union Army. I knew about when he was born but I do not know the date of his birth. The claimant is not worth anything that he can obtain any revenue from. He owns an old horse cash & an old worn out buggie and a few old clothes. I know by reason of we were all rais [sic] together in Green [sic] Co.,N.C.”

Sworn Statement, William Galloway, 27 November 1897 
42 years old; residence near Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C.; post-office address, Vanceboro, N.C. … “I have known the claimant Isaac Murphy about nine (9) years. He is a neighbor to me. He is in my opinion about seventy-five or eight (75 or 8) years of age. He has not got any property that he can get any income from. He has old clothes & an old horse & buggie worth about fifteen or twenty dollars. His occupation is now nothing. He is helpless, old and feeble. I visit him, see him weekly. He has to be nursed best part of his time. All he owns is worth in all about twenty-five dollars. He is an honest old man and is now blind. He is total blind in one eye” ….”

Letter from Acting Commissioner, Department of Interior, Bureau of Pensions, Washington, DC to W.H. Pender, Washington, NC, 17 September 1898
 “Sir: The above cited claim for dependent father’s pension, under the act of June 27th, 1890, is rejected on the ground that the soldier was not the legitimate son of the claimant, being the offspring of a slave marriage.”

Appeal to the Secretary of the Interior, Isaac Murphy, 22 March 1899
70 years old; residence and post-office address, Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C. … “My claim for a father’s pension … was rejected by the Com. of Pensions … upon the grounds that I am not the legitimate father of Adam Cobb decd … being the offspring of a slave marriage…. [I appeal] upon the grounds that the slave marriage was the only legal marriage for col. slaves prior to 1866 and,  further I am the soldier’s father who depended on him as a slave father would a slave son, further his mother received a pension from the Bureau of Pensions on account of him. She is now dec’d and I applied for a Dept. father pension and I have furnished all the testimony called for by the Bureau of Pensions. I am old and very feeble and fast passing away. Therefore, I beg for reconsiteration [sic] of my pension claim …”

Sworn Statement, Isaac Murphy, 9 February 1904
83 years old; residence, Vanceboro, Craven Co., N.C. … “well known to be reputable and entitled to credit … I was born and reared in Green [sic] County near Snow Hill, N.C. on Willis Murphy‘s plantation. I belong to him before the war of 1861. I grew up on his plantation. Mima Cobb, my former wife, belong to one Samuel Cobb of Green County. Her owners and my owners were about four miles aparedt [sic]. I and Mima were married by consent of owners. My owner Willis Murphy consent for me to live with Mima Cobb and her owner consented for her to live with me under slavery custom and we lived together as husband and wife continuously for about sixteen years before the war of 1861. Our owners recognized us as husband and wife and so did all the community of people who knew us and during said co-habitation we had ten head of children. Three of them died in infancy. Those that lived and were named are as follows James, Amanda, Maria, Martin and Fanny were twins. Adam, Gracy, all of the children were separated and gone away. I only know where one of the children is and that is Gracy who lives in Snow Hill, Green [sic] County, N.C. That after I and my wife were seperated [sic]. I never return to her anymore. As to our continued cohabitation as husband and wife under slavery custom you will find here enclosed and affidavit of my young mistress Mrs. Nanny Murphy of Green County, N.C. and Lewis Harper and Leah Harper all of whom have testified that I was the identical husband of Mima Cobb.”


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Four brothers from Southampton County, Virginia — all freeborn — enlisted in cavalry units: Henry Charity, Company E, 1st U.S. Colored CavalryJoshua Charity, Company A, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry; Thomas Charity, Company E, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry; and Friday Charity alias Friday Whipple, Company I, 2nd U.S. Colored Cavalry.

This young man fled his apprenticeship and enlisted in the Union Army. He died of “congestive fever” (malaria) in a regimental hospital.

