Archive for the ‘Surname D’ Category

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Full Post »

**Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated 1901-1932. Last week’s post included research notes for documents dated 1883-1889.

Testimony was presented by a half-sibling and a cousin, neighbors, friends, and former tentmates. Men and women identified their parents, spoke about their experiences as freedom seekers, and gave information about the families of former enslavers. They identified officiants and attendees at marriages and funerals. There are conflicting eyewitness accounts of a gruesome accident at Fort Monroe and the medical treatment that followed. People described the comings-and-goings of soldiers (and their spouses) between Fort Monroe and their homes and declared their presence at “the birth of said children” and at “the death of said soldier.” Witnesses offered specific information about farms, dwellings, and geography.

Widow — 280,317 / 257,637, Silvie Ann Deford

Deposition, Silvie Ann Deford, 3 January 1901
about 65 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, 34 ½ E. North St., Norfolk, Va.
“We were married according to slave custom, when I was 18 years of age. … His father’s name was Pompy Creekmore.  He was always known as Charles Deford. …He was sick when he came home. He came home before the other soldiers came. Lewis Dawley, Church Street; Humphrey McCoy and James Langer served with him… He died in the county near Bear Quarter, near Hickory, Norfolk Co., Va. and did not have a physician.”
“I came to Norfolk immediately after he died and have resided here ever since. I have lived with my children and been employed as a domestic ever since soldier died.
Mary Eliza Page, Church St., is the only living witness who testified in my pension claim. I have known her from the time I was a small girl. I first resided in Brewer St. Then in Cumberland St. Then in Church St., Mosly St., Willy St. At my present address for 3 years. I lived in Brewer St 10 or 12 years.”
William Ward (who was convicted of violating the pension laws and who died about 4 years ago) was my attorney… E.T. Nottingham… executes my vouchers. I go to his office on the 4th. Sometimes I take one witness. Sometimes I do not take any witness.”

Deposition, Mary Eliza Page, 25 April 1901
58 or 59 years old; post-office address, 647 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I first knew Silvie Ann Deford when we came into the union in 1862 or 1863, when the colored men were enlisting in the army. She and I came to Norfolk about the same time. We came from Norfolk County. She and I resided in Norfolk during the war and I have resided in Norfolk ever since.  A few years after the death of her husband she and I lived in the same house for about 6 months. … During the war she resided with her father and three sisters, all of whom are dead. … I never saw the soldier after they removed to the country.… Ann was born several months after the soldier died.… When Florence was born the pensioner lived on Brewer St. with her father and sisters. When Ann was born they all lived on Cumberland St. The pensioner lived with her father until he died and since then she has lived with her children…
“…I don’t know the father of Annie nor did I ever hear who he was but she does not look anything like Florence as the latter is a great deal darker. Florence looks a great deal like her father. …”
L.W. Charlton who gets his mail at Gertie, Va. furnished the coffin for the soldier and he has told me that he remembers that the soldier died in 1867. The book he had the record in though was burnt up he said.”

Deposition, Mary E. Hopper, 25 April 1901
about 56 years old; residence and post-office address, 11 Gordon’s Ave, Norfolk, Va.
“I knew Silvie Ann Deford and her late husband before the war. We all resided in Norfolk Co., Va. beyond Great Bridge. After the war broke out I met her in Norfolk where she was living and where I saw her frequently. I saw her said husband here in Norfolk after he came home from the army and I happened to be visiting at Bear Quarter and Horn Quarter when he died and attended the funeral. He was buried in the cemetery near Bear Quarter. He was carried near a church. The soldier was in bad health when he came home and they went out to Bear Quarter to his mother’s house where he died. They removed to his mother’s house soon after came home from the army.”
“After her husband died she came back to Norfolk and lived with her father and I know that the younger daughter, Ann, was born after the soldier died. I don’t know when Florence was born … [Silvie’s father was] Charles Miller who died a good many years ago.”

Deposition, Jordon Deford, 9 May 1901
about 60 years old; post-office address, Bartee, Norfolk Co., Va.
“Charles Deford was my cousin. I remember when he came home from the army and I attended his funeral. Daniel Williams, dead, or Joe Creekman, dead, buried him. I am unable to recall which of these men was the undertaker. He died at his mother’s home on the Dudley farm … He died of consumption… He was confined to his bed several months before he died…. I am certain that he was sick at his mother’s house about a year …”

Deposition, Horatio Hardin, 3 June 1901
55 or 60 years old; post-office address, Gertie, Norfolk Co., Va. “and residence about north of there.”
“I knew Silvie Ann Deford as she was the wife of my half-brother Charles Deford  who was a soldier during the war between the North and South. I can’t tell you when he enlisted for I was not in this neighborhood then as I was in the West Indies…. I don’t know where he was born but he was raised right in the neighborhood of where I am now living. He was older than I am – probably 10 or 12 years. John Deford (decd) who lived up near Gertie was soldier’s last master and he got his name from the Deford family. Soldier’s mother was my mother but his father was Tom Creekmore (decd). My father was John Hardin and I got my name from him. My mother who was also soldier’s mother was Mary Hardin (decd).”

“I was working as a ‘lighter’ on wood boat and in Jan 1867 and I heard of Charles Deford being bad off up at [illegible] this side of Gertie and I went up to see him and stayed with him a month before he died. … He died of consumption…
[Do you know what caused his final illness?]
“Well, he worked in the shingle swamps om South Hampton [sic], Va. before the war. He hired himself out to the shinglemen, paid his owner so much for each day and was allowed to keep the balance. …
“I went to the West Indies the April following the capture of Norfolk (by the Union troops (Mar 9/62) I mean the April 1863 for it was April of the same year soldier enlisted.”