Mother – 292,885 / 225,641, Gincy Charity
See M.O. Ctf 225,614 Thomas Charity E 1 U.S.C. Cav (2 sons)

[Note: The mother filed for pensioner’s benefits on 19 May 1882. The handwritten note at the bottom of the pension index card — it begins “See M.O. Ctf” and stands for “Mother’s Original Certificate” — directs the researcher to the shared application and certificate number assigned to both young men. — Leslie]

 

Declaration for an Original Pension for of a Father or Mother, Jinsey Charity, 12 May 1884
71 years old; post-office address, Franklin, Southampton Co., Va.
“[the soldier] enlisted under the name F. Whipper … died while in service between Richmond and Petersburg on the 1st day of April 1865 . . . the said declarant was married to the Father of said son at Southampton Co., Va. … in 1821 …
“Also personally appeared Henry Darden, residing at Jerusalem, Va. and H.W. Taylor, residing at Jerusalem, Va.”

 

Statement of B.F. Pope, Assistant Surgeon, U.S. Army, War Department, Surgeon’s General’s Office, Record and Pension Division, 30 September 1884
Friday Whitford, Private, Co. I, 2 U.S.C. Cav. died in Regimental Hospital, Feb. 27, 1865 of ‘Congestion Fever.'”

 

Letter from, B.F. Knight, Clerk’s Office of the Circuit and County Courts of Southampton, Jerusalem, Va. to Hon. J.C. Black, Commissioner of Pensions, 16 November 1885
“I have been requested by Ginsie Charity of my neighborhood, whom I know well, to go to Washington to collect her pension money which she thinks is ready. In order to save her needless expense, I write to know if the claim has been adjusted and should I come to Washington with power of attorney, and I collect the claim…”
[Note: This letter was signed by B.F. Knight — Leslie]

 

Sworn Statement, Gincy Charity, 22 January 1887
“I am the mother of Friday Charity … and that my residence has always been this county and that my p.o. address since 1865 has been Newsoms, Va. … no one has been legally bound to support me since since 1865 nor since the death of the soldier nor have I ever married since the death of my son Friday. … that my husband abandoned me prior to the death of the soldier & left me to support myself as best I could … I have never owned any property either before or since 1865 except a few chairs & a bed and my son Friday wrote me letters while in the army & I only possessed a knowledge of his death by information of one Henry Williams who returned a private of Co I. 1st Reg. U.S. Col. Cav. “

 

Letter from Jincy Charity to Jno. C. Black, U.S. Pension Commissioner, Washington, DC, 22 January 1887
“I have waited so long because I have been so much troubled to get this pension that I had despaired of ever getting anything from the Gov. but I am now so old & feeble & so poor and needy that I have determined to make one more effort.”

 

Letter from John Charity to Hon. John C. Blackwell [sic], 28 December 1887 [date stamped]
“Dear Sir,
“You will please let me know whether a child can draw a pension on his brother. The name of the man I am after now is Friday Charity but enlisted under the name Friday Whipper, Reg. 2, Co I. His mother died May 11, 1880. I want to know whether her youngest son can draw it or not.”

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Thomas Charity, Company E

Four brothers from Southampton County, Virginia — all freeborn — enlisted in cavalry units: Henry Charity, Company E, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry; Joshua Charity, Company A, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry; Thomas Charity, Company E, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry; and Friday Charity alias Friday Whipple, Company I, 2nd U.S. Colored Cavalry.

Before enlistment this soldier and two of his brothers were bound out until each was 21 years old.

Mother – 292,885 / 225,641, Gincy Charity
See M.O. Ctf 225,614 Friday Charity alias Friday Whippler I 2d U.S.C. Cav (2 sons)

[Note: The mother filed for pensioner’s benefits on 19 May 1882. The handwritten note at the bottom of the pension index card — it begins “See M.O. Ctf” and stands for “Mother’s Original Certificate” — directs the researcher to the shared application and certificate number assigned to both young men. — Leslie]


Sworn Oath, Gincy Charity, 21 August 1885
“Q: Where were you living in 1865?
A: Near Newsoms, Southampton County, Virginia and have never changed my residence.
Q: What were the names and ages of each member of your family in 1865?
A: William Charity, son 39 yo; Robert Charity, son, 37 yo; Louisa Charity, daughter, 35 yo; Mary Charity, daughter, 33yo; Henry Charity, son, 20 yo; Friday Charity, son, 18yo; Thomas Charity, son, 17 yo; John Charity, son, 13 yo and “John Charity her son was hired out to support his mother until he was 21 years old.”
“Q: Who was your former owner?
A: Freeborn and never belonged to anyone
Q: Did Thomas Charity marry and did he leave a child?
A: He never married and did not leave a child.
Q: At what time did your husband die?
A: [Note: The use of “she” and “her” means the examiner answered for the bereaved mother though I don’t know why — Leslie] She never had a husband all of her children above named were illegitimate and she has no property except a bed and a few housekeeping articles in all not worth twenty dollars. Her means of support was by her children, John Charity and others.
Q: Did Thomas Charity live with you at date of his enlistment and how did he aid you in your support prior to his enlistment?
A: He did live with me at his enlistment and by his wages he helped to support me.
Q: Have you married since Thomas Charity died and did he send you any money for your support while he was in the service?
A: I have never married and he never sent me any money while in the service because he could not get it to me.”

“Also personally appeared … Elijah G. Joyner and Benjamin F. Knight and made oath that they both have known the above named woman Gincy Charity (col’d) all their lives and that she is the mother of the above named soldier Thomas Charity.”



Sworn Statement, Herrod Pope, 10 June 1886
“[S]tated that [Gincy Charity] had eight children named William Charity, 39 years old; Robert Charity, 37 years old; Louisa Charity, 35 years; Mary Charity, 33 years old; Henry Charity, 20 years old; Friday Charity, 18 years old; Thomas Charity, 17 years old; and John Charity, 13 years old. Their father died in 1851. Three of the above children Henry Charity, Friday Charity and Thomas Charity was [sic] bound out to George Fogg who died 8 years back and as we can not give George Fog’s testimony the above named Herrod Pope swears that he was knowing to the binding out of these above named children and that the said Fogg was to pay the said Gincy Charity one hundred dollars each for the three children above named who was [sic] bound out annually until each one was 21 years old, and the said Herrod Pope further swears that the said Thomas Charity the soldier was in the employ of the said Fogg at the time of his enlistment and that Gincy Charity did receive the pay for each one as long as they remained with the said Fogg and that it was actually necessary for Gincy Charity’s support.

“And that she has been supported by what she could do herself and her youngest child John Charity (who is now free).

“[Thomas Charity] was paid three hundred dollars in advance of bounty money when he entered and was transferred to Fort Powhatan, there he died early in the Spring of 1865 … the officers of his company was Capt. Charlie Emmerson and Lieut. Garrett and George Saddler was Orderly Sergeant and they were the officers with him when he died or he was under their care. Thos. Charity was not wounded. Henry Charity was with him when he enlisted and was with him when he died. He died in the U.S. Hospital from disease contracted in the Army.”


Sworn Statement, Jincy Charity, 22 January 1887
“[I]n the year 1865 the names, ages, and relationship of my family was as follows:
Henry Charity – 21 years – son; John Charity – 14 years – son; Louisa Charity – 30 – daughter;
Mary Charity – 28 years – daughter … I furthermore swear that no one has been legally bound to support me since 1865 nor since the death of the soldier nor have I ever married since the death of my son Friday … that my husband abandoned me prior to the death of the soldier and left me to support myself as best I could.
“I furthermore swear that I had my son Friday bound out to Mr. Geo. Fogg (now dead) about 3 years prior to his death for my support and that he ran away & joined the U.S. Army & on account of which I did not receive one cent for his service.
“My son Friday wrote no letters while in the Army & I only possessed a knowledge of his death by information of one Henry Williams who returned (a private of Co I 1st Reg US Col Cav).
“We the witnesses to the above hereby state that we are citizens of the aforesaid co & state that our P.O. Address is Newsoms, Va., that we believe & know the above statements to be true that we have lived near the applicant and have known all of the above facts to have actually taken place; that we are property owners and considered reliable witnesses.
B.F. Knight
E.M. Darden

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