“I came back to Norfolk from the West Indies the year before Richmond fell and kept on up to Petersburg, Va. where I waited on a white regiment the 62 Ohio Vols and I was at Drury’s Bluff when the mine exploded at Petersburg (July 30/64). About a month or two after the later I came back to Norfolk and have remained around here ever since. … I remember that Pompey Deford his son who is now dead was the only child he had alive. …Florence was the youngest child soldier had by pensioner during service … Pensioner had another child, a girl, about six months after the soldier died. This child was born up near where soldier died in Pleasant Grove Twp. “

Deposition, Ferebee Cuffee, 5 August 1901
about 62 years old; employed by the US Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va.; residence and post-office address, 14 Wilson Ave., Norfolk, Va.
“I did know [Silvie Ann Deford] by sight once but have forgotten her husband’s name was Charles Deford and he was a member of my company. … I did not see the horse fall on him but I saw him when he was getting up. No one helped him. He was not bleeding & I didn’t notice how he was hurt…. [After his discharge in 1866] he lived out near the line of Princess Anne and Norfolk Counties. …”

Deposition, James Langley, 13 August 1901
about 62 or 63 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 96 Nicholson St., Norfolk, Va.
“I served as a sergeant in Co. B … … Pensioner’s husband’s name was Chas. ‘Ford’ that’s what we called him. He served in the same company with me. I never bunked nor messed with him though and I never saw him to know him until we met at Fort Monroe…. I saw him here in town [after discharge] but am under the impression he lived in the country somewhere but I won’t be sure as to that.

Deposition, Ellen Burford, 15 August 1901
about 50 or 60 years old; occupation, housekeeper; residence and post-office address, 165 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
[no new information]

Deposition, Humphrey McCoy, 23 August 1901
about 53 years old; occupation, “nothing but I formerly drove an express wagon’; residence and post-office address, 506 Princess Anne Ave. “I get my mail there because the letter carrier doesn’t come out as far as this.’
“I know Silvie Ann Deford as I have been acquainted with her since some time during my service. I knew her husband Charles Deford who was a member of my company. I never knew him before I met him during service. He got discharged the same time we all did. … I never bunked with him…. He got flung by horse in the stable yard and the horse ran off the drill field into the stable yard. This was at Fort Monroe but I can’t give the date. This was before we went to Petersburg. He fell on his butt and the jar was so great blood came out of his mouth.… I saw him about a year after my discharge. …once or twice a year. I saw him here in Norfolk.

Deposition, Mary E. Page, 7 September 1901
58 or 59 years old; residence and post-office address, 647 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“Q. Who was the father of Annie?
 A.  I don’t know.
Q. Who have you heard was?
A.  John Butts. I heard some say was the father of Annie…. I heard she was the soldier’s child about the time she came to Norfolk after his death but after some time the Butts story came around…. I don’t know where Butts is now. He was a married man … John Butts’ wife’s name was Eliza Butts. …”

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 26 September 1901
82 years old; post-office address, Soldiers Home, Elizabeth City Co., Va.
“I am an inmate there & I am now on furlough … [Silvie’s] husband’s name was Charlie and not John. I never tented with him as I was detailed as a cook. … I did not see him thrown from his horse but was there when he was carried into the tent on a stretcher…. I met him here once after his discharge. He was living up the county somewheres and had come to town. Yes, I just saw him on the street or at the market and talked with him only a few minutes. …”

Deposition, Silvie Ann Deford, 26 September 1901
[John Butts is not the father of my child.] … I swear positively that Anne is the soldier’s child  begotten by him when he was in a sickly condition a month or two or three before he died.… I certainly told Mr. Ward who was my attorney that soldier lived about a year after his discharge and when I told Special Examiner Tyler differently I told him wrong.  I can explain how I did it though. … Anne and Florence Deford are the soldier’s children.”

Letter from Mrs. Florence Virginia Deford Williams to U.S. Pension Office, Washington, DC, 21 March 1932
“My reason in writing you is that I am now living in Corona, L.I., N.Y. and supported by some of my relatives, but neither have I or my relatives have the means to pay my way back home and I have such a desire to get back there. I am about sixty seven years old and no one wants to hire me now but in case that I can get back home then I can get a little support, you will find enclosed the Pension paper that my Mother received but she died in 1910 [???] and was living with me when she died and buried from my house.”

Letter from Director of Pensions, Veterans Administration, Washington, DC to Mrs. Florence V.D. Williams, Corona, Long Island, New York, 12 May 1932
“Dear Madam, In response to your letter you are informed that as you are over the age of sixteen years, and the soldier’s death does not appear to have been due to his military service, there is no law under which you can have title to pension as his child.”

Read Full Post »

*The pension application filed by this soldier’s widow includes an extraordinary amount of detail about life from slavery to freedom. Today’s post includes research notes for documents dated 1883-1889. Next week’s post will include research notes for documents dated 1901-1932.

Testimony was presented by a half-sibling and a cousin, neighbors, friends, and former tentmates. Men and women identified their parents, spoke about their experiences as freedom seekers, and gave information about the families of former enslavers. They identified officiants and attendees at marriages and funerals. There are conflicting eyewitness accounts of a gruesome accident at Fort Monroe and the medical treatment that followed. People described the comings-and-goings of soldiers (and their spouses) between Fort Monroe and their homes and declared their presence at “the birth of said children” and at “the death of said soldier.” Witnesses offered specific information about farms, dwellings, and geography.

Widow — 280,317 / 257,637, Silvie Ann Deford

Sworn Statement, Mary E. Page and Emma Pool, 7 February 1883
[Page] 45 years old; 413 Church Street, Norfolk, Virginia
[Pool] 47 years old; residence, 58 Wilaby Street, Norfolk, Virginia
“That they knew Silvia Ann Deford … they were all raised in Princess Anne County in the state of Virginia very near neighbors to the said Charles Deford and his wife Silva Ann … the said Silva Ann Miller was married to Charles Deford on or about the month of Jany 1855 as near as they can remember by the consent of they [sic] former owners … [after the war he returned to his wife in Norfolk] on or about the month of January 1866 and died on the 2d day of February 1866 … [their children were] Florence Deford born April 15th 1863 and still living and Ann Deford born February 12, 1865 still living, that said children were born in the City of Norfolk … present at the birth of said children …”

General Affidavit, Isaac Kellum, 20 June 1888
63 years old; residence, 65 Queen St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“I knew [Deford] before the War of 1861 … enlisted the same day, same time in the month of December 1863 … [Deford] was badly mash [sic] by his horse …”

Claimant’s Affidavit, James Langley, 25 June 1888
52 years old; residence, Huntersville, Norfolk County, Virginia; post-office address, Norfolk
“that he was 2 Duty Sergt of Co B and was acquainted with Charles Deford … and also well acquainted with claimant, widow of said soldier … Deford was very badly injured at Camp Hampton, Va. on or about the month of March 1864 near as he can remember by his horse, throwing him wile [sic] on a charge and the arrears company pass over him … when the regiment went to Texas June 1865 Charles Deford went also but became so bad of from the injuries … he was sent to New Orleans, La. hospital … never saw Charles anymore after he was sent from Brazos Santiago, Texas to New Orleans Hospital until he came home to Norfolk about March 1866 and he saw Charles Deford in Norfolk with his wife suffering from his old injuries, and he died, and he died of the mash he sustained … him & the said claimant reside near neighbors …”
[Note: Langley’s testimony was recorded on a ‘Claimant’s Affidavit’ as opposed to a ‘General Affidavit.’ Might have been a shortage of forms or careless error. – Leslie]

Deposition, Mary E. Page, 4 December 1888
48 years old; post-office address, 90 Calvert St., Norfolk, Va.
“I was slightly acquainted with [Deford] and his wife Silvia before the war… My owners and theirs were living between 12 & 13 miles apart in Norfolk Co., Va. … I was living in Norfolk, Va. when [Deford] came out of the army. We both lived on Brewer St. near each other.… If my affidavit says I was present at the birth of [their] children this is not correct as I was not present.”

Deposition, Lewis Dawley, 4 December 1888
52 years old; occupation, truckman; post-office address, 379 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“Several were hurt by their horses while on drill. [Deford] may have been one of those but I do not now remember. Henry Simmons & Willis Flanagan I remember were hurt there by their horses while drilling. Both of these men are dead.”

Deposition, Silvie Ann Deford, 4 December 1888
51 years old; post-office address, 31 Mosely St., Norfolk, Va.
“Charles Deford and I were married as slaves long before the war in Decr or Jany. I think, yes, I know it was on Christmas Day and if you count up it will be some 10 or 11 years before he went in the army. He belonged to Jack Deford & I belonged to Thomas Gresham also of Norfolk Co., Va., Blackwater Post Office.”

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 5 December 1888
62 years old; post-office address, 65 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
“[H]is horse threw him while we were drilling, jumping the pole. He was badly injured, taken to the camp and put in his quarters … he was sent to hospital at Brazos Texas. From there he was sent to Hospital at New Orleans, La. I never saw him until March 1866 when I saw him here in Norfolk … He never was able to work after he got out of the army.”

Deposition, James Langley, 5 December 1888
52 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, Huntersville, Norfolk County, Va.
“I was 1st & 2d Duty Sergeant for same co & Regt…. I visited the [Brazos] Hospital to see him … [Deford was thrown from his horse] while we were drilling near Mill Creek, Elizabeth City Co., Va…. I did not exactly see the horse throw him but I saw them taking him up.”

Deposition, Ellen Burford, 5 December 1888
50 years old; post-office address, 83 Union St., Norfolk Co., Va.
“I knew [Silvie Deford] during the war in Norfolk Co., Va. I lived some five miles from her at that time. I knew her husband Charles Deford before I did her.… I did not see Charles Deford when he left for the army but I did see him Feby 1st 1866. I remember that date because my mother died on the 2nd of Feby the next year & that was the day in 1866 Charles Deford died. …”

Deposition, Emma Pool, 5 December 1888
45 years old; post-office address, 81 Liberty Norfolk, Va.
“[I met Silva Deford] several years before the war in Norfolk Co., Va. She belonged to Thomas Gresham. I belonged to Wm. Hardy, both in Norfolk Co., Va., both are dead…. [Charles & Silva] were not married by a minister, but jumped over a broomstick as slaves did then with the consent of their owners … I was right there with the mother Silva Ann Deford when these children came into the world. Her mother Jane Miller was also there but she is dead. I was 18 or 19 years old when the first child Florence was born. … My master’s place adjoined their master’s & my house where I lived was only a quarter of a mile from them. …. When [Deford] came out of the army his wife was living on Brewer St., Norfolk, Va. and I lived around the corner on Bank St., Norfolk, Va. … I do not know the undertaker. He was buried on Mr. Jack Deford’s place.”

Deposition, Humphrey McCoy, 22 December 1888
39 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 326 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“I saw the horse throw him. I saw him fall. … blood ran out of his mouth from the jar he got falling on the ground … He was put in regimental hospital under Dr. Gray…. We were still at Hampton, Va. when he got so he could do duty & done duty until at the cowpens near Hampton, Va. … He was thrown again, it was on a Sunday evening at General Butler’s review. This time his horse ran away & threw Deford in a puddle of water & the horse fell about the same time & the co all ran over to the horse & Deford as they both lay on the ground. The men jumped our horses over them. I saw Deford on the ground & he was one set of 4s away from me on the right, so I did not have to jump over them…. I saw him next a week or so after I reached Norfolk, Va. last March 1866 & I talked with him. He was in bad health, skin & bone.”
[Note: What does “4s away from me” mean? – Leslie]

Deposition, Enos Dennis, 22 December 1888
45 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, cor Carrolll & Green sts., Portsmouth, Va.
“I came to Norfolk in March 1866 & then it was I saw him. I then went to North Carolina & afterwards I heard he was dead …”

Deposition, Ferebee Cuffee, 26 December 1888
48 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, 39 Market Square, Norfolk, Va.
“I was a member of Co B, 1st U.S.C. Cavlry … I tented with him at Hampton, Va. when he & I first went in the army…. His horse was a hard one to manage.… My home after the war was in Norfolk, Va. I don’t know what caused his death. I know nothing about his family. I have seen his wife during the war … but I know nothing of her since the war.”

Deposition, Silvie Ann Deford, 31 December 1888
57 years old; post-office address, 31 Mosely St., Norfolk, Va.
“I cannot say who the undertaker was & we had not minister at my husband’s funeral. … Mr. Jack Deford is dead, long ago, & I don’t know where any of his family are. The sons went in the rebel army & may have been killed. The Deford farm is near Great Bridge, Va. I can’t give you the names of a living soul that was at Charles Deford’s funeral. His parents are dead & my people who were there are dead.”

Widow’s Claim for Pension, Silva Anne Deford, 9 February 1889
residence and post-office address, 90 Calvary St., Norfolk County, Virginia
“appoints Belva A. Lockwood & Co. as her lawful attorney … Also personally appeared Mary Eliza Page and Emma Pool”

Deposition, Israel Armstrong, 25 May 1889
57 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 49. St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
“[Deford] was thrown from his horse… He was right in front of me & I saw the horse throw him. We charged right by him.… When we got to the stable & dismounted, he walked lame & complained of his thigh being hurt. Next morning he went to sick call for the pain in his thigh, right thigh I think … “

Deposition, Silvie Ann Deford, 25 May 1889
52 years old; post-office address, 24 Mosley St., Norfolk, Norfolk Co., Va.
“[When he got thrown from his horse] I was there on a visit at the time and was looking at them when the horse threw him. He got up but had hard work to walk and was not able to get up on his horse. His side hurt him and he was lame…. It was not exactly at the fort but near a creek. I was in the habit of going to see him every two weeks after he enlisted & the day he got hurt I got there in the morning. He got hurt the afternoon of the same day. I went Saturday morning and intended to return that same day but when his horse threw him I staid [sic] with him until Monday evening …”
“I have two children. Their father was Charles Deford. Florence is now in her 25th year. She was 24 years old March last year. Annie is now 23 years old, 10th March, I don’t know exactly the year she was born but think it was in 1865”
“My husband did not get hurt the year he enlisted but it was the next spring. … Florence was a few months old when her father Charles Deford enlisted. Annie was born while her father was a soldier in Texas. …
“My mother Jane Miller was with me when these children were born. She is dead. No person but mother was in the room. Emma Pool was in the house when they were born but not in my room. She was a young girl then & lived very near me & would look after things for me.

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 1 June 1889
63 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 65 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
“[Deford] was treated by our surgeon Dr. Manley. I did not see him get thrown as I was not on drill. I was the company cook and I used to carry his meals to him … it was an inside hurt he got …
“We left Fort Monroe, Va. & went to the front near Petersburg, Va. Then we went to City Point, Va. Then to Newport News, Va. where we did garrison duty & guarding prisoners. Different members of the company were detailed at different posts of guard duty about Norfolk, Va. Some were detailed at the Jail in Norfolk, Va. & some at the Headquarters & some at the Customs House. From Norfolk we went to Guinea Station, Va. then to City Point & then to Texas…. We were in Norfolk some 9 or 10 months & we were there when Richmond fell. …”

Deposition, Humphrey McCoy, 1 June 1889
39 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, 326 Church St., Norfolk, Va.
“Our company was detailed to all kinds of duty in Norfolk, Va. The men were guarding the Jail and Public Buildings. Different squads had different kinds of duty to do. …”
“Charles Deford’s wife Silvie Ann Deford, lived on Brewer St. when we were on duty in Norfolk, Va. and I know he was at her house and staid [sic] there whenever he could, night & day. He often got permission to stay at her house when he was off-duty. … She used to come to our camp in Fort Monroe in 1864 when we were there & I often ran into her when we were on duty there but I know nothing of her since the war.”

Deposition, Mary E. Page, 4 June 1889
49 years old; 90 Calvert St., Norfolk, Va.
“I came to Norfolk Va. the first year the war began & Mr. Green enrolled my name as contraband to get a ration in Sept … I went to live on Brewer St. right away, lived half a square from Silvie Ann Deford …. The youngest child Anna was born while her father was in service … “

Deposition, Caroline Jones, 13 June 1889
55 years old; post-office address, 419 Church St., Norfolk, Va.;
“During the war I lived three doors from [Silvie Deford] at Brewer St., Norfolk, Va. I used to sell pies at Fort Monroe, Va. & went down every day for that purpose. … I remember seeing Charles Deford, Silva Ann Deford’s husband, at her house on Brewer St. frequently with his uniform on … I remember a daughter Anna was born while the war was going on … I moved from Brewer St to the Barraud farm before Charles Deford came out of the army & I never saw him after the war. Silvie, I see very seldom.”

Deposition, Elizabeth Wilson, 13 June 1889
43 years old; occupation, cook; c/o Hon. George Borden, Norfolk, Va.
“[When Silvie and Charles Deford lived on Brewer St] I lived 4 doors down from them … I left Brewer St soon after Richmond fell … Silvie Ann had her mother living with her when Anna was born; her mother is dead….”

Read Full Post »

Lewis Dawley, Company B

A veteran wrote a letter on stationery from the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) which suggests he was a member of the organization, possibly an officer. One of his eight brothers Joseph Dawley served in Company G, 1st U.S. Colored Cavalry as a bugler. His brother Charles Dawley served in Company F, 23rd U.S. Colored Troops. Their pension application folders are currently unavailable.

Invalid — 659,142 / 810,199

Memo from Lewis Dawley to John Blackwell, Pension Office, Washington, DC, 6 August 1888
“My residence is 379 Church St., Norfolk, Va. where I have been living ever since 1869, post office Norfolk, Va. Have been a truckman ever since I came out of the war. The heat of the sun affected my eyes while in Texas so that I had to be sent to the hospital in New Orleans and the dr. that attended me there. I know not where he is. Again in 1874 I was attended by Dr. Townsend then of Norfolk but removed from here some years ago and I know not where he is. In 1878 I was attended by Dr. Wisener of this city. He has deceased.”
[Note: The memo’s written on stationery of the Grand Army of the Republic, Department of Virginia, Headquarters, Shaw Post, Number 5. The last four letters of “Blackwell” are struck through. — Leslie]

Memo, War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, DC, 16 January 1889
Joseph Dawley, a Bugler of Company G, 1st Regiment U.S.C. Cavy Volunteers was enrolled on the 25th day Nov 1863, at Norfolk, Va. for 3 yrs. and is reported: Rolls to Feby 29 64 present: March & April present as private; May & June absent on det[ailed] service; July & Aug 64 and to Dec 31 65 present: mustered out with Co. Feby 4 1866 at Brazos Santiago, Tex.
“His personal description is as follows: Born in Princess Anne Co. Va.: age at enrollment, 31 yrs: occupation, fisherman: eyes, hair and complexion black: height, 5 ft. 5 in.”

Sworn Statement, Major Chaplin and Isaac Kellum, 13 January 1889
[Chaplin] 63 years old; post-office address, 87 St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
[Kellum] 63 years old; post-office address, 65 Queen St., Norfolk, Va.
“That they have been well and personally acquainted with the said Lewis Dawley many years previous to the ‘War of the Rebellion’ …”

Sworn Statement, John Linear and Abram Carter, 3 July 1889
[Linear] 43 years old; post-office address, 23 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
[Carter] 38 years old; post-office address, 22 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“intimately acquainted with the claimant ever since his discharge. Have lived in close proximity to him from the service. Have worked at the same place and under the same employer…. We have lived as neighbors for many years and seen and conversed with him as often as times unknown.”

Memo, Lewis Dawley, 8 February 1889
“Sir, I was born April 11, 1836. My father died long before the war when I was a small child. I hardly can remember him. My mother died in the year of January 17, 1880.”
[Note: I wonder if she’s including in the 1880 Mortality Schedule? Leslie]

Memo, Lewis Dawley to Mr. Wm. E. McLean, Commissioner, 25 February 1889
“Sir, your correspondence was received and in reply to it I was born the eleventh of April 1836. My mother died Jan. 17th 1880. My father died long before the war. Please let me hear from you.
“Lewis Dawley, 325 Church St., Norfolk, Va.”

General Affidavit, Edward Bray and William F. Warden, 4 April 1890
[Bray] 42 years old; Plank Road, Norfolk Co., Va.
[Warden] 41 years old; 72 Scott St., Norfolk, Va.
“That they knew Lewis Dawley from time of his return from army to present time … living close to him and seeing him every day and or two and being intimate with him to present time.”

Deposition, Abel C. Carter, 4 March 1891
about 46 years old; occupation, janitor; residence and post-office address, 22 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the clt Lewis Dawley for the past twenty years and perhaps a little longer and I have lived a neighbor to him for the past 15 years during which time I have seen him almost every day…”

Deposition, Wm. T. Warden, 4 March 1891
42 years old; “by profession a minister of the gospel;” residence and post-office address, 72 Scott St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Lewis Dawley for the past thirty years …. I was living in this city when he came home after discharge in the Fall of 1865 … I have seen him almost daily since his return home from the army. … He bears the reputation and worthily of being a first class citizen and honorable upright man. … I have never visited him at his house when he has been laid up with sore eyes. I gain my knowledge of his condition from associating with him on the streets.”

Deposition, Isaac Kellum, 4 March 1891
64 years old; occupation, laborer; residence and post-office address, 14 Hull Street, Norfolk, Va.
“I have known Lewis Dawley continuously for more than thrity years …. I served with him … He was Commissary Sergeant of the Company and I was the Companies’ [sic] cook so that I was thrown up with him all the time.
“I visited him several times [at Post Hospital Brazos Santiago, Texas]. From said hospital he was sent to New Orleans to hospital… I found him in Norfolk on my return from the army and we have been neighbors continuously ever since and I have seen him almost daily during that time …”

Deposition, Major Chappman, 5 March 1891
64 years old; occupation, huckster; residence and post-office address, 87 St. Paul St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant Lewis Dawley from his childhood to the present. He was born and reared in the neighborhood where I lived and he and I enlisted in Co. B 1st USCC at the same time. … We were camped on the white sand of Brazos and most of our men took sore eyes …”

Deposition, John Lyunier, 5 March 1891
about 44 years old; occupation, shoemaker; residence and post-office address, 23 Newton St., Norfolk, Va.
“I have known the claimant … intimately, continuously since the first of the year 1869. I have lived just in the immediate rear of his residence and property since that time. His property fronts on Church St and my property fronts on Newton St and our properties abut. …He and I were officers at the same church about sixteen years ago. He was our secretary and I then noticed that he had to wear glasses whenever he went to read the minutes for our meetings.”

Questionnaire (Form 3-402), Lewis Dawley, 17 March 1898
[married?] “I am. Amy Jane Dawley. Her maiden name. Amy Jane Dawley.”
[Note: His answers are confusing but I copied his statement exactly. Was Amy Jane enslaved by a person with surname Dawley? — Leslie]
[where, when, by whom] July 9, 1874, Norfolk, Va.; W.D. W. Schuremann, minister of the AME Church
[marriage record] “The record Amy Jane Dawley is the present wife.”
[previously married] Yes. Amy Dawley. Died Nov 27, 1872, on about June 1859. Princess Anne Co
[living children] “One. His name George Dawley, 12th of March 1860, Norfolk, Virginia”
post-office address, 599 Church St., Norfolk, Va.”

Deposition, Louis Dawley, 16 April 1901
66 years old; occupation, janitor or sweeper, Navy Yard; post-office address, 599 Church Street, Norfolk, Va.
“My father’s name was Joshua Dudley. He belonged to a man by the name of Robert Dudley. My mother’s name was Fannie Dawley. My mother and I belonged to Gideon Dawley. I was born in Princess Anne Co., Va. and I have resided in Princess Anne and Norfolk Cos. all my life with the exception of the period I was in the army … was discharged as a Sgt at New Orleans, La. from hospital on Oct 23, 1865.”
“The discharge [illegible] is that of Louis Dailey and the name ‘Louis’ has been altered; the spelling changed since the discharge was issued.”
“In 1866 I gave my discharge to a man by the name of Brown, a claim agent, and I never saw that discharge again until in 1896 when it came to me in an official envelope from some Department in Washington. I don’t know who altered it. My name is not Dailey. I enlisted a Dawley and answered to that name at roll call. I never heard of the name Dailey until about 16 [?] years after discharge when an officer from Washington was disbursing bounty money here in this building and he could not pay me because I did not answer to the name on his records. The bounty was afterward paid to me, however by mail, sent in care of Postmaster Long. I lost hope of receiving my discharge and secured the certificate of service which I show to you.
“I hand to you also the discharge of my brother Joseph Dawley who served in Co G, 1st USC Cavalry and who died 20 years ago, leaving no widow or minor child. He was never married.
“I had 8 brothers. Two were in the army. Joseph and Charles Dawley. Charles served in the 23rd USC Inf. and died 16 or 17 years ago. He left no widow but did leave three children. I never had any sisters. My brothers were Singer, Joshua, Sambo, Owen, Joe, Charles, Louis and Daniel. All are dead but me.

“Garrard was my Col.
Brown was Major.
McIntyre was my Capt.
[illegible] was a Lt.
Spencer was a Lt.
Alfred Lawton was Ord Sgt.
Shields, Tucker and I were sgts. James Langley, Norfolk, Va. tented with me. I was not detailed at any time. I was not in any battle. We were in a skirmish on the peninsula between here and Petersburg, when we attempted to take a provision train.
“I do not remember that my regt was at any such places such as Bermuda Hundred, Smithfield, Wilson Landing, Powhatan or Cabin Point. I never heard of these places.

“We took the boat to Fort Monroe and went to Texas. We were 21 days en route. We landed at Brazos Texas where I was taken sick and sent to Hospital at New Orleans, La. where I remained between two and three months when I was dischared for disease of eyes and head contracted in Texas. The only other injury I sustanined was back at Camp Hampton shortly after enlisted while practicing. My horse sprained my back while jumping.”

Dr. Lee, dead, has been my physician since the war. John Linyer, Abel C. Carter, were witnesses in my pension claim. … Amy J. Dawley is the name of my present wife. We were married in Norfolk, Va. in 1874 by Rev. W.D. Schumann. I had a former wife, Amy Harris, who died in 1873. My present wife never had a former husband.”

Read Full Post »

Born in Gates County, North Carolina, this soldier had ties to Buffalo, New York; Hampton, Norfolk, and Phoebus, Virginia; Washington, DC; and Baltimore and Somerset, Maryland. The family lived at a contraband camp for a while. He was accidentally shot and killed “as he was passing by from the stable where he had been to feed his horse.” His daughter (but not his son) filed for pension benefits.


Minor —  310,049 / 260,546, Roxana Gadlin


Application of Guardian of Minor Children, 31 August 1882
Roxana Allen … resident of Elizabeth City County, Va. … 29 years old … her mother died on the 1st day of June A.D. 1870 and the date of birth of their children … Roxana born 2nd November 1853 … Richard Thomas born 25 March 1859. His whereabout is unknown. It is believed by all of his friends that he is dead. … her parents were married at Gates County, North Carolina on the tenth day of September, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-eight …”


Sworn Statement, William Randall, 2 September 1882
“[Randall was] well known to be reputable and entitled to credit … he was well acquainted with [Gadlin alias Dabney]. That some time in March or April 1864 … [Gadlin alias Dabney] was accidentally shot and killed with a pistol in the hand of one Oliver Butts, Private Co. C, 1st Regt, USC Cavalry … said Oliver Butts was cleaning his pistol which accidentally went off and killed [Gadlin alias Dabney] as he was passing by from the stable where he had been to feed his horse …

“[Randall] was present at the time. That he held said soldier in his arms for the Surgeon after he was shot and that he as did the whole company, to wit, Co C, go with [Gadlin alias Dabney] to the grave. And he further says that it was well known in the command that said Richard Gadlin had changed his name from Gadlin to Dabney for the purpose of escaping from his owners.”


Sworn Statement, Ross Askie, Richard Everett, & Riddick Barnes, 6 September 1882
[ Askie] 56 years old; [Everett] 55 years old; [Barnes] 49 years old.
“Citizens of Elizabeth City County, State of Virginia … they were well acquainted with Richard Gadlin alias RIchard Dabney … that said [soldier] was a slave person before the late war and was owned as a slave by one Reddick Gadlin deceased in Gates County, in the State of North Carolina … [and the soldier] enlisted under the name of (Dick) Richard Dabney for the following reason — to wit — that he ran away  from his owner to enlist in said service, and that he heard that his owners were coming after him, and that he changed his name to (Dick) Richard Dabney for the purpose of escaping from his owners as did a good many slaves at that time for the same purpose. …
“[T]hey were well acquainted with Mary Jane Gadlin the wife [of the soldier] … [the couple] was married in the County of Gates in the State of North Carolina on the tenth day of September 1858 …”


General Affidavit, Robert Gatlin & Lizzie Brightheart, 3 February 1888
[Gadlin] 47 years old;
[Brightheart] 52 years old;
“citizens of the town of Norfolk, County of Norfolk, State of Virginia … declare that Richard Gadlin alias Dabney was married to Mary Jane Goodman during the spring of 1856 on Gadlins Farm in Gates, NC — was present at the time and know that the then slave master gave his consent to the marriage of the two slaves and and that her mother consented and the parties thereupon accepted one another as husband and wife …. Roxana Allen was born of [illegible] said parents about the close of 1856 on Gadlins Farm, Gates Co., NC …”


Claimant’s Affidavit, Roxana Allen, 3 February 1888
27 years old; residence, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Virginia.
“She further avers that her correct name is ‘Roxana Allen’ having married one Cornelius Allen March 11, 1880. The name given her at birth was Roxana Sarah Ann Gadlin but she has since been variously addressed by the names ‘Sarah A. Allen’,  ‘Sarah Allen,’ and ‘Roxana Allen’ which last given name is correct being the true one accepted and used in preference to others by herself. In view of the very peculiar marriages prevalent among slave persons she is unable to furnish [illegible] proof … ”


Deposition, James Smith, 1 March 1889
52 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, [illegible], Norfolk, Va.
“I was born and reared on the plantation owned by Riddick Gadlin of Gates Co., NC. I remained on said plantation until 1862 when with others I came to Portsmouth, Va. I knew Richard Gadlin and his wife Mary Jane from my early boyhood …”


Deposition, Lydia Brightheart, 1 March 1889
about 45 years of age; occupation, housekeeper; residence and post-office, No. 74 Cumberland St., Norfolk, Va.
“I belonged to Ridick Gadlin of Gates Co., NC prior to the late war and was a fellow servant with Richard Gadlin and his wife Mary Jane. I was sold and sent away from home before they were married but I learned … Mary Jane was my sister. I have not seen either of them since before their marriage. They were dead before they came to this part of Virginia.”


Deposition, Rachel Johnson, 2 March 1889  
40 years old; occupation, boarding housekeeper; post-office address, No. 10 Campbell’s Wharf, Norfolk, Va.
“I was born and reared on the plantation of Ridick Gadlin of Gates Co., NC and was his family housegirl for several years before 1863 and I knew well Richard Gadlin and is wife Mary Jane who were also the slaves of said Ridick Gadlin. When Richard came to the master’s house to ask his consent to marry Mary Jane I called the master to the door and I heard the Master and Mistress give their consent. This was in the summer of 1858. …
“Since the war I obtained a record of a transcript of the family records of births but it has been destroyed … the child Thomas was born about the last of Sept 1862. I know this last fact from the midwife Lucy Goodwin, my aunt who waited on her at his birth. Lucy Goodwin is dead but Harriet Gordon who lives near Hampton, Va. was also present at his birth and can give details.”


Deposition, Martha Johnson, 7 March 1889  
47 years old; occupation, housekeeper; residence & post-office address, No. 244 10th St., SE., Washington, DC
“I belonged in Gates Co., NC before the late war and I am a cousin of Richard Gadlin who was killed at Fort Monroe, Va.. while a soldier ….”


Deposition, Rachel Johnson, 19 April 1889  
40 years old; occupation, boarding housekeeper; post-office address, No. 10 Campbell’s Wharf, Norfolk, Va.
“I was raised on the same plantation with Richard and Mary J. Gadlin and I knew their children Roxana and Thomas — all the children they ever had.”


Deposition, Thomas Gatlin, 19 April 1889
25 years old; occupation, laborer; post-office address, Fairmount, Somerset, Md.
“I am the only son of Richard Gadlin by his wife Mary Jane Gadlin and am the brother of Roxana Allen, the claimant. I do not know my age nor do I know where I was born but I lived with my mother up to the time she died and owing to my youth I have forgotten and do not know the date of her death.  I have never known or heard of another brother or sister than the claimant now present.”


Deposition, Roxana Allen, 19 April 1889
“I do not know my age”; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, Hampton, Elizabeth City Co., Va.
“Question — Do you recognize the person now present who answers to the name of Thomas Gatlin, to be your brother and the son of Richard & Mary Jane Gatlin?
Answer — Yes, sire, he is my brother and is the reputed son of the abovenamed named persons who were my reputed parents.”


Deposition, Ross Askin, 19 June 1889  
60 years old; occupation, farmer; post-office address, Phoebus, Elizabeth City County, Va.
“I have known Roxana Allen the claimant since the year 1864. I lived during that and the following year following on the government farm near Hampton, Va. and she was living with her mother Mary Jane Gatlin who also died on said farm. The house she occupied and the house I occupied was not more than two hundred yards apart. …. After the camp of colored people was broken up in 1866, I remained on the said government farm and Mary Jane Gadlin moved about a half a mile from me and lived there until she died in May 1872. She was buried on the first Sunday of March 1872. ….[The children Roxana and Thomas] now live somewhere in the state of Maryland. The mother of the claimant was buried in Jones graveyard near Hampton, Va. and her coffin was furnished by General Berry, then the Commander of the garrison at Fort Monroe, Va.”


Deposition, Elizabeth Lucas, 19 June 1889 
36 years old; occupation, housekeeper; post-office address, Phoebus, Elizabeth City County, Va.
“First made the acquaintance of Roxana Allen and her mother Mary Jane Gadlin while in contraband camp near Hampton, Va. in 1864 & I have lived near the claimant ever since. I also lived near her mother up to the date of her death in May 1862. … I remember that General Berry was in command of the garrison at Fort Monroe, Va. and this woman Mary Jane Gadlin having been a servant in General Berry’s family. He and his wife visited her during her last illness and when she died he attended to having her buried.”


Deposition, Annie Gadling, 20 August 1889
“I was 12 years old when Natl War broke out, that was a very long time ago, 80 years I expect. PO address Washington Ave., Huntersville, Norfolk, Va.

“I was a slave of Squire Riddick Gatling in Gates Co., NC. I knew Richard Gadling & his wife Mary Jane. They were all slaves of Squire Gatling, my old master. I knew them from their infancy up to their deaths you may say …. The 2nd year of the war he ran away & enlisted the Union. Then he came back & took his wife & girl baby to Suffolk, Va. … They were married about two years or nearly that when the war broke out. When they went away they had a daughter Roxana Gadling living I hear near Hampton, Va. at this time that daughter was not quite two years old but was near it. …. Mary Jane Gadling was heavy with child & that child was born in Suffolk, Va. It was a boy who they called Thomas…

“I saw Mary Jane Gadling and her daughter Roxana & son Thomas the very year Richmond fell & I was there (Hampton) for five years. That’s the last I ever saw of any of them. Richard Gadling died in the army. Mary Jane died at Fort Monroe, Va. … [When I saw Thomas] he was able to walk alone.”


Deposition, Mary Anne Hopkins, 20 August 1889 
48 years old; residence, 121 Princess Anne Ave., Norfolk, Va.
“Question — What relation are you to Richard Gatling?
Answer — He is or was my brother. He died in the army, was killed I always heard. He married Mary Jane Gadling. They were both slaves of Squire Gadling, now dead, Gates Co., NC. …. [Richard Gadlin, Mary Jane & their child Roxana moved to Suffolk, Va.] the summer of 1862. I know this as the war was just begun in 1861 & it was summer next year after war begun…. I staid [sic] at old master’s a month when I went to Suffolk, Va. and lived not over 20 yards from them when the child was born. It was a boy and they named him Thomas. I don’t know where he lives but I remember out of Virginia. It was winter of 1862, very near Christmas that Thomas was born. His father Richard Gadling had not enlisted then but was waiting on Union officers in Suffolk. …. Some five months after Thomas was born was sent out of Suffolk, Va. with others to Craney Island & I never saw them again until I met them all at Hampton, Va. in 1863. Richard Gadling was then in the army. I don’t remember who the midwife was. She was an old woman at Suffolk.”


Deposition, Mrs. Sally B. Thorne, 26 September 1889
45 years old; residence and post-office address, 183 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY.
“I am a daughter of the late General Berry. USA.
“I was not living at Fort Monroe in 1872. I left home in 1869. I have no recollection of Mary Jane Gadlin or Dabney as a servant of my father’s family. I have consulted with my sister Miss Libbie Barry who is now ill & confined to her bed & she says she has an instinctual recollection of the name but cannot locate the pensioner or her family.
“My mother is dead. I know she was quite a hand to visit the colored people when they were sick.”


Deposition, Roxana Allen, 26 September 1889
“I do not know my age.” occupation, a housekeeper; residence & post-office address, Hampton, Elizabeth City County, Virginia
“I claim pension as the minor child of Richard Dabney …

“Question — Where did your father belong prior to the late war?
Answer — In Gates Co., NC. He belonged to a Mr. Riddick Gadlin, and he was known at home as Richard Gadlin. I do not know the name o the nearest post office or town to where my parents belonged. I do not remember the date we left our master but I remember that we, father, mother & myself, came direct to Suffolk, Va. and we lived there until my father enlisted in the Army. My mother’s name was Mary Jane Gadlin. She and my father were owned by the same owner …. he had only two children by her viz. myself and a boy by the name of Thomas whom I believed to be dead. until recently I have learned that he is living in Baltimore, Md. He is known in Baltimore as Thomas Galdlin. He was born while we were in contraband camp at Suffolk, Va. I remember that fact.

“Question [Who knew your parents in North Carolina?]
Answer  — James Smith, Robert Gadlin, Lydia Brighthart, and Anick Smith, all living somewhere in Norfolk, Va. I do not know whether either of these parties were in contraband camp in Suffolk, Va. Robert Gadlin is my father’s brother and Lydia Brightheart is my mother’s sister.

“Question [Details of your mother’s death?]
Answer — She died at Mill Creek, Va. near Old Pt., Va. about sixteen years ago. General Berry, then in command of Fort Monroe, Va. (Old Point) sent a coffin in which my mother was buried in Jones graveyard. There is no record of her death … Sarah Norris and Eliza Goodman know of her death, they living there at the time. They live near Hampton, Va. I am the wife of Cornelius Allen of Hampton, Va.”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